Sunday, January 30, 2011

Horned Helmet Envy

Admit it. You are jealous.

I sure the hell am. That is just awesome.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I can't believe no one told me about this App!

Waitaminnit!!  Do you mean to tell me that I have seen that little "available on the App Store" icon on the TYR/ banner all this time and I just didn't figure it out until now? 

I had assumed that it meant you could buy the TYR Tracer through some online swim shop that had an app.  I am an idiot.  It is actually an app for itself!  I can access the top times list optimized for my iphone!  How did I not already know about this!

I hope they can eventually add the articles and straight up meet results to the app.  PDF's would be good enough, but if it could be somehow done like the Live Results app it would be even better. Conference Central would be amazing if it were optimized for the iphone, expecially with video and all of the great coverage they seem to be networking hard to get. 

And then there are the message boards...  If they could add that to my phone, I can only imagine how much more time I would spend ranting and bickering with the rest of the lunatics.  Please Coach Earhart!  Make it happen!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"Academic" Salaries- found this on Reddit

This is an article about a college swimming program that has been cut. If you are interested in helping to save college swimming for future generations, please support Swim Blogs United and as we try and keep college swimming, $5 at a time!

...well, it's not really about a swimming program specifically, but that is what I thought of when I saw this picture and read the comments below it when I found it on Reddit.

What gets me the most about the comments is how vehemently so many people defend football spending.  Even if the info is not 100% accurate, we all know what the trend is.  There is hardly any mention of recruiting budgets and the number of coaches these institutions have that are being paid tremendous amounts of money and all of the other extravagances attached that are unjustifiable in our down economy.  They all say that football pays for everything else because it brings in millions... yet hardly anyone mentions that the majority of schools are not keeping up with the minimum dollar amount it takes to be competitive.  As college football income increases, the spending seems to increase at a higher rate.  How else could Olympic sport cuts be explained?  More money providing less opportunity just does not add up!
Oh well.  We like to watch football, so I guess it is worth it.  Right? 


I don't usually do the press release thing but I thought this was pretty cool:   


Nova international, organizers of Europe’s biggest open water swimming programme of events, have appointed blueseventy, the worlds leading supplier of open water and triathlon wetsuits, as an official partner for the Great Swim series.

Colin Hill, project director of the series, said “blueseventy are a company that understand the open water community and their products reflect their heritage as a long term player within the sport of open water swimming and triathlon.  We are delighted to be linking up with the brand.”

blueseventy will be supplying official wetsuits, goggles and all swim attire for the series along with wetsuit rentals for the each of the events in the prestigious series.

Dean Jackson, blueseventy Global Sales Manager said: “We have seen the Great Swim series grow alongside the other great mass participation swims of the world.

“Now is the perfect time for blueseventy to align with this exciting new mass participation sport and Nova, who we regard as one of the worlds finest mass participation sporting event organizers.

“The great swim series allows us to meet face to face with a large number of enthusiasts for the water. They are a group who are passionate about the challenge of swimming in some of the countries great open water venues. For us there can be no better endorsement of our product and association for our company than 30,000 keen open water swimmers, and if we can help make their experience a little more enjoyable by product and training then we have a achieved our goals.”

blueseventy are finalising training days geographically specific to the event locations where first timers can try their first suit and enter the open water in a controlled environment with expert advice from blueseventy athlete, Olympic open water gold medallist, Maarten Van Der Weijden and other open water stars from the USA and UK.

Editors Notes


Nova International are the organisers behind the Great Swim series. Established in 1988 and headed by Olympic Medallist Brendan Foster; Nova have established themselves as a market leader in the world of sports marketing and event management. The company’s current brand portfolio includes Great Run, based on the Bupa Great North Run, the world’s biggest half marathon with 54,000 entries.

About blueseventy

blueseventy, aptly named to suggest 70% of the earth covered in water, is the world leader in triathlon and open water wetsuits, swimskins and goggles. Since 1993, the Seattle/Derby/Auckland based company has designed, tested, refined and crafted products using superior materials and revolutionary details that equate to comfort, freedom from restriction and ultimately a competitive advantage in the water. blueseventy products have instilled confidence in beginners as well as carried world-class athletes to countless Olympic and World victories. blueseventy products can be found in more than 30 countries. For more information, visit The water is open.

Dean Jackson

Monday, January 24, 2011

Wow. Dissed hardcore.

In honor of those of us who were left off of the list of the "Top 50 Swimming Blogs", (did anyone even know there were 50 swimming blogs?,) I am posting two videos of the "Nobody Likes Us" guys skits from the Kids in the Hall.  I mean, really... I posted a video of myself with a viking helmet and a brief wedgie on youtube for your entertainment, and I didn't even make the top 50?!  Ouch.

Please help our self esteem by nominating your favorite swim bloggers for the swim blogger/tweet awards. Nominations are being taken now, but voting doesn't start until February 11th. Most of us don't get paid for this. We do it for the LOVE! Your comments and support really mean a lot!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lap Swimming at the Y is a lot more fun than it should be...

* I tried to send a friend a link to this story and realized it was only on flo and had never been posted on my blogspot. I apologize if you have read it before, but I felt it was time to transfer it over here. This is actually the story that convinced me to run with the Viking persona when the WMG/USAS deal turned Timed Finals into SwimNetwork. I had left this as a comment on one of Gold Medal Mel's post at TF and it got a great response which made me feel it was worth a shot to try blogging myself. It makes me a little sad to read it with the news that SwimNetwork has been dissolved. Enjoy.

I love to go to the Y. As a former collegiate swimmer, I feel that I have served my time being surrounded by people who know how to swim. I deserve to have some fun when I swim at a public facility with the wierdo's and wannabe's. At rec swim, I break out the old super small, super tight size 28 paper suit and let it all hang out. My routine is as follows:

I make it a point to tell the lifeguard to watch me closely because I have a "condition" that makes me go unconscious if my heart rate goes above 160. Then I hand her a cd and ask if she will play it. It has Eye of the Tiger burned onto it 15 times in a row. I give her the cool point and wink when I hand it to her kind of like Will Ferrell in 'Superstar.'

I like to pull out a razor and ask someone to shave my back "so I don't have so much drag."

I do every ridiculous looking stretch I can think of and I try to do it on a rhythm. I even snap my fingers and sometimes wear a headband. I like to count out loud, and if I think there is someone there who is old enough to get it, I sing Loverboy's "working for the weekend" while I stretch.
I stand at the edge and repeatedly swing my arms like I am going to dive in, but then stop to stick my toes in again to check the water. I do this for about 5 minutes and every once in a while I adjust my suit or rub my fingers on my nipples.

I stare down every kid in the 8-13 age range. I will challenge them to races if the opportunity presents itself before I even get in the water. Every once in a while I will ask one to cheer for me while I swim because it "makes me go faster." If there are any high school girls there, I will ask a kid to ask her to cheer for me.

When I dive in, I like to make my legs go way over so that I almost back flop. That way I still dove, but I get to make the cool splash and scream. Of course, I have to plug my nose.

My first two 25's are ridiculous tempo sprints to the middle, spinning my wheels to twelve yards, and then resting on the lane rope for 3-5 minutes. I try to make it look like I am trying really hard but I don't actually know how to swim. I always yell to the lifeguard, "this is a lot deeper than it looks!"

After the second 25, I like to sink to the bottom and lay there for as long as I can hold my breath. At the one minute mark the lifeguard usually gets out of the chair. If any kids go underwater to look, I blow bubble rings. I sometimes scream just to make sure they look.

I like to do dog paddle and actually bark. I also do three or four flips on every flip turn.

If someone starts a conversation with me I will cross my eyes any time I take off my goggles. I also like to stare at the pace clock and push off when it hit's the 60 as they are in mid-sentence. (Just like my athletes do to me when I am coaching.) I make it a point to tell them I had a scholarship to the Olympics and I was the captain on the Oxford butterfly team. I usually throw in something about my national record of sixteen seconds for a "down and back."

If I actually work out and someone jumps in my lane, I like to literally swim circles around them. If it is a child, I charge at him or her like a bull.

If there is a water aerobics class I like to show off by putting on a nose plug and fumbling my way through some synchro moves. When I climb out after my workout I make sure my suit is stuffed up my crack. When I hear the first chuckle, I stretch down to touch my toes.

I always end the day with a deck change. The suspense builds my rec swim experience to a perfect crescendo. (Can he do it, or is he gonna screw up and drop his towel?) Yes, deck changing is an art I have mastered, but it can also make for great comedy if you know what you are doing.

I have a friend at the front desk who keeps track of how many complaints I get. I break records.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

It's just a urinal. What's the big deal?

Not too long ago, my wife and I were watching some tv show that had two guys in separate restroom stalls talking to each other. It was no big deal, except that it led her to start asking questions about men's room etiquette.

Don't get me wrong... I didn't mind filling her in about it. It just got a little strange when she started getting really inquisitive about urinals.

"What do they look like?"

"Is it one person going at a time or do you share it with other guys?"

"Are there tall urinals and short urinals?"

"Do you guys all talk to each other while you are going?"

"Have you ever accidentally pee'd on someone because they were standing too close?"

Of course, I answered the interrogation the same way I answer rapid fire questions from my 3 and 4 year old daughters (and sometimes my high school swimmers too): I gave ridiculously wrong answers in as believable a way as I could. Kind of the same way Calvin's (& Hobbes) dad told him that old pictures are really in color but the world was black and white back then and that a lot of the great artists who painted in color were actually insane.

"Strangers pee on my shoes all the time. That's just part of being a dude. Once we start chatting it's hard to aim. Especially with all the high fives and stuff."

It was fun and all, but the best part didn't come until the next day. I got a text message from my better half that said "Eek! I guess now I know what a urinal looks like!"

Apparently she had accidentally walked into the men's room at the grocery store.

Now you tell me... was it really an accident or did her curiosity just overpower her judgment? Really?! What are the odds that she would accidentally walk into the men's room for the first time in her life the very day after that conversation clearly showing she had an unhealthy curiosity about the shape of a urinal?

I guess it could have been an accident. She did marry me so I oughtta give her the benefit of the doubt. It's not that uncommon. No matter how many times I look at the sign on the way in, there is always that little bit of terror that builds until I actually spot a urinal, thus confirming that I truly am in the right place.

But still... there was definitely something weird going on with all those questions. Know what I'm sayin'?

"Hey, why is my back all wet?"

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Schubert to Remain National Team Director, Wielgus Calls Dismissal "Rumor"

January 11, 2011
The Screaming Viking!

No newsworthy sources are bothering to report that they have received confirmation that Mark Schubert will continue to act as USA Swimming National Team Director through the Olympic Games in 2020.

Despite a press release directly from the USOC offices in Colorado Springs, a press conference at the International Swimming Hall of Fame, numerous articles in reputable news sources such as the Washington Post, USA Today, ESPN and Swimming World that stated otherwise, and even though all media concerned gave direct quotes from Schubert and USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus in which they had stated in no uncertain terms that Schubert had moved on, the whole ordeal has been dismissed by both parties as rumor.

"What was actually said that was so misquoted is that Mark Shubert was taking a well deserved six day vacation after the success of Team USA at the Pan Pacific Championships." said Wielgus, "I don't know how any of this nonsense about Mark being forced to take a sixty day leave of absence and his subsequent termination came about. Oh well, leave it to the media to never take enough of an interest in Olympic sports to put reporters on the job who might actually take the time to get their facts straight... do you know how many times I have read articles about high school kids breaking world records in the 20 yard Intermediate Medley? It's just silly. And don't even get me started about ABC's 20/20!"

When asked about his press conference held on November 17th in Fort Lauderdale, Mark Schubert stated that "none of those quotes that all those reporters had exactly the same and none of the statements that you can clearly hear and see me state on the video can be directly attributed to me. It is all just speculation by a bunch of sloppy reporters out to make a quick buck."

Schubert's lawyer, Michael Bernstein added, "my client tried to tell everyone that after the Pan Pacific Championships, Mr. Wielgus shook his hand repeatedly, looked him in the eye and said 'good job, coach!'. Now is that the kind of interaction you would have with someone you were about to fire from a high profile job? The media should be ashamed of themselves and there should be some sort of retraction published in each of those news sources."

"Obviously, we thought there was more to this story than there actually was, and I intend to get to the bottom of it over the next few days." Swimming World Publisher Brett Rutemiller said. "We just haven't really been checking our facts as well as we should be. I have fired all of my staff. This won't happen again."

When asked if he would give Mark Schubert a positive reference, Wielgus replied, "Absolutely! Our National Team is in good hands!"

All of this comes during a time of rocky transition for USA Swimming, as the organization is struggling to maintain stability in their recently conceptualized "post-graduate centers of excellence." The news media has also falsely reported the dismissal of the head coaches of each of those high profile training centers with the most recent being Sean Hutchison at FAST in Fullerton, California who was obviously misquoted by several news sources to be "taking his dog and pony show elsewhere."

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Big Week for Marvel Comics

Fanboys across the world were probably a little worried when they saw the headline on Marvel's Facebook page: Axel Alonso Promoted to Editor in Chief

I know I was. It is not because Axel isn't a great pick for the job; he has had his hands on great projects all over the Marvel Universe, but because that means Joe Quesada must no longer be at the helm. In Joe's time, Marvel has moved all the way from chapter 11 bankruptcy to undreamed of heights by not only taking the quality of comics to new places by giving creators more freedom to explore new ways to do things, but also by moving the company into uncharted territory within TV and movies.

Luckily, Quesada is not leaving. He is actually moving up into a position that will better encompass all aspects of the organization and will leave the work of Editor in Chief to Alonso, who can focus more on the comics side of it all.

Well, what about Stan Lee? Isn't he the head of Marvel? Well, kind of... Stan is Chairman Emeritus. He is not so involved in the day to day stuff, but is as much of a terrific promoter for the big M as he ever was.

This week, Stan was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He deserves it for sure. I love watching him. It's like visiting your grandpa who likes comics just as much as you do. I hope I get to meet him someday. Enjoy the vid:

Monday, January 3, 2011

Rob D: Ambassador of the Nation of Bad-Ass.

Yeah, the cold water is calling.
It's calling you a sissy by reminding you that there are guys like Rob D out there.

In case you haven't been following along, Rob Dumouchel, the Rob Aquatics guy, just finished his 6.2 mile swim from Avila Beach to Pismo Beach.  I know...!  6.2 miles!  I couldn't do that right now, especially in open water with the waves and all.  The thing is, that isn't even the bad-ass part.  This was essentially the longest polar bear swim ever.  The water was 53 degrees and Rob was not wearing a wet suit.  

I teach a hypothermia lesson to our local JROTC units.  Four hours in that kind of water isn't something I would recommend.  It is a little bit crazy, and I wonder if this might be too tough to be included in the Death Race someday.  Heck, my athletes whine if it gets below eighty degrees.  

Please take the time to read Rob's account of his swim.  He has videos and a pretty detailed telling of it all on his blog.  Then you can spend a little time reflecting on how your Christmas training wasn't really as bad as you thought.