Thursday, December 28, 2006

20 Questions: Smithers (Part 1)

(image caption) The man they call "Smithers". (image courtesy SmithersMPLS.com)

Welcome to a new feature here at The Fog of Work / Tuffy Town..."20 questions"!

The first victim of "20 Questions" is Smithers. Smithers is a hero to all/most/some/no bike racers in the Twin Cities and is a feared presence at the Blaine Velodrome where he once held the Hour Record and is currently the reigning Cat 3 Match Sprint State Champion. Having founded four local cycling clubs [Loon State; Gamblers in the Saddle -- GIS (later Birchwood); Beax Temps; and Team Urthel], Smithers is in many ways one of the patriarchs of the current Twin City bike racing scene -- all before the age of 40.

Here, now, is Part 1 of "20 Questions: Smithers"...

Tuffy: Question 1: Given the choice, would you rather be a florist or a coal miner?

Smithers: Florist: the work is not as hard and I would probably live longer. Plus I would get to see the sun shine more often.

Tuffy: Question 2: You’re stranded on a desert island after a plane crash. Your only entertainment is your i-Pod, which survived the ordeal. However, the i-Pod can now only play one song. What one song do you hope is playing?

Smithers: Hummmm...that's a good one...give me a second here...almost there. I can't think of the name of it right now...

Tuffy: Who's it by?

Smithers: One of Beethoven's Piano Concerto's

Tuffy: Can you play the piano?

Smithers: sure, playing the piano is very easy. playing a recognizable tune is not so easy. found it: Piano Concerto No. 5 In E-Flat Major, Op. 73. and that is on my iPod right now.

Tuffy: Question 3: You can have dinner with any three people, living or dead. Which three people do you choose and where are you having dinner?

Smithers: Harry Truman, Hannibal, Jesus. we could go to Punch becuase everyone likes Pizza.

Tuffy: Which Truman bio do you enjoy the most?

Smithers: McCullough. I like all his work.

Tuffy: Did Hannibal make a tactical error in leaving Italy for Zama?

Smithers: I would have to ask him over dinner.

Tuffy: Right. Ok, Question 4: Do you believe that there are other lifeforms comparable to humans elsewhere in the universe?

Smithers: There have to be.

Tuffy: Why?

Smithers: The universe is way to big for it not to be the case. It is inevitable that on some planet around some solar system a life form similar to human beings has evolved, or is in the process of doing so.

Tuffy: "In the process of doing so" leaves the door pretty wide open, but I'll give it to you. Question 5: What's the secret to a happy marriage?

Smithers: Marry someone smarter than you and do what they think is best.

Tuffy: Mission accomplished?

Smithers: absolutely. I don't always like it, but she is right more often than I. It is enivitable that those points where I make my stand it turns out that I will be the most wrong.

Tuffy: Well done. Question 6: Who are the best and worst U.S. Presidents of your lifetime?

Smithers: Depends what you mean by "best"

Tuffy: I'll let you define that...

Smithers: I have to give Reagan credit for lifting the spirit of this country out of the doldrums that it was in during the late 1970's. If Reagan was anything he was a fantastic cheerleader for this country during a point when it seemed that we were suffering some kind of identity crisis. Worst = our current President.

Tuffy: Reagan lifted us out of our doldrums? The movie "Miracle" seems to argue for Mike Eruzione leading us out of the troubles of the late '70s.

Smithers: touche'

Tuffy: I believe that's spelled "tooshay". Question 7: An inside source tells me that you did not much enjoy your high school experience -- why?

Smithers: I don't think I was ever sufficiently challenged.

Tuffy: Mentally or physically or both?

Smithers: mentally. The only thing that kept me in high school at all was the cross country ski team.

Tuffy: What was your favorite subject area and/or teacher?

Smithers: Mrs. Tracy's Humanities classes. A's and B's interupting a long line of C's and D's.

Tuffy: Most everyone says, "Humanities" or "Social Studies". Interesting. Question 8: Ever spent a night in the joint?

Smithers: nope

Tuffy: Not for a lack of trying, I'm sure.

Smithers: no, my worst ever offence has been speeding and some defacement/destruction of property.

Tuffy: What'd you deface and how?

Smithers: Our house was the first one built in the neighborhood I grew up in. So all the other houses being built were a playground for me and the other neighborhood kids. Destruction inevitably followed. I also did some pretty lame grafitti in high school for a week or so.

Tuffy: I'm sure (dis)pencer would be proud. Or offended. Question 9: What was your first bike?

Smithers: First ever or first real racing bike?

Tuffy: First ever was the intention.

Smithers: Some 20" wheel green Sears bike with a banana seat and ape hangers.

Tuffy: What'd you end up doing with that sweet ride?

Smithers: A few years later my dad changed the seat and bars and painted it flat black and turned it into a BMX bike. I rode it for a few more years and I'm not sure what became of it after that.

Tuffy: Hunh. Question 10: If money were no object, what road bike / gruppo / wheels would you ride?

Smithers: When it comes to bike stuff, money is no object. I pretty much ride what I want already. It might be cool to have some hootchie carbon rim wheels but I would just end up breaking them on the first ride.

Tuffy: Just so readers who don't know you are aware, then, what road bike / gruppo / wheels are you on right now?

Smithers: TIME VXRS ULTEAM frame, Campagnolo Record Carbon group, Fulcrum R1 wheels.

Tuffy: Apparently money is no object.

Tomorrow: Part 2, including discussion on Superrookie, Donimator, Mike Sobol, Ped, and a super special secret announcement! Be sure not to miss it!


Blogger Smithers said...


Thu Dec 28, 05:43:00 PM 2006


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