Sunday, May 22, 2011

An open letter to the City of Thousand Oaks

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am writing about the abysmal handling of road closures during the Amgen Tour of California. At no time were there any notifications on Lynn Road leading up to the event that it would be closed to all traffic. My wife and I (and apparently several dozen other carloads of people) were completely surprised when we were told that we were not allowed to return to our home. This was especially irritating since we were returning from the store with groceries.

What was insulting was that it appeared that the local police, while present, weren't truly even in charge. When we tried to explain to a woman wearing Amgen markings that we needed to return home with our groceries, she was outright rude to us, telling us we had no right to cross the road, that we were going to have to wait another hour before we could do so, and that we should have known better because "the schedule was published, after all!" It may very well be that it was published, possibly in many different locations, but that doesn't make up for the fact that road closures should have been posted on the actual roads beforehand. Judging from the many drivers speeding around looking for a detour that didn't exist, many of our neighbors would agree, especially the one who yelled to some police "HOW THE F@#K AM I SUPPOSED TO GET OUT OF HERE?!"

Finally, after making another loop of the area, the Amgen employee said we should park in the neighborhood across the street from ours and then just walk home with our groceries. We relented, since we didn't want our food to go bad. Again, this turned into a bad joke when we were then stopped at the corner, bags in hand, and told that we weren't allowed to cross by foot either, after being told just the opposite at the very same intersection! One of our neighbors had enough at this point, and just crossed with her groceries when she was accosted by someone and told she wasn't allowed to cross. When she persisted, she was pushed down, causing her to drop her food in the middle of the road. Then a policeman tried to drag her from the road as she was gathering her groceries back into the bag. After this, and several other people screaming about the situation, we were told by a different policeman that we could cross right away if we did so very quickly. Keep in mind that at no time had we seen even a single cyclist!

I'd like to make something very clear, I am not against this sort of event. My wife and I have participated in Amgen's Breakaway From Cancer bike rides in the past, and I have years of experience participating in large running events and have seen various attempts at providing a secure course while making a minimal impact to local traffic. This was absolutely the worst managed attempt at traffic control of any cycling, running, or triathlon I have EVER encountered. I hope that in future years we will be given more consideration when it comes to notification of road closures, that some thought is given to detours or at least actual traffic control instead of outright closures to all access of neighborhoods, and that city employees, NOT AMGEN EMPLOYEES, are given the power to make rational decisions in cases of goofs.

Thank you for your time.


Lloyd Cogliandro

Monday, May 2, 2011

Now accepting bids for my shlock Sci-Fi movie idea

April 2011 -
Navy SEALs, operating in Pakistan, track down and kill the world’s most wanted man. Genetic samples are extracted for confirmation of his identity, then his body is dumped where no one would think to look for it: Three hundred miles off the coast of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Twenty years later -
A young man, raised in a military lab beneath Gitmo, stumbles upon the shameful secret of his origins...
In the Pacific ocean, an undead horror, twisted by radiation, emerges to continue his reign of terror upon the world...

It’s a twisted mind controlling a twisted body, versus a hero fighting to fix wrongs he does not remember.
It’s nature versus nurture.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Injunction Against Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Congratulations!

To all those behind the case against President Obama's new guidelines for embryonic stem cell research: Congratulations!

To those members who claim to support the free market: You have supported another attempt by a company to use the courts to stifle competition. Congratulations!

To those members who claim to believe in the sanctity of life: You have delayed the fates of embryos, but have not changed them.  The "life" you claim to cherish will still be frozen, NEVER to be implanted in a uterus.  Instead of being used for stem cell research using Federal funds, they might still be used for the same research, but using funds from a different source.  Then again, they might just be thrown into an incinerator with other biological waste. Congratulations!

To those claiming to be motivated by their religion: You have once again answered those with questions that the suffering of the sick and infirm is not as important as adherence to your dogma. In fact, your implicit message that suffering is necessary to be a "true believer" may help in driving many more away from your sick, masochistic, belief systems. Congratulations!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Defending the Electoral College

I've never really considered the Electoral College to be anything but a relic of a time where only free, landowning, white males could cast votes.  The fiasco of the 2000 Florida vote only reinforced my belief in dismantling the old system.  After reading the following article, I'm forced to re-evaluate that idea.  My gut still says "get rid of it" but there are some good points raised in its defense:

Bypass the Electoral College? Careful what you wish for.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Arachnophobes Beware!

Absolutely amazing footage of a cluster of daddy long legs:

Monday, July 19, 2010

Catching up

Finally getting back to logging my training runs. 

I managed to finish up this season's XTerra trail races having only missed one event, the Crystal Cove race in Newport Beach.  It had been sold out since last November, but due to all of the weather delays there were several people who dropped out.  Unfortunately, I didn't find this out until after the race.  Anyway, I did well at Malibu Creek and Mission Gorge, earning a point total of 521 out of a possible 700.  That was only enough to get me a 2nd place in my age group, even though I earned more points than any other runner in 2nd place, and more than 19 of the other 1st place runners.  I'll just have to try again another year.

July 4th turned out to be a great day for me.  Having skipped running 10K road events for nearly two years, I finally made another attempt at my goal of a 6:00/mi pace.  It was an unseasonably cool day, with lots of fog.  The course was right next to the beach, and was just about as flat as a well groomed college track.  The race went great, even though I started out a lot hotter than I meant to.  I worked hard to keep my pace under control for the rest of the race, and managed to finish in 36:18, or a 5:50/mi pace.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Facts In The Case Of Dr. Andrew Wakefield

A marvelous web comic about the shyster behind so many immunization scares.

tallguywrites: The Facts In The Case Of Dr. Andrew Wakefield