This Weblog comes from Mindy McAdams and resides at It's a personal blog and probably not of much interest to anyone but me. You are welcome to read and comment as you like.

July 17, 2004

AFP Tour Package

Performance of both the ESPN site and the New York Times site seem sluggish this morning. Until now, the NYT version of the AFP graphic has been the less responsive of the two. Today, however, the NYT graphic is updating very well, and the ESPN version is dragging badly. Right now they have caught up to each other, but a few minutes ago, there was at least a 10-minute gap between them.

Both sites' TDF pages took a long time to load at about 8:30 a.m. when I logged in.

Posted by macloo at 09:44 AM | Comments (0)

Tour Stage 13

Watching this bike race continues to surprise me, as an experience of a sporting event. I know now what a peloton of almost 200 riders looks like. I learned that in the first week. Now, in the mountains, on the most brutal stage so far, it chokes me up to see the peloton with no more than 20 men in it. To see riders such as Iban Mayo struggle, and his teammates rally around him, and persuade him to continue when he clearly intended to drop out. He was done, but they pushed him, they touched the small of his back, gave him little pats and nudges -- and he went on up the mountain. Not so for Tyler Hamilton -- he appears to be gone.

Another unexpected pleasure has been seeing Thomas Voeckler, the young Frenchman, work to keep that yellow jersey. The announcers on OLN keep using the word "courage" when they speak of him; it's a very good word.

Lance still has four teammates with him.

Jan Ullrich is still in the race, near the front, with two or three teammates.

Posted by macloo at 09:23 AM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2004

Tour Stage 10

It's great to be able to look up the various cyclists, with the AFP graphic, as they come into prominence. Today Richard Virenque is leading and winning all the climbs. This is good, because he has been the King of the Mountains for six years, and he is trying for a seventh win. How would I know that, without the AFP app to allow me to find out?

It is Bastille Day. Virenque is a Frenchman.

The peloton is tiny today, 35-45 riders, compared with the giant mass of the earlier stages.

In a pre-race interview, Lance said today is not the real test, but rather, Friday and Saturday will show who's who. Even though today is the longest distance, with 9 climbs (Virenque has won all 9), the two days after tomorrow will be harder. Friday's stage has 2 Category 1 (super tough) climbs at the end, after 170 km. On Saturday there will be 7 climbs, with 2 at Category 1 and 1 "Beyond Category" -- the worst of all. The profile of Stage 13 is scary just to look at!

Posted by macloo at 10:11 AM | Comments (0)

Book Deadline Extended

It was July 15, but Amy gave me an extension until Monday, July 19. Whew! Finishing up the case studies is hard work. I don't know that I have ever done so much rewriting before.

Almost everything is in hand now. Waiting for scripts from Dave and from Julien. Will talk on the phone with Dave later today. The other Tech Tips are all in good shape. Writing Appendix B today.

Posted by macloo at 09:55 AM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2004

Tour de France Stage 9

Yesterday was a Tour day off, no racing. Today is a flat stage, but they have moved to the south of France, and tomorrow is a mountain stage.

One of the nicest things about the video coverage on OLN is the fantastic scenery, viewed from a helicopter.

Thomas Voeckler still wears the yellow jersey, which is great, because he is a Frenchman and only 25 years old. He always looks so happy (and slightly stunned) when he stands on the podium.

The New York Times version of the AFP application does not update as cleanly (or as often) as the ESPN version. I've tried closing and reopening the NYT version, but it's just not as responsive. Sometimes the ESPN one gets stuck too, but that one fixes itself when you close and then reopen it.

Posted by macloo at 09:46 AM | Comments (0)

July 07, 2004

OLN Not Down

The OLN site is up. This replicates the information from the official TDF site -- but I guess OLN has the stuff on their own servers, not loading directly from (as I had thought).

Posted by macloo at 11:50 AM | Comments (0)

Live Is Demanding

The official TDF site went down seconds after U.S. Postal won the team time trial in Stage 4:

screen shot

Screen capture taken at 11:15 a.m. Eastern Time (17:15 in France).

Lance wears yellow!

Posted by macloo at 11:24 AM | Comments (0)

July 04, 2004

Live Updates - TDF

The official Tour de France site is filing very nice live updates today:


Posted by macloo at 10:33 AM | Comments (0)

Tour de France Redux

The TV coverage on Outdoor Life Network is excellent, but their Web site is truly useless for anything other than the program schedule.

The other fabulous thing about following this race is TiVo. A while ago, one of the riders had a spectacular spill. Thanks to TiVo, I could replay the instant when his wheel touched the wheel of the bike in front of him, causing the fall.

The ESPN version of the AFP graphic is updating faster, or more often, than the New York Times version. I am switching to ESPN.

This is why we have wi-fi. The wireless laptop and the living room TV set: Beats a set-top box any day!

Posted by macloo at 09:51 AM | Comments (0)

July 03, 2004

Tour de France

I'm having a first-in-my-lifetime experience. Never a sports fan, I can probably count the times I have really cared about the outcome of a sporting event without running out of fingers and toes. But today I'm following the start of the 2004 Tour de France in Liege, Belgium, on several fronts.

I have live TV on the cable network OLN, with English-language running commentary and excellent on-road video. This stage is individual time trials, and only 7 km, so it's pretty basic coverage.

At the same time, I am following the live online coverage from Agence France-Presse, since they are one of the case studies for my book, and I spent a whole day discussing this very application with them in Paris 10 days ago. I'm accessing their Flash app through the New York Times Web site -- linked from a sports special page.

ESPN has the same app linked from their home page, and also from a specials page.

Finally, I can also follow the stats at the official Tour de France site. Standings are updated quite quickly here, only a few seconds behind TV. The AFP app is a little slower.

Lance will start at 19:08. So far, two riders have finished at under 7 minutes. In Belgium, the time is 18:46.

Posted by macloo at 12:46 PM | Comments (0)

July 01, 2004

Star Tribune Projects

Handy page for keeping an eye on online projects by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Posted by macloo at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)