Russian Spies?

More comments.

The content of these comments ranges from mattresses to pornography: neither of which interest me. Some, however, are cryptic enough for me to think someone is passing secret codes. I’ve already posted about this before and I want to share the latest with you.

If you owned a restaurant, what kind of food would it serve?

JoyceHew (probably not the real author)

This is probably a serious question. It seems so fitting to ask on a triathlon blog about the kind of food I would serve at my restaurant… if I owned one (note the tone of sarcasm here).

Perhaps I should reply and engage in some friendly teasing with this person (or bot). Have you seen James Veitch’s conversations with spammers?

James Veitch knows how to handle spammers

To be grammatically picky, it (the restaurant) would not serve any food. I or my staff would serve the food, so obviously this question was written by someone with hardly any command of the English language. (Looking back at some of my posts, that could be me!). Russian spies maybe?

Until next time…

Blog Comments and Numerology

Lately the TriRiot blog site has been getting quite a few comments. Unfortunately, most seem to be written by bots.

The content of these comments ranges from mattresses to pornography: neither of which interest me. Some, however, are cryptic enough for me to think someone is passing secret codes. I’ve already posted about this before and I want to share the latest with you, because the internet is full of numerology experts who are deciphering the meaning of COVID-19. If they can do that, then I can decipher my latest “spam” comments.

These two comments are examples of complete genius with respect to secret codes. Both are single word comments and taken by themselves they mean nothing. But when we look at the details we can see the true meaning of this secret code.

The Analysis

Let’s first take a look at the one written by “Specialist.” The comment is, “pink”. This could be a reference to the singer of the same name, but if that were the case, the comment would probably have been capitalized.

I think it’s a bit deeper than that. Look under the authors pseudonym, “Specialist”. THX must be a reference to THX 1138, the movie about a dystopian future society directed by none other than George Lucas himself. As further evidence that THX refers to the movie, look at the IP address at the bottom of the image, Take away the 85.220., the other 0 and the last dot = 1138.

The movie, THX 1138, itself means nothing here other than to suggest its director, Mr. Lucas who also directed the wildly successful film, Star Wars. But why the comment, “pink?”

If you’re a fan of Star Wars and Sci Fi conventions, you probably see where this is going. Yep, you guessed it: The Pink Shorts Boom Guy. It was so hot on the movie set in the Tunisian desert that the boom operator was wearing nothing but tight pink shorts, socks and boots. The boom operator is the person who holds the microphone at the end of a long pole to pickup the actors’ dialog. This particular boom operator, with the pink shorts, was a British fellow named Ken Nightingall.

According to, 12% of racehorse trainers had the surname of Nightingall in about 1932. Hold that thought and let’s move to the email address,

The is complete rubbish in my analysis so we remove that and we are left with “chrissy877” which refers to none other than Chrissie Wellington. That’s right, the same Chrissie Wellington that broke Paula Newby-Fraser‘s course record at the IRONMAN World Championships. The same Chrissie Wellington that never lost an IRONMAN race. Nevermind that one is spelled “chrissy” and the other “Chrissie.”

How do we know that chrissy877 refers to Chrissie Wellington? It’s in the 877. Chrissie Wellington was born on 18/2/77 (European day/month/year). Take away the slashes and you get 18277. The first year after her dominance at Kona was 2012, so we get rid of the 1 and the 2… we are left with 877.

The Results

So we are left with two pieces of information from this analysis:

  1. Racehorse trainers
  2. Chrissie Wellington

Whoever posted this comment is trying to tell us that Chrissie Wellington is going to make an IRONMAN comeback and her coach is a former racehorse trainer! I hope she likes oats.

As for the other comment… complete garbage.

The Conclusion

I get a lot of spam comments.

But if Chrissie Wellington does make a comeback, just remember… you heard it here first.

Until next time…

Reasons To Race

Season Opener

This year’s season opening race for me is the Azalea Triathlon in Wilmington, NC.  It’s a short sprint that can be done in about an hour or less.  This year it is a remarkable race for two reasons.

I Have Two Reasons To Race

Reason One

The race date is March 11, 2017.  For many Americans, that date doesn’t mean too much.  September 11 is usually more meaningful. However, it was on March 11, 2004 that Madrid, Spain suffered its worst terrorist attack in modern history.   The train station bombings left 197 dead and almost 2000 injured.   Events like this affect me deeply and I want to show Madrid that there are people around the world who care.  I will commemorate the event during the Azalea Triathlon by wearing a symbol of 11-M (the 11th of March).  One small symbol will be painted on my left calf and another will be on the back of my number belt.

11-Madrid. One of my reasons to race this week.
A symbol of the March 11th, 2004 train bombings in Madrid Spain

Reason Two

My goal with the TriRiot webshow and blog is to inspire others to join an active lifestyle and discover that “finish line feeling”.   One of my coworkers will be racing in his first triathlon this weekend.  I’m happy to have trained with him and excited to find out what he thinks of triathlon after the race.    But there’s something more amazing in this story beyond one person beginning their journey into the endurance lifestyle.  This coworker I’m talking about lost 180 pounds in the last 18 months.  Two years ago, he said he wanted to do this very race.  For him it started with a dream and soon it will be a reality.

Anything is possible.  It took triathlon to make me believe that and through triathlon, I keep seeing it over and over.

Wild Horses And Endurance

With Wild Horses?

Riding wild horses border to border.
Ben Masters knows mustangs

There’s a guy named Ben Masters who is not a triathlete and  he probably wouldn’t call himself an athlete.   But he has definitely pushed himself to extraordinary limits… with wild horses.

TriRiot is mostly about triathlon and endurance athletes.  Not today. Today it’s about going that extra mile because of passion.  Ben Masters has a great story to tell. He and three friends rode horseback from the Mexico-Arizona border to the Canada-Montana border.   As if that’s not enough, they did it riding horses that were wild only a few months before they left.  And this wasn’t in 1874. This was only a few years ago.  There’s a very good movie about it.

If Ben’s story interests you, I highly recommend watching his movie, Unbranded, and reading some of his articles.

Why Wild Horses?

The reason I picked this subject is because the very thing those men did is something I would love to do.  Not only that, but when it comes to endurance events, riding border to border like that is far beyond participating in an IRONMAN or even the Race Across America (RAAM).  I have enough difficulty planning, training, and paying for an IRONMAN.  It’s hard to imagine what Ben and his friends went through.

I don’t have much more to say on this topic even though there is a huge controversy raging over mustang policy.   I guess my point of this post is that life is an endurance event… training for triathlon is training for life.

My Commitment to the Sport

I’ve decided that I want to do another ultra distance triathlon within the next year.  Maybe it will be an IRONMAN or maybe it will be a HITS race.

To keep me motivated, I am going to wear my Ironman North Carolina wrist band until the next event.  It is a constant reminder that I love this sport and I want to improve my performance.  But it’s really more than that.

IMNC wrist band
IMNC wrist band

  • It reminds me that I am not alone in my passion.
  • It reminds me that I can not be successful without the help of others (in any aspect of life).
  • It humbles me that I have done something so few others dare to attempt.
  • It shows me that gratitude for all I have and for all those around me is necessary to feel like a champion.
  • And it’s blue.  I like blue.

Mike Reilly to Announce IMNC

Mike Reilly at IMNC

If you don’t know Mike Reilly, you’ve probably never heard the phrase, “You are an Ironman.”  Mike is the most well known of the IRONMAN announcers and he coined that phrase.  For all I know, it may be under copyright protection!  Many triathletes dream of the day they hear those words as they cross the finish line of an IRONMAN race.  And many dream of hearing those words come from Mike himself.

This year, he will announce at IRONMAN North Carolina, formerly called Beach2Battleship, on October 22, 2016.


I contacted Mike, and he agreed to do an interview with me while he’s here in Wilmington for IMNC.   I’ll know more about the interview schedule after Mike finishes announcing at Kona.

If any readers have questions they’d like to put to Mike, let me know in the comments or by email ( ).


What Malibu Lacks!

First, The Bad News

Sorry Malibu, California.  You just don’t have the beauty of a sunrise over the ocean.

Now, The Good News

But I just can’t wait to get to Malibu to see the sun setting behind the ocean.

Snake Oil or Cramp Cure?

Snake Oil and Muscle Cramps

There are so many products on the market for us to ease our pains and satisfy our cravings.  Everyone with any sales experience knows that you can sell almost anything to anyone if you can tap into their human psyche and emotions.

The latest product I’ve come across attempts to cure muscle cramps.  Not the female type… although there are plenty of women that get these cramps too.  No.  I’m talking about muscle cramps typically experienced by endurance athletes, novelists who still use pencils and rubber-neckers passing a 3 car pileup.   The product is called HotShot and claims to be backed by science.  The type of science conducted by a Nobel Laureate, not a snake oil salesman.  They make a pretty good case for why it should work.

Pickle Juice and Mustard

There are so many athletes who experience performance hindering cramps.  I’m one.  I had them at mile 1.9 of a 2.4 mile swim once.  That was the slowest half mile swim ever.  But the problem is that there is no sure cure.  I’ve tried salt, Gatorade, mustard.  Mustard?  Yep, mustard.  Look it up if you think I’m the only one with that remedy.  Even pickle juice is supposed to help.  I’m not sure if you’re supposed to drink it or pour it on the affected area.  Either way, it doesn’t provide satisfactory and consistent results for me.

Along Comes HotShot

So I saw this Facebook ad for HotShot.  I read their claims and I shared their ad on my facebook page with some smart-ass remarks.

My Facebook comments
My Facebook comments



The funny thing is that HotShot took notice of my comments and asked me to report my findings if I do use it.  Well… I’m not convinced, but I am willing to give it a try.  Forget all that science and Nobel prize stuff.   They tapped my emotional pit called ego by writing on my Facebook page and now I’m considering a purchase.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

The Eight Days of Hanukkah – Day 7

Two More Days

I have almost exhausted my supply of Hanukkah comments… (I think I just heard a sigh of relief from everyone following this blog).

Today is all about political correctness and because Hanukkah occurs around the same time of year as Christmas, there’s plenty for the politically correct people to worry about.  There’s been a lot said about this so I don’t need to say too much.

If you want to wish me a Merry Christmas, that’s great.  If you want to wish me a “Happy Hanukkah”, or greet me with Kwanzaa’s ‘Habari gani”,  or Islam’s  “As salamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu”, that’s great too.  “Happy Holidays” is just as good.

The reason I bring this up is that the former CEO of my company used to send an email of Christmas wishes to the whole company.   It might have been nice and sincere had  he not included a couple of paragraphs almost apologetically justifying why he wished everyone a Merry Christmas and not Happy Holidays.  It’s not his fault, he’s just trying to be politically correct by recognizing people that may not celebrate Christmas.  His political correctness turned a holiday greeting into a legal document.

I think the key here is to be sincere and compassionate.  All the political correctness in the world can’t hide insincerity.  But a sincere wish for goodness on others is always a good thing no matter what time of year it is.

If this political correctness crap continues, we’ll all be writing legal disclaimers at the ends of our greeting cards.

Happy Hanukkah to everyone.  And peace on earth all year.

This blog post does not intend to ridicule, defame, or insult any person or group of persons who may or may not acknowledge common rituals and customs of celebration within the approximate time period of late Fall and early Winter regardless of race, religion, ethnic background, sexual orientation or preferred genre of music. 


The Eight Days of Hanukkah – Day 6

Reason To Celebrate

As I mentioned in a previous post, Hanukkah is a celebration of triumph over oppression and the miracle of a very efficient lamp.  If I’ve confused you, read The Eight Days of Hanukkah – Day 5. Actually, it’s more about the lamp than the oppression.  The Jews have overcome oppression so many times, that it’s not a fun thing to celebrate any more.   But an oil lamp that stays lit for eight days on one day of oil… now there’s something to celebrate.  My little Japanese car is a lot like that lamp, by the way.

My little Japanese car
My little Japanese car (40mpg!)

Hanukkah Is Nothing Like Christmas

The two holidays sometimes overlap and there may be other similarities, but not in the details. So I just want to be clear that if I bring a tree into my house around December, it’s not part of a religious ritual and neither are the lights that are draped on the eave of my barn.

My wife gets excited about Christmas, because she was raised in a Christian household.  She has a family tradition.   I’m not sure why I get excited about it, but I do. Maybe it’s because of the media hype and the dream of snow and family and togetherness and peace on earth and all those warm fuzzies.

It’s hard not to get excited about something when everyone around you is going nuts with hyperconsumerism and wearing red pointy felt hats and ugly sweaters which don’t make sense to wear when it’s 75F outside.

Sometimes I do shop for gifts, because I want to do something nice for my family and friends.  I’m also more charitable this time of year. Does that make me a terrible Jew.  Probably not.  I’m sure there are plenty of other things that give me that distinction.

My point is this.  If someone wants to put up a tree in their house or sing some songs or exchange gifts on December 25th, I don’t think that makes them a good Christian or a bad Jew or a bad atheist or a heathen of any sect.

Hanukkah Bush
Hanukkah Bush

One thing I will never have in my house is a Hanukkah bush.   Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article about that.

Really?  A Hanukkah bush?  Even if it is a joke, it’s just a weird blending of traditions that doesn’t make sense.   Besides, Hanukkah bush sounds like someone’s name.  As in:

“I’d like you to meet my friends, George, Barbara and Hanukkah Bush.”