Can I have a splash of calf’s blood with that?

I was bummed to hear that rag merchant and ex-profamateur doping pro Nick Brandt-Sorenson got popped for selling EPO and other banned substances through his blog and that he now faces a year in jail or perhaps a slot on the 2016 Olympic track team. I was mostly bummed because here I am selling $2.99 subscriptions and Nicky is selling vials of EPO on HIS blog at $641 a dose. I need a better business model.

I was also bummed to learn that he was selling Actovegin, a derivative of calf’s blood, as a doping product. What B.S.

Everyone knows that calf’s blood is what you put on your eggs in the morning, along with a sprinkling of nails and cement chips to toughen you up for the day’s training. Which is why you put it on your eggs, and maybe a splash in the blender when you’re whipping up your first breakfast batch of bloody Mary’s. Tomato juice tastes better with real blood in it, autopsies show.

But putting calf’s blood in a syringe and squirting it up your boteetum is just wrong. Actovegin is a deproteinized ultrafiltrate of calf serum and does not contain blood cells to increase oxygen transport. It has been tested by anti-doping laboratories and no prohibited substances have ever been found in it. More to the point, the drug is not approved for sale, importation, or use in the United States and has no accepted medical use in humans except as a chaser for Cholula-Cholula and Huy Fong Srihacha.

As a result of Brandt-Sorenson’s guilty plea in federal court, the U.S. Attorney has referred his case to the Strava Sentencing Division, where the High Lord Justices will determine his punishment. Brandt-Sorenson, who goes by the Strava handle “Thorfinn Sassquatch” [Note: I did not make that up], has regularly devastated the local L.A. cycling community with weekly “Uh-oh!” emails from Strava.

The High Lord Justices will now consider whether or not to strip him of his KOM’s and force him to return his Strava winnings. Local riders were outraged to learn that someone on Strava was actually selling doping products.

“That wanker!” said Biff McPuddinhole, “Strava is a place for purity and clean competition! He has ruined it and stolen my childhood dreams!”

Smedley Stinkbottom, noted notary public and Stravatista, concurred. “When I get up at 3:00 AM, down a gallon of espresso, and hit a segment to take advantage of the prevailing tailwind on my electric bike, I expect that others on the leaderboard are playing fair. This really makes me question humanity.”

At press time Brandt-Sorenson’s attorney was negotiating for jail placement where a slim, dainty, hairless man would not become another inmate’s “wife.”



For $641.00 per month you can subscribe to this blog and get brown-wrapper packages filled with calf’s blood. Click here and select the “subscribe” link in the upper right-hand corner. Thank you!



67 thoughts on “Can I have a splash of calf’s blood with that?”

  1. If calf blood is so good, why have we never, ever, had a cow win a single UCI World Tour sanctioned event?

      1. Without the capital you are simply saying “strive” in Norwegian. Which is pretty weird.

    1. How about let’s point the finger at USA Cycling who has a long, sordid history of never testing positive their favored athletes?

      Don’t tell me, “It’s different now.” Thom Wiesel is still in charge and none of his favored riders ever tested positive by his federation.

    1. Professor needs to go back to school. From the NYT style blog: “Use apostrophes for plurals of abbreviations that have capital letters and periods: M.D.’s, C.P.A.’s. Also use apostrophes for plurals formed from single letters: He received A’s and B’s on his report card.” Mind your p’s and q’s.Apr 13, 2010.

      1. Awesome, I always thought I was a style trailblazer but felt somewhat guilty because I secretly believed I was violating an Element of Style.

        Hay, NBS is a pretty big dude for a cyclist. He goes about 6’2″ and looks like one of those Aryan Nation cats. He’ll do fine with his month in County or suspended sentence.

      2. Sorry, Seth. You wrote KOM’s, not K.O.M.’s. You better read that NYT style blog again. KOMs is the plural without periods. Period!

        1. Very disappointing that Professor seeks to obfuscate ambiguity and claim that one rule applies to all cases when in fact equal, authoritative style guides recognize disparity of use. To wit: “An abbreviation like PC can be made plural as either PCs or PC’s. The Associated Press Stylebook and The Chicago Manual of Style recommend the former, The New York Times the latter.”

          In other words, as with many writing conventions, there are legitimate alternatives, and the attempt to enforce a single rule without consideration of accepted alternatives reflects the cultural biases, and often stereotypes, of the writer.

          Professor needs to provide some authority besides his moniker to support his contention that the addition of an apostrophe to “KOM” to indicate its plural is incorrect. As is the case with most writing conventions, and the great poet e.e. cummings is perhaps the vanguard of this rule, clear writing benefits more from consistency than from arbitrary rule enforcement.

          Also–all Ph.D.’s do not confer the same connotation of expertise across all fields.

      3. Sorry, Seth. You’re wrong again, misled by the author of the link you provided. If you had checked the N.Y. Times stylebook you would have found:

        “Use apostrophes for plurals of abbreviations that have capital letters and periods: M.D.’s, C.P.A.’s. Also use apostrophes for plurals formed from single letters: He received A’s and B’s on his report card. Mind your p’s and q’s.

        But do not use apostrophes for plurals of abbreviations without periods, or for plurals formed from figures: TVs, PCs, DVDs; 1990s, 747s, size 7s.”

        I will admit that apostrophes for the plural form of initialisms without periods are used by some authors and bloggers. But clarity is enhanced by distinguishing plural nominatives from singular genitives (not to be confused with genitals) when this is possible.

      4. As a professor I feel duty bound to provide some real examples of the confusion that can result from the use of apostrophes for plural initialisms that do not include periods.

        If you write: “I would like to see the VIPs dance” it is clear that you would like to see them dancing.

        If instead you write: “I would like to see the VIP’s dance” it is not clear whether you want to see them dancing or instead want see the dance event that they are attending.

        QED (I don’t often use QEDs).

        1. I did not realize that you were such a pedant. I’ll provide yet another example of the obvious and accepted use of apostrophes after acronyms:

          I think the problem is that in your zeal to find niggling errors in my writing, you overlook the main issue, which is consistency and clarity. These are areas in which most academic authors are not especially known as either role models or teachers. What would be really instructive, rather than defending each of my punctuation choices, would be for you to share a few links to publications of your own and we could see if your insistence on style guides has resulted in clear, interesting, readable prose. Of course the down side is that by doing so you could be providing the fodder for an entire blog series, called something like “Good Writin’ from the Perfesser.”

      5. I think this needs to get settled out on the Parkway. See you both at Tuesday’s NPR.

      6. I see now that I took the wrong approach in my initial comment. So let’s imagine that we can erase that along with subsequent interactions and consider instead the following as my initial comment.


        Hey, Seth, great blog post about yet another doping cyclist. I can imagine that the time will soon come when cyclists with doping tendencies will give up the idea for fear of being excoriated in your blog.

        I did notice, however, that your pluralization of KOM could in some cases be confused with the possessive form. You wrote “KOM’s” instead of the more commonly used plural form of initialisms and acronyms without the apostrophe as in “KOMs” (compare also “CD’s” vs. “CDs”). In the context of your blog post, its meaning is clear. But I must point out that there are some contexts in which the use of the apostrophe in the plural form can lead to ambiguity. Compare:

        I would like to see the Navy SEAL’s clubbing.
        I would like to see the Navy SEALs clubbing.

        If the apostrophe is used for both the plural and possessive forms, it is not clear if I want to see a Navy serviceman clubbed or instead see Navy servicemen enjoying themselves at a swinging nightspot. Reserving apostrophes for possessive forms makes it clear in the second case that I want to see them partying.

        Note that the presence of the very same symbol placed lower in the text as a comma can also make an important difference in meaning. Compare:

        Stop clubbing, Navy SEALs.
        Stop clubbing Navy SEALs.

        I initially hesitated making this observation as your writing is paradigm of consistency and clarity in stark contrast to the writing of many academic authors (I’m sure you can easily find many instances of sloppy writing in my two books that can be accessed online at and

        In any case, your blog is consistently entertaining and informative regardless of how you pluralize acronyms and initialisms. Nonetheless, I would seriously consider becoming a paid subscriber if I start seeing you write these plurals without superfluous and potentially ambiguous apostrophes.

        Professor Cziko

        1. Really?? Why didn’t you say so?




          Waiting for my $2.99 with bated breath.

      7. I’m sure it is pedantically pathetic that I find this part of the conversation way more interesting than the whole bloody cow thing.

        1. Professor Cziko won’t answer unless you subscribe to his blog … $299.00/month.

  2. I’ll stick with $2.99, thanks. Cow’s blood just won’t do it for me, but good luck with the new model!! 🙂

    1. I’ve already sold 100 vials and 14 bags of calf’s blood. The customer is some dude named Jeff Novitzky.

  3. Anemic Patient Group — sounds about right. And remember, Actovegin worked for Voldemort in 2000 and Tiger Woods in 2009…..

  4. I’d like to point out it was a misdemeanor to resell EPO. One step up from a traffic ticket. So, of course there’s a doping problem.

    I wonder why the USOC and NCAA do not sponsor Federal legislation for felony penalties for hack PED distributors like this guy? Does broadcast revenue trump safe sports? We can be sure they are “studying the issue” … for decades.

    1. One year in jail sharing cells with Freaky, Deathmob, and Braincrusher can go by really slowly.

        1. It’s so sad that good folks like Jared and the Colorado movie theater mass killer get bullied in prison by those mean inmates. Life really is so unfair.

  5. Oh c’mon Seth, according to his own Strava profile, which is posted on the Internet and thus is obviously true, he was the most tested amateur cyclist in ‘Murrika (let’s face it, the only place that really matters), in 2013-14 (please ignore the years before and after this), and did not test positive even ONE time (that you know of) during that limited period of time.

    We all know that when an athlete has been repeatedly tested and never failed a test, then he is clearly clean. We have heard this argument before and it’s safe to say that such a clean testing record is conclusive evidence of a clean rider. OK well, at least evidence of a clean rider since that one pesky test that he did fail back in 2012. And the drugs he was selling back in 2011. Other than that, totally clean.

    Waiting for the retraction, buddy.

    1. It’s not called a “presidency” when the office is run by an insane fascist.

      1. Right, it’s called DICK-TA-TOR and he really brings out the “best” in people. United we stand, divided we fall. Doesn’t all this divisiveness prove just how great America is?

        1. We’re great we didn’t crack the top 10 of the happiest countries survey, which makes me very angry.

  6. Pingback: Dick Doper Threatened with Potential Jail Time | Steve Tilford

    1. I may have beaten you to the punch, but you said it better!! “Okay, obviously, the dude is a dick.”


  7. I would just like to say that my recent move to Colorado is pure coincidence. Although if someone does see Nick, I need to talk to him about my last “jersey order”

    1. Hahaha! Hey, I’ll also ask him about my “jersey” orders, too. And my special “bibs.” And my customized “socks.”

      1. yeah, a terrible great person or great terrible person. Either way, its a win-win for the guy.

  8. I can only assume that this poor, poor soul in Colorado was forcibly presented with spending $600 on a vial or on a kit…and well…have you seen the kit?

    1. My appointment on the throne Monday morning is now anxiously awaited. Sounds like someone needs a good old-fashioned smackdown. Or anti-SLAPPdown, as the case may be. Can’t wait to read this one!

  9. No problem with “bloody Mary’s” as a plural. Fucking passing-on-the-right low-forehead booger-eating morons.

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