Thursday, July 31, 2008

a foot soldier for senility

McGruff the Crime Dog has been airing new attack ads, containing many untruths but what caught our attention was the notion that having a popular U.S. President isn't a good idea. I suppose McGruff prefers the idiot we currently have in office, whom almost no one in the world likes, or trusts. Perhaps McGruff, if he's elected President, plans to carry on the recent Republican tradition of senile, not-so-bright warmongering idiocy. He does like to refer to himself as a one-time foot soldier in the Reagan revolution. Boorah! Let's get stupid and start another war.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

bush fails obama's final exam

Recently a number of Obama's class notes from his days teaching Harvard Law School have been released. No doubt some members of the right, who haven't read a book in a decade, will try to find some information in the course syllabus and Obama's notes to his students to try and convince others that Barack is a gay communist Muslim. These would be the same right-wingers who lack the intellectual capacity to understand why it's not possible to be gay and communist and a Muslim, but really, I'm giving the Limbaughites way too much credit.

But imagine, just for a moment if you will, if we had a President - right now! right this very moment!- in the Oval Office who had actually attended classes during college, much less had the intellectual prowess to teach a subject? Imagine that.

Perhaps the train wreck could have been avoided? We still have time to impeach the idiot.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

more law-breaking from the administration that doesn't care

Alberto Gonzales (remember him? the former Attorney General, the person who is supposed to have the highest regard for the law of the land) and his aides repeatedly broke the law by testing prospective judges with how they stood on “god, guns + gays.”

The activist judges the Republicans so love to discount are exactly what they want in office. As long as they love god and guns and hate gays.

The July 28th edition of the NYTimes reports on a technique developed by Justice Department attorney Monica Goodling called “The Thorough Process of Investigation” whereby the names of candidates for Federal court positions were jointly googled along with words such as abortion, homosexual, Florida recount, or guns.

In forwarding a résumé in 2006 from a lawyer who was working for the Federalist Society, Ms. Goodling sent an e-mail message to the head of the Office of Legal Counsel, Steven Bradbury, saying: “Am attaching a résumé for a young, conservative female lawyer.” Ms. Goodling interviewed the woman and wrote in her notes such phrases as “pro-God in public life,” and “pro-marriage, anti-civil union.” The woman was eventually hired as a career prosecutor.

Bush is going to busy with the pardons in his last days in office.

Monday, July 28, 2008

mcgruff plans european tour

McGruff the Crime Dog, here accompanied by his driver, Wooster the Welsh Terrier, chagrined by the huge crowds that Obama drew in Munich and Paris, is reported to be planning his own European tour. To emphasis his tough stance on high gas prices (about 1.5 times in Europe than in the US), McGruff plans to tour European capitals in a golf cart. It's an idea he claims to have gotten from another old geezer completely out-of-touch with reality.

Said McGruff, "It's like that glass coffin His Holiness rides around in, except mine comes with it's own personal ball washer!" Europeans are expected to to lay down their arms and welcome the dogs with shock and awe.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

more spainiards

Spaniards. Everywhere. Even on the Champs Elysee. It's 3 times in a row in Le Tour for the Spanish.
2006 - Óscar Pereiro.
2007 - Alberto Contador.
2008 - Carlos Sastre.

Pereiro , who backed into the '06 title after Flance was exposed as a Big Dope, crashed out of this years tour after a 15 meters drop from one side of a hairpin curve to the other on a mountain descent. Result. Broken collarbone, fractured femur.

At least in '07 and '08 the winners were supported by the best teams. Discovery Channel's swan song in '07 and this year CSC drove the train through the Alps and no one could come close to staying with them. Cadel Evans, the great-white-hope-from-down-under couldn't do it in the final race-of-truth, the Saturday 53 km time trial before the run in to Paris. That leavess Carlos Sastre to stand atop the podium come Sunday in Paris and he did so in his last great chance to win what is still the greatest cycling event in the world. Forget what the American naysayers say about problems with doping, the dopers are losing their footing and nothing else even comes close to this event unless you have to be a football fan. And I'm not talking about the American version.

Two American teams, both in their first Grand Tour event, had impressive showings. Team Columbia (formerly High Road, as in take-the-high-road) and Team Garmin (formerly Slipstream Chilpolte) were impressive. Columbia threw up 5 stage wins, four on the back of the world's best sprinter, Mark Cavendish (Brit) who then left to prepare an assault on the Olympics and one by Marcus Burghardt (Ger).

Team Garmin had the American Christian vande Velde finish 5th in the General Classification, not bad considering that he had almost no support from his teammates in the mountains and that his teammates with the most Grand Tour eperience, David Millar, didn't perform to expectations after the 2nd week.

Next years tour to be wide open as more and more dopers retire, or are forced from the sport. This leaves teams with progessive training programs and an emphasis on clean racing, like Columbia and Garmin, in a good position to make an even bigger mark next year. Of course, they'll still have to contend with the Spainards. And next year, Contador will be riding again.

image: Carlos Sastre by Pascal Pavani, Agence Frace-Presse

Friday, July 25, 2008

mr340 river race update no.18

mr340 river race update no.18

OK, we'd be remiss if we didn't send shouts out to those who helped us this year. Sarah Star, who worried like a parent worries about their children, and who along with the other Sarah, fetched our car from Kaw Point and had the brilliant idea to have it detailed of 1 years worth of river mud and Rare West Tibetan Dog hair. Awesome idea.

Wendy Sangster, Bonnie Chasteen, and Jim Low, all of the Missouri Department of Conservation who served as Warrior Ant Press field operatives and brought us needed supplies. Garry Manhart who met me @ midnight @ the Washington boat ramp with the last of my supplies and found the only spot around the boat ramp by which to land a kayak in the dark. River Relief West Coast Coordinator Vicki and her pal Susie who made me a cup of french press by the fire at Weldon Springs and told me to shut up and "get back to nature, you only have 3 more hours to go" when all I wanted was a biscuit. Joan G. Friend who drove me to the car rental shop at Lambert International and roasted a leg ó lamb extraordinaire to bring us back into the fold of civilization and the daunting task of running the WorldWide Anthill Headquarters. To the nurse @ Glasgow who taught me that duct tape works wonders on foot blisters and to the unnamed support person (paddlefast, live slow) who gave me packs of ice @ Mokane Access and Herman that finally allowed me to get some much needed sleep.

Hurrah! See you next year on the muddy mo unless we're lucky enough to visit on a river near you.

View a sideshow of all the images from the 2008 Missouri River 340 as well as images from the 2007 and 2006 events @:
warrior ant press mr340 slide show
breathe.paddle.sing. the 2007 mr340
2006 mr340 race journal

Thursday, July 24, 2008

mr340 river race update no. 17

mr340 rivermiles update no. 17

Some of the peeps in and around this year's event.

The last two finishers were in a beautiful boat they'd built themselves and were still learning how to pilot it when the race begin.

Two of my favorite rivermiles smiley faces, Travis and Karin. Travis saw me after my 'swim in the river" and had the decency not to laugh out loud.

scott rivermiles, The master of ceremony.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

mr340 river race update no. 16

mr340 river race update no. 16-team division

We're not going to try and dissect the team division because they flew off the front so fast we barely had time to see the windmill flash of paddles. Let's just say that according to one member of the winning boat, it's better to have 6 captains, than one. Everyone's in charge and no one is. Puking. Part of the game. We'll cover for you for a while but get it together because it's going to look real bad if that surfer dude in a solo boat beats us.

I guess the passengers on these boats, which are traveling at almost 10 miles an hour, have time to enjoy the scenery and the moonrises during the race, I don't see how they can't. 'There's not much else out there to distract you from them. One of the more interesting teams in this year's race, team Z, was a mixed team tandem with 2 men and 2 women. Competeting against teams of 6 men, they had little chance, but they did finish 10th overall in a time of 51 hrs and 24 min.

Moon set on day 1, downstream of Miami. This race is always held during the full moon of either late July or early August. Once the moon sets, it's pretty dark out. You can still see the water, but if you hear growling ahead, better drop the paddles and make sure you're on the right side of the river lest you find yourself unexpectedly testing your whitewater skills in the dead of the night.

And here's the moon rise on day 3 near the approach to Berger Bend. This was definitely one of the more scenic parts of the river. The "growlers" (as Bryan Hopkins likes to call them) could be heard for several miles above the bend. The river gradient steepens through here and there's easily a mile or so of either natural riffles or man-made rock and wing dikes that line river right. They were partly submerged and it sounded like Niagara Falls on the approach. River left is a meander cut-off with a large (several square miles) copse of trees. There was enough drift from the recent floods crammed against the front of this copse to power every wood stove in the Ozarks through the winter.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

mr340 river race update no.15

mr340 river race update no.15

Mixed tandem and cutest couple (?) winners Jana Shannon (Durham, NC) and Mike Massey (Bellingham, WA) of Immersing Ourselves. They came from opposite coasts, had no expectations of placing, got to the first checkpoint in the lead and never looked back. They seemed to be more relaxed than most folks I met, although I only saw them at the start and finish, so who knows the demons they had to conquer on the water. They certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves and not taking things too seriously, but yet had the quiet resolve of someone who knits their own rugby socks. Winning? Oh that was an unexpected surprise.

Men's tandem winners, "Cattledrive" If you see 2 Texicans in your rear view mirror in this race, move river right and yield. That cracking you hear, it's not your ribs, it's a bullwhip. Move along, get 'em up. In rain and wind and weather keep them dogies rollin'.

Women's tandem winners Tabatha Adkins (Gower, MO) and Chris Jump (Lawrence, KS) of RED2[squared]. Notice the dazed look of sleep deprivation. This will disappear in about 12 hours; the hair color won't.

Monday, July 21, 2008

mr340 river race update no.14

mr340 river race update no.14 - warrior ant press women's solo division.

The winners of the 2008 MR340 Warrior Ant Press Women's Solo Division were:
1st Place. Katie Pfefferkorn. 50 hours.

2nd Place. Erin Magee. Texas, 57 hours 11 min.

3rd Place. Hillary Kelly, Leavenworth, Kansas. 69 hours 2 min.

The race for 1st place was pretty close, closer than the time difference might indicate. Erin Magee lead by as much as 1.5 hours for the first 200 miles of this race, from Kansas City to Cooper's Landing. Something happened in the 26.5 miles between Coopers Landing and Jefferson City to turn the race around. I don't know exactly what that was, but if we find out, we'll post an update. Could have been that Erin just pushed too hard for the first 200 miles and couldn't hold the pace (unlikely) or got over-heated (more likely), don't really know. Katie typically runs a very patient and controlled race and it's not uncommon for her to pass you about 2 miles into the race as she tends to take it easy at the start, find her pace, and then just hold it for a really, really long time. In this case, for two straight days. When she goes by you, she appears to be paddling effortlessly and at this point, you'd better look close because you won't see each other until the end.

I typically find the stretch between Coopers Landing and Jeff City very difficult a couple of reasons. Foremost, it's the 2nd night and the sleep deprivation is really starting to kick in. Secondly, the winds are more often than not, southerly which means you're going into a headwind. Although the winds usually tail off at night, sometimes you can get that stiff summer breeze which feels great, unless you're exhausted and paddling against it. This year I just happened to paddle this section with Hillary Kelly, the 3rd place finisher. About 3/4's from Cooper's Landing to Jeff City (around 4 am) in the morning, we were both so exhausted we couldn't keep from nodding off in the boat. The head snap is what brings you back and when it does, it's kinda scary. Apparently, this head snap is some kind of hormonal release that causes your head to snap back. When this happens in the boat your first thought is you're going to fall in the river and after about 20 times it happens over the course of a half-an-hour about all you can think about is, I'm going to die if I don't get off this river and get some sleep. The last morning I actually fell asleep while trying to paddle. Hillary told me the same thing happened to her. Guess the body isn't just prepared to do 3 straight days of no sleep.

All of these women beat me to the finish line which really isn't surprising because they're very fine athletes and very tough. You may think you're tough, but there's always someone tougher than you on the river. Hillary, who was once one of the few and the proud, also spent a year on square-rigged sailing ship. Not only is she a better paddler than I am, she's also a better sailor.

Photo of Erin Magee by Carter Johnson.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

mr340 river race update no. 13

mr340 river race update no. 13 men's solo division

Some of the participants in the men's solo division.

Carter Johnson, who now holds the course record in all of the major ultra-marathon canoe races (MR340, Texas Water Safari, Everglades Challenge, and Yukon quest) at the start of this year's race. Johnson shattered the previous record by 10 hours, paddling the 340 miles in 37 hours 46 minutes. He was beaten only by a 6-person tandem boat full of Texans, all of whom have their own heavy-duty, ultra-marathon credentials, and they only beat him by an hour and a half. Johnson was racing in a Huki surf-ski an evil reflective-tape grin that just screams "you're annihilation is about to begin."

3rd place finisher Chuck McHenry finished in 2 days. McHenry's never met a river he couldn't paddle upstream on. If this race was 340 miles of whitewater, he'd be the favorite every time.

Big Tiny, racing in his first ultra-marathon finished in a respectable 76.5 hours.

Joe Mann, in just his second year of kayaking finished 4th. Joe expects to move to Texas, train with the Insance Clown Posse down there, and return home next year with some even more serious intentions.

Left to right. John Mann, field captain for Joe "the dark horse paddler" Mann, Black Coffee, and Uncle A Dog. In the world of "what's the craziest thing you've ever done" these dudes have one upped everybody. Coffee and A Dog paddled the mr340 in their home-made kayaks in 2.5 days with their dissembled bikes strapped to back and a home-made trailer stowed in the hatch. Less than 12-hours later, they were preparing to return to Kansas City via the Katy Trail pulling their kayaks behind themselves. Purportedly, they had a logical reason for doing this but I don't recall exactly what it was. I think it might have been, "we'll we've never done that -- yet."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

mr340 river race update no. 12

mr340 river race update no. 12

We're back on land, where the food is more than gogo juice, power bars, and fruit leather. I really have to work on the gogo juice recipe because maybe in another couple of days the mouth ulcers will have healed from all the acid. That was one mistake we made, another was dropping the first aid kit with the lip balm into the river on day 2 resulting in second degree lip burn. between the mouth ulcers, the lip burn, and the sleep deprivation I talk like I'm drunk.

Another mistake, compounded by sleep-deprivation, stupidity, and inefficient preparation involved attempting to obliquely surf the wake of the river relief safety boat which resulted in a swim in the muddy mo. It was hot anyway and that's a good way to cool off, but thank goodness for pfd's.

More later.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

mr340 river race update no.11

mr340 river race. update no.11
This might be our last post for awhile. The batteries, both the OLPC notebook and mine are in serious need of recharging. We may just have to wait till St.Charles and not post till sometime on Saturday. The leader board should let you know if we've finished.

We're trying to track down a persistent, yet unconfirmed rumor, that keeps getting passed downriver and upriver like power-bar gas. Seems like what originated as good-natured banter between some of the more testosterone-riddled men's tandem teams eventually escalated until the teams took turns hurling captain's bottles at each others boats. For the river-unininiated, a captain's bottle is a bottle of whiz, done on the go, and apparently these tandem teams were trading plastic captains bottles with loosened lids as though they were water-balloons. One can only imagine the rage of getting bombed by one of these would tend to inspire, especially in 90-degree heat. Sounds a bit like a bloody lot of footballers, if you ask me.

All of that piss and vinegar got me to thinking about the only non-human (not counting the lonestar state paddling machines) who's ever competed in the mr340 and that would your friend and mine, Trex, the rare West Tibetan Mountain Dog. Trex loves to mark things as well. If only he were here to hike his leg on some unsuspecting rednecks. That'd be perfect.

real-time race results

mr340 river race update no.10

mr340 river race. update no. 10
I smell like a pole cat. So I took a bath in the river. Naked. Nothing like being naked in the river in the summer time. It feels great.

All those power bars are full of fiber. You definitely want to stay regular out here. So I took a big crap on a corps wing dike. Man. It took a boulder to cover that thing but if felt great.

A bath. The loss of a weighty subject matter. I feel like a new person. Time to wrap this up.

real-time race results

mr340 river race update no.9

mr340 river race update no.9

Food consumed to date (what I can remember):
1 bowl of oatmeal w/ raisins and banana
1 homemade gravlax sandwich on toasted farmhouse pepita bread.
1 peanut butter sandwich/banana on toasted farmhouse pepita bread.
2 oranges.
2 cups fresh cherries.
2 tubes of homemade goo (brown rice syrup/agave syrup/chocolate/p.nut butter/coffee).
8 power bars of various permutations containing in no particular order: almonds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, rasins, coconut, apricots, dates, peanuts, date syrup, and who knows what else.
GO GO jelly bellies. These are great. Elecrolyte jelly beans. 2 packages.
1 bag of granola including also homemade dried pears, cherries, apricots, and chocolat-covered raisins.
4 sheets of homemade fruit leather-blueberry, cherry, apricot.
1 12 oz bar of extra dark chocolat.

Pretty much everything is done to maintain the following.
~200-300 calories per hour
~40-60 g of carbohydrates
~10 g of protein

real-time race results

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

mr340 river race update no.8

mr340 river race. update no.8 - more smiley faces

This is the smiley face you can see between mile marker 160 and 150. This is what paddling for 20 hours a days for 2 straight days will do to you. It's the electric Gatorade acid test and all I can say, is you'd better embrace it, go with it, ride it out, or you're in trouble. Dawn will come soon enough.

Sometime this smiley face will attach itself to a can buoy. When that happens, just say hi and keep going. You make it through to the other side and you're go to go to the finish. This is why some people do this race. For the hallucinations that happen on the second night. It's a vision quest thing? without the mescaline. perhaps it's just the quirky combination of sleep deprivation and electrolyte imbalance.

Smiles 2 ya!

real-time race results

mr340 river race update no.7

mr340 river race update no. 7

Nun buoy on the left, can buoy on the right. Going downstream keep the left-leaning nuns on your left and the jar heads on your right and the shipping channel, the deepest, fastest, part of the current is right between them -- right in the middle! They mark the channel. I know the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has spent millions and millions and millions of our tax dollars to straighten and narrow the channel for the 2 barges a year that use the upper Missouri, but that's a pretty narrow channel. I went around this freaky pair.

real-time race results

mr340 river race update no.6

mr340 race update no.6 - smiley face

Lot's of people who do this race are fond of smiley faces in blog posts. For some reason they love them. Smiley faces with tears, with expressions of surprise!, smiley faces taking a bath, smiley faces riding a motorcycle. You name it, there seems to be a smiley where an adjective would do. They distribute them wildly, thrown like candy from the back of a parade float, like m & m's to a sick child, like free drinks on a bartender's last day on the job.

I submit. I'm tired. It's hot. I'm sleep and coffee-deprived. Here's a smiley face to add to your collection.
real-time race results

mr340 river race update no. 5

mr340 river race. update no.5

These are the fluids consumed during the first 24 hours -- 12 liters of h2o and 8 liters of go juice. That may be the most difficult aspect of the race, staying hydrated and figuring out how to get potable water and what I call GO JUICE, or more affectionately, the stuff that keeps you from dying. It's my own blend of Gatorade (the powdered form and NO!, I don't sniff it), Accelerade (a Gatorade with protein that tastes like chalk), fruit/vegetable juice blend, and H20. Mixing all of these things together makes for a grayish-purplish liquid that's palatable. And keeps the cramps at bay. A leg cramp in a kayak is more than a drag.

real-time race results

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

mr340 river race update no.4

mr340 river race. update no. 4

I like to bring a book along. Don't know why exactly, I just feel a little naked when I don't have one. I'm trying to save weight. The first year I had about 300 lbs of gear, it was a little much. But in my favor, I did have only a slim volume, Sam Shepard's play, "Curse of the Starving Class". Even though I frequently stopped and napped under shade trees I was still too busy to read. Last year, in a determined effort to finish, I made my ground crew carry my book (just too good to put down but a bit heavy to carry in the kayak) and at each re-supply point while they were busy doing things like setting up my tent, or changing out my camelback, I'd knock off a few pages of Anna Karenina in the restroom. They never even knew.

But this year my motto is "Work harder, play harder, live more." So I vow to do all three in this compressed version of life. I don't pull out the book till after dinner, till I've put in 50 miles and feel as though there's already a level of accomplishment. Boats are arriving and leaving the first checkpoint. There's one more to make by 11 pm.

A couple of mile out from the checkpoint, I pull the book from the dry sack. A tandem begins to move around me as I slow and seeing that I'm reading something, says, "how far to Waverly?"

"Twenty five miles, due east. Here let me read you something before darkness descends around us."


Like the fur of a chinchilla. Like the cleanest tooth. Yes, the fishes say, this is what it feels like. People always ask the fishes, "What does the water feel like to you?" and the fishes are always happy to oblige. Like feathers are to other feathers, they say. Like powder touching ash. When the fishes tell us these things, we begin to understand. We begin to think we know what the water feels like to the fishes. But it's not always like fur and ash and the cleanest tooth. At night, they say, the water can be different. At night when it's very cold, it can be like the tongue of a cat. At night when it's very, very cold, the water is liked cracked glass. Or honey. Or forgiveness, they say-ha ha. When the fishes answer these questions--which they are happy to do--they also ask why. They are curious fish are, and thus they ask, Why? Why do you want to know what the water feels like to the fishes? And we are never quite sure.
Dave Eggers

"Fantastic!" they say in unison and power their boat downriver.

"Yes. Yes it is."

real-time race results

mr340 river race update no.3

mr340 river race. update no.3
Dang. Can't forget about the racers. Was going to take pictures of some of the entrants during last nite's pre-race safety meeting and at Kaw Point when folks where staging their boats but got too busy talking to take very many. Here's one. Bryan Hopkins. Columbia, MO. Bryan is definitely in the mix to take the men's solo with his new Huki surf ski. Bryan's got the right attitude, is trained up, and knows the river like no one else.

Others to look for are Carter Johnson, Jeff Weueste (sp?), and off course the Dark Horse Paddler, Joe Mann. Probably somebody else I don't know about who could be near the front. The winner will the one who sleeps the less. You won't be able to sleep and win this race. Not this year.

mr340 river race update no.2

mr240 race update no.2 - the start

This is how it begins. You start with a confluence, in this case the Kansas and the Missouri Rivers, a city, and some people willing to get in a boat and paddle. For a while. Pretty simple stuff when you get down to it.

What else. Throw in some Lewis and Clark re-enactors, some tough-as-nails sailors, some Amazonians, some people out to prove something to others, to themselves, some looking for adventure, some for solace, some for a difficult journey, some to perservere. I guess since we're ending this year at the Lewis and Clark Boathouse in St. Charles I can put up with the re-enactors. Everyone else makes sense.

Throw in a dj. Ok, definitely not as cool as LL, but still a dj. But a dj at 7 o'clock in the morning. Rich even by my taste.

mr340 river race update no.1

mr340 river race. update no. 1

Warrior Ant Press is trying something different. We're blogging during the race. We''re also in the race. We're sponsoring the Women's Solo Division. We're blogging. Why not?

The tool. A OLPC (one laptop per child) notebook. It's small (fits inside a gallon ziplock baggie). It's rugged, waterproof, has a long-life battery, and it has wireless capability.

Don't know how this is going to work, so bear with us. Although we'll be taking photos along the way, they take too much time to upload so we're going to rely on our bank of stock photos. Bear with us on this one as we work out the bugs of trying to bring you updates while the race is going on. They do it on Le Tour, (well not the competitors) so why not the MR340?

Also, we'll try to post 2-3 times a day, but remember, we also have to paddle, and we want to get downriver, we have no idea of how often we'll find hot spots, so if nothing pops up, then don't assume we've abandoned all hope. We will not be able to respond to any posted comments. Got to draw the line somewhere.

Check our progress after about 5 pm on the rivermiles (see below) leader board. If you're receiving personal race updates via our text messaging service you can post those times in the comments section for others to see.

Paddles up.

real-time race results

Monday, July 14, 2008

trails kc!

From the Kansas City communications office.

City announces trail system logo and naming competition winners

The City of Kansas City, Mo., trail system has a new name and logo thanks to two Kansas City, Mo., residents who entered the City Planning and Development Department's contest. The winning entries were selected from more than 300 submissions.

Ron Simmons submitted the name "Trails KC!," which will be featured on the bottom of a logo created by Molly Paugh. For winning the contests, Paugh will receive a $1,000 prize donated by Kansas City River Trails Inc., and Simmons will receive a Gary Fisher hybrid bike donated by Cycle City.

The Trails KC! name and logo will appear on trail system maps, promotional material and trail signage for the trail system outline in the Trails KC! plan. The trail plan includes an interconnected system of trails to serve pedestrians, recreational bicyclists, commuters and equestrians. Implementing the plan is a key component toward achieving the City's goal to receive platinum designation from the American League of Bicyclists by 2020.

The Trails KC! Plan has been reviewed at community meetings and will continue to be available for public comment via meetings scheduled for late summer/early fall.

The new logo and draft of the Trails KC! plan are available at

bush to treasury secretary

Dude. Get out your ass out there and say something! Positive! And I don't care what you do, sell the damn brewery to the Belgians if you have to, but do something now. My ratings are nearing 15% positive, and that's low, even by my standards.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

the cost of losing La Raza

If Mayor Funkhouser had done a better job vetting Francis Semler for the Parks Board and if the Mayor had realized the error of his judgement sooner and DONE A BETTER JOB COMPROMISING, then Kansas City would be hosting the La Raza convention this week and both presidential candidates would be in town giving speeches. Instead they're in LA.

Cheney's doctors tighten the screws

Dick "the Dick" Cheney was given the a-OK on his recent checkup. His heart is apparently fine. In case you've forgotten, this is what Cheney's heart looks like.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

pull down the martha shade

We at Warrior Ant Press are losing our patience with the whole Obama campaign fake rhethoric of "oh my! I can't do that, it might offend someone. Got to vote for warrantless-wiretapping cause the suburban moms might not vote for me. Bernie Mac. Dude. Such raunchy humor from a black man, tone in down."

Come on. F_that. Let's get some backbone here and standup for what needs to be done in this country.

I'm with Martha Shade. Be a damn progessive or be a Republican. We got enough spineless Democrats already.

Here's some Bernie Mac for you. Listen to it. Laugh. And tell Obama to get jiggy widit or expect to be McGruff the Crime Dog's bitch come November.

Photo credit: Martha Shade by Brian Lee, NY Times.

are those beets or a joke about beets?

Neither. It's beet ice cream w/ caramelized walnuts. It's good. And good for you.

“HarperCollins remains thrilled to count Jessica Seinfeld on its roster of talented authors, and continues to stand unequivocally behind her work.” So said Steve Ross, the publisher of Collins, the imprint of Harper Collins that published Seinfeld's cookbook “Deceptively Delicious.”

That's a funny name for a book especially if you're being sued for plagiarism by the author of another, very similar book, but I guess she thought no one would get the joke.

We note though, in Mr. Ross's defense, that Harper's also counts Laura and Jenna Bush, who may have sold a few books but can't write for shit, as part of its stable of talented authors.

Friday, July 11, 2008

mccain's ineligibility

Turns out that not only did spending 5 years in a N. Vietnamese prison not qualify McGruff the Crime Dog to be President, he's not qualified under the U.S. Constitution because he's not as he needs to be, "natural-born citizen." We call this a lose lose lose situation.

McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 to U.S. citizens. The law that allowed children of American parents born in the canal zone to be U.S. citizens was written passed one year after McCain's birth and citizenship retroactively. Sure it's a technicality, but the Constitution says "natural born."

Republicans, who like laws, except when they don't, have chosen once again to ignore the Constitution and it's Amendments, in this case the 14th. I'm not saying the law makes any sense but aren't these the same folks who are always trotting out the law and waving it around at folks.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

mr340: the warrior ant press women's solo division

Things to do with your economic stimulus check from El Presidento Bush. Contribute to a campaign to have Bush and Dick "the Dick" Cheney impeached; probably a little late in the term for that to stick even after we find out that Cheney's office worked to alter EPA documents to minimize the human impacts of global climate disruption, "Data isn't fact" for this administration, even if it's the data from 99.8 percent of the scientists who study the issue.

Or you could donate the money to a not-for-profit (may I be so bold so as to suggest the fine folks at Habitat ReStore?) Sustainability times 3.

Or you could underwrite the women's solo division of the 2008 MR340 river race, the longest canoe/kayak/surfski race in the world. The Chief Financial Officer of WAP, who's been silly enough to do the race since it's inception, endorsed his check to the fine folks at RiverMiles (the race organizers) and is now a corporate big-wig and sponsor of the MR 340 Warrior Ant Press Women's Solo Division. We built that huge office building for a reason! To house the Warrior Ants.

The women's solo division is shaping up to be a battle between the defending champion and favorite, Texan, Erin "One Woman, Focused and Driven" Magee, and the upstart phenom, Katie Pfefferkorn. Last year they finished one-two and some are speculating this could be the year of the youngster. But Magee will not go easily. Erin has finished first in 10 straight Texas Water Safari's (affectionately called "the toughest canoe race in the world"). Nine of those first place finishes were solo, one was tandem. Erin also set the MR340 women's solo record of 55 hours 33 minutes in her first MR340, blasting 42 hours off the 2006 record.

But in 2007, Pfefferkorn, in only her second year of competitive kayaking, and at half the age of Magee, finished a strong second shaving 40 hours off her 2006 and finishing a mere 3 1/2 behind the stalwart Magee. Pfefferkorn has traded up to a full-on racing canoe this year and it might be the difference. Will power and determination could be the deciding factor between them.

Participants in The Warrior Ant Press MR340 Women's Solo Division.
Karen Exon, Topeka, KS #3333
Jamie Freeman, Cape Girardeau, MO #4044
Carol Heddinghaus, Rolla, MO #3907
Hillary Kelly, Leavenworth, KS, #8814
Erin Magee, Martindale, TX #4971
JoJo Newbold, St. Louis, MO #5656
Katie Pfefferkorn, Ottumwa, IA, #1459

1st Place. $500
2nd Place. $100
3rd Place. $50

Images. Upper. Dawn Keller before the start of 2006 MR340.
Bottom. Byran Hopkins and Katie Pfefferkorn @ Kaw Point, start of 2006 MR340.
erin magee on race fit 2 paddle
ny times on the texas water safari
pfefferkorn in the columbia missourian
profiles of three 2008 racers in se missourian
profiles of six 2007 racers in se missourian

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

artists go green, con-ed to follow

Here's some interesting work that came to the attention of Warrior Ant Press that deal with global climate disruption (it's more than just change).Eve Mosher's work, HighWaterLine, a Brooklyn-based artist who walked around Long Island with a chalk line machine (just like the ones used to lay down the foul lines at a baseball game) marking the water line from increased flooding that would result from large-scale sea-level changes and climate disruption. At one point, Ms. Mosher, was ordered to stop, because she was scaring the locals, driving down property values, and raising insurance rates for areas that would be expected to be frequently inundated. We'd rather keep our head in the sand, errr, peat bog.

Another favorite is the Lemon Everlasting Backyard Battery by Susan Cockrell and Ted Purves, who harvested excess lemons from backyard trees and made preserves and marmalade in the community of San Jose, California. When life gives you lemon, make lemonade; when art gives you lemons, build a community.

On to the Netherlands, a country that could benefit from a slowing down of carbon emissions, with this question, "Could art change the climate?" With this question seventeen international artists were sent into the Waterloopbos, an almost exotic forest in the Netherlands and asked to build artworks that addressed Global Climate Change. The environmental setting is in the ruins of a former, open air laboratory where hydraulic engineers worked for several decades to find solutions for hydrodynamic problems all over the world. The Laboratory has now been taken over by the forest (Waterloopbos), and is managed by the Nature Monument Association. Amongst overgrown sluices, harbours and river courses, the artists worked on location on a new view on the typically Dutch battle against the water.

One positive effect of global climate disruption is that the Blue Man Group is expected to be inundated forever.

pedro marzorati
Or in a special issue of NYFA Current, sponsored (and we aren't making this up) by Con Edison—New York City. new york foundation for the arts

bush to medvedev

You one smart, sexy Russian. Eyes like Vladamir, soul like Putin. Don't let this be our last meeting together.

Monday, July 7, 2008

missouri river 340 canoe & kayak race

Release July 7, 2006

What: MR340 river race: the longest non-stop canoe/kayak race in world.
Where: Missouri River from Kansas City to St.Charles.
Start: 8 AM, Tuesday July 15th, 2008, Kaw Point Access, Kansas City, KS.
Awards ceremony: Friday, July 18th, 7:00 pm, Lewis & Clark Boathouse, St. Charles, MO.
Race officially ends: noon, Saturday, July 19th
Contact Person(s):
Scott Mansker, 913-244-4666 (
Russ Payzant, 913-548-5101 (
Karin Thomas, 913-220-3271 (

As floodwaters recede on Midwest rivers, canoeists and kayakers from all over the United States, Canada, Belize, and Japan are readying to test the Missouri River in the longest non-stop canoe/kayak race in the world. The race takes place every year on the Missouri River from Kansas City to St. Charles in the full-force heat and humidity of a Missouri summer. Given the recent high river levels, race organizer Scott Mansker expects records to be set that may hold up for many years to come. If records are to fall, racers will have to paddle cross-state in 2 days or less. That’s non-stop with no sleep, avoiding debris jams, barges, fatigue, heat exhaustion, and relentless pursuit from competitors.

Jim Low, who has written about the event since its beginnings, calls the MR340 an “authentic adventure” in a time when very few experiences can qualify as such. Drew Lemberger, who guides on the Missouri River, agrees, “The MR340 was the most challenging experience of my life, and I’ve had a few.” For last year’s race, Drew built a tandem kayak, convinced his boss to paddle for 3 ½ straight days, and still managed to keep his day job. The paint is still curing on Drew’s recently built racing kayak which he’ll paddle solo in this year’s race.

A number of Missouri-based racers have their eyes on being the first to arrive in St. Charles, but to date, no home-grown soloists have managed to stand atop the podium come race end. In order to win, they’ll have to leave in their wake adventure sport legend David Kelly as well as 24-hour record holder for flat-water paddling and ultra-marathon machine Carter Johnson - the men’s solo-record holder in the 260-mile Texas Water Safari, 420-mile Yukon River Quest, and 300-mile Water Tribe Everglades Challenge. Katie Pfefferkorn, an upstart phenom with enough mettle to challenge for the women’s solo division title last in just her second year of racing, may have the moxy this year to overcome the focused and determined Erin Magee. Magee, the 2007 MR340 winner, has 10 consecutive (9 times as a soloist) first-place Texas Water Safari finishes.

Racers will compete this year in 6 categories. Men’s and Women’s Solo; Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Tandem, and Team Unlimited (4-6 racers). The Missouri River 340 is a canoe/kayak race across the state of Missouri, July 15-19. Contestants will paddle 340 miles, from Kansas City to St. Charles, virtually non-stop and must complete the race within 100 hours.

For more information about the Missouri River 340 contact Scott Mansker, 913-244-4666 or on the web at

River Miles, protecting our river resources through participation.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

year of the spaniard?

The Spaniards seem to be everywhere these days, at least in the sports arena. Last week they pulled off a victory in the EuroCup final, an event that looms very large the world over - except in America (kinda like low-mileage automobiles). Then Alejandro Valverde pulled off a pretty impressive surge at the end of the Stage One of Le Tour crushing some of the best sprinters in the world in the process. He was wearing yellow today in Paris, a color he may be able to hang to for a while, but it's 3 weeks before the return trip down the Champs-Elyse. Unfortunately the best Spanish rider, Alberto Contador, the defending champ is having to sit this one out because Amory Sports Organization, the organization which hosts Le Tour is making the Astana Team and coach Johan Bruyneel (former coach to Lance the A.) pay for years of speculation about his ethics and the fact that Astana(before Bruyneel) was as dirty as the Russian mob. And finally today, Rafael Nadal rid himself of the Swiss grass jinx and prevailed in the longest final match in Wimbledon history. Those Brits are nothing if not patient. Nadal has now done it on clay and grass in the same year.

So don your red beret and Rioja or Navarra wine. Sante!