Day five begins

September 17, 2007

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part- The Waiting, Tom Petty, 1981

First ballot of the day is black.


News cameras remain idle as the conclave reaches the halfway point. There is not much to do here but watch and wait.


The waiting gives me time to think of what music I will play on the day the decision is made. Will it be Handel’s Messiah or Mozart’s Requiem?


Day four dawns, again, with same result

September 16, 2007


Using the new ADA clock made this morning seem like Groundhog Day. Same day, same result.


No one really expected the first ballot to come up white but there was a shred of hope that the smoke might, at long last, be white. Unfortunately, this will not be the case.

What day is it?

September 15, 2007

Martin Riggs: On three, what do ya say?
Roger Murtaugh: Okay.
Martin Riggs: One… two…
Roger Murtaugh: Wait, wait, wait!
Martin Riggs: What?
Roger Murtaugh:Do we do it on three? Or one, two, three, then do it?
Martin Riggs: It’s your ass, Cochise!
Roger Murtaugh: My ass, yeah. On three.
Martin Riggs: We go on three?
Roger Murtaugh: Yeah.   –Lethal Weapon 2

Is the 12th day one or does day one start on the 13th? Trust but Verify is now carrying a report stating that the ADA started their clock on September 13th, not the 12th.  So, like the twice a year ritual between Standard Time and Daylight Savings Time, we all need to set our clocks forward. 

First ballot of the day – black

September 15, 2007


They have already taken the first ballot of the morning. The ballots were burned with the damp straw to signal us here in the square that those within the Domus Sanctae Marthae have not yet reached a decision.  It seems that they can’t even reach a decision on what day it is. 

As I mentioned last night, I have a feeling this will go the duration. Currently, I am hopeful that this bodes well for Floyd. If it was a slam dun, I think a decision would have been reached by now. The decision would have been pre-written and after a day or two to give the impression of deliberations, a decision would have been released.

That’s how I feel now. Check back with me in an hour and I’ll give you reasons for pessimistic thinking.

Update: By all counts, today is day four but in ADA Math, we started counting one day later.  According to Trust but Verify (see comments) the ADA has given themselves another day.  I’ll take TBV over ADA when it comes to accuracy. 

Sun sets on day three

September 14, 2007


Three days down with up to seven to go, we may be in for a wait that goes the duration. 

If the verdict was preset, I would have figured a quick verdict as Rant has speculated in is mock drama a few days ago.

So what does it mean when the jury stays out a long time?  Is it good for the prosecution or defense? 

Day three dawns and the smoke is still black

September 14, 2007

Day 3 of the Floyd Landis Conclave dawns as the first ballot was burned in the chimney. The world watched as the smoke began to billow out from the stack.


Still black. I’m not sure what is left to decide in there. Maybe I should have the local pizza place go heavy on the garlic the next time they send out. After a few of those pies, they should be real anxious to get to a decision.


So, you want to be a big time race organizer?

September 13, 2007

Have you sat in your armchair watching Jean-Marie Leblanc sticking his head out of the top of a car and thought “What a cool job, I’d love to do that!”

Well, I’m here to tell you that like most jobs that look great, there is a side you don’t see. Organizing a stage race is more than interviewing podium girls and getting the best seat in the house.

Take Tour of Missouri organizer Jim Birrell and yesterday’s Stage 2. Part of his job is to work with all the municipalities along the 202km route. If anyone out there has ever tried to do the simplest of home renovations knows that local town are not the easiest to work with on the best of days.

Well, Jim had negotiated road closures and basic security for the peloton as it raced through various towns. What do you do when there is a break 16 minutes up the road? Local towns were not prepared to keep the town closed for that long? Do they open the roads in between? How do you protect the main peloton as they come through unprotected roads going full gas?

That’s just what Jim Birrell found himself wondering as twelve riders rode off the front and opened said gap. After hoping the break would be brought back, Jim turned his attention to the rider’s safety. Frantically communicating with towns and State Police, Birrell tried to provide the closed roads for every rider. Sometimes that worked and sometimes it didn’t. Fortunately, the stage traveled through roads that see little traffic.

Jim also did not have the ultimate worry. People losing interest in his race after the second stage. A break of this size eliminates every member in the peloton from contention. Here, Jim was lucky that George Hincapie was not only in the break but he took the stage and leader’s jersey. This should keep interest through the finish. When this happened at the Tour of Georgia, none of the fan favorites were in attendance. The advantage the Tour of Georgia had is a growing history allowing such a misstep without worry about the viability of its race. The fledgling Tour of Missouri does not have that luxury.

Finally, Jim had to deal with something Jean-Marie never had. Shortly after the start, an armadillo caused a crash that took out BMC rider Dan Schmatz. Still want the job?