02 May 2016

Whiteboard Camouflage


Do you know anyone that is white enough to disappear in front of a white board? I mean besides me.

Where does the white board stop and my arm begin? Impossible to say. It takes a special combination of Irish/German ginger genes, 'winter' weather, sunscreen, and League of Legends viewing on sunny days to get this white. Experts only, is what I'm saying.

Thanks Bennycakes for the photo.

01 May 2016

I Went There: San Ramon

Unrelated - Sigil of House Greyjoy, Which is Cool
(One in an occasional series.) 

I went to San Ramon to talk to some people about some things. I didn't know where San Ramon was before I was assigned the meeting. I can now report that it is (supposedly) 30 minutes from the Oakland airport, and (supposedly) 40 minutes from the San Jose airport. As with any driving time in the Bay Area it is highly traffic dependent. Both routes are hell during rush hour, is what I mean. If this report on San Ramon seems boring then you are getting the correct sense of what it's like to visit San Ramon.

After San Ramon I got to visit Rancho Cordova, which was similarly exciting but with a better lunch.

Next week I'm in Monroe, Louisiana for a couple days to talk to some people about some things. I have a strong suspicion that Monroe is to Louisiana as San Ramon is to California, but more humid. I will let you know when I get back.

21 April 2016

Prince Died Today

Prince was awesome and fun and weird and more than a little bit crazy. He died today at the age of 57.

He did many great musical things in his life, one of which was to boot Kim Kardashian (who?) off the stage during a concert. He didn't even get mad, he just treated her like the clueless trash that she is.  Legend.

19 April 2016

I Broke Up with My Audi

The Prius
I broke up with my RS4. It was a breakup, because I was emotionally invested in it, but: it wasn't working out. In economic terms it wasn't worth the investment. In more plain language it was fucking killing me, which it would have to be in order for me to sell it because I loved that car. I still love it, and driving it was fun (sometimes) but living with it day to day was a nightmare.

It never actually left me stranded - it was too well mannered for that. Instead it just cost a fortune to own and operate. Every few months some new thing would go wrong during 'routine' maintenance and I'd be out another two to three grand (or more!). At some point the juice just isn't worth the squeeze, so I sold it a (considerable) loss and moved on to a known, reliable, robust quantity.

Opted to lease a Prius. That's it in the picture. Don't be confused by the logo - it's a Prius - same engine, same hybrid system, blah blah blah. It's pretty nice! Lots of features! The best part is I don't have any maintenance costs and it's covered by a warranty (obvs.) so basically I just have to show up with a check for three years and it will work very well. If I'm going to have a car payment I might as well have a new car. Be sure and wave if you see me on the road.

13 April 2016

Enter the Dragón

(Posts are infrequent because there isn't much to report.)
I live in a moderately shady neighborhood. Not much in the way of street crime but there are a lot of motels that rent by the week, drug-addicted homeless, mentally ill homeless, and local trash that doesn't bother cleaning up after their dog. So I see a lot of weird shit, both literally and figuratively. A surprising amount, considering that the area is largely suburban, with a few streets zoned for shopping and food and a few others zoned for industry stuff like auto shops and furniture shops and offices.

Dining at the mexican eatery just around the corner is always interesting. The fajitas are adequate, and it draws a mixed group of white collar office types, some blue collar types, students, and whatever homeless guy felt like a burrito that day. Winos having an argument on the lawn while a table of students enjoy taco Tuesday is, well, typical Tuesday. What was not typical was the kid walking down the street with nunchucks in his back pocket (or 'nunchaku', if you're that person). Skinny jeans, hoodie, and nunchucks, all casual like. You know, just in case you need to get down with some kung fu on your way to the burrito spot? No idea. It was pretty great.

I have never owned nunchucks but coveted them as a young person, even though you were more likely to hit yourself than someone else. And - it bears mentioning - they aren't very concealable. And I'm also not sure they are strictly legal. They are less illegal than brass knuckles, but maybe more illegal than a pocketknife, so I guess homie was on his way to/from martial arts school and kept his clothes/pads/gear onsite but didn't have room to store his 'deadly' weapon. We'll never know.

The fajitas were pretty good, btw.

03 April 2016

Don't Give Up The Butter

Wrote some words, deleted them. Wrote more and different words, deleted them again. They were dumb and you are not. Thanks for stopping by.

Good and Chill Jamz: Wild at Heart by Alfred Hall (Pegato Remix), plus: I Went There: Foster City / San Diego

Greetings reader! Not much to report this week, as per usual. We have a good and chill jam courtesy the internet. Perfect for your weekend morning or your weekday commute. Or any time you feel like a good and chill jam. You do you. Free download!

The week took me to a decent hotel in Foster City, which I had never paid any attention to but is now a hotbed of commercial activity because it is much cheaper than, and adjacent to, San Francisco. Meeting was good but the highlight was catching up with Ze Newbs at lunch, who works in the area. Fun for me.

Later in the week I had to go to a very expensive work dinner down in San Diego, so I made my way there and stayed in an impressively janky hotel, in theory to save my employer some money. The dinner (including tax and tip) was over $400 a plate. Good thing I made an effort to save some cash on that hotel stay! I would have much preferred if they took me somewhere for $100 a plate and then handed me $300 in cash. That would have been much excellent. Dinner bill was inflated in part by the drinks and wine but it was mostly food. (I skipped the drinks - I almost never drink at work dinners. This confuses people sometimes but I don't drink at work during the day so why would I drink at work during the evening?) Nothing like corporate-sanctioned gluttony to make you want to stab yourself in the eye with a fork.

27 March 2016

Good Commenting / Parenting / Living

Honesty is always the best policy. (Except when it isn't.) Big shouts to this comment on my post about that wonderfully catchy version of I Took a Pill in Ibiza.

The comment: nice jam. but f me what I would not give for a pill in ibiza. more than I should admit
Pure truth to power right there. Who among us would not do the same? Only a very few.

26 March 2016

Remix of a Remix: I Took a Pill in Ibiza by Kiso ft. Kayla Diamond

This is a pretty good jam. Yeah it's a remix of a remix but it's got some bounce and the vocal is good. Plus a free download. Can't ask for more than that. 

25 March 2016

Mocked and Forgotten: The White Working Class

Politics in America are more divisive than ever, in part because people that have been voting against their interests (the white working class) are finally, after generations of getting shit on by business-friendly GOP politics, noticing that maybe they should consider other candidates. Of course supporting a candidate that you loathe for whatever reason (he's black, she's a woman, he's a 'socialist') is unattractive for many reasons, not least is that admitting you are wrong about something is not typical human behavior. 

Which brings us to this from Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/mar/24/white-working-class-issues-free-trade-american-south

There's a lot to unpack here, but he opening pull quote "Nothing happened to them..." is astounding in its short-sightedness. Voting Republican happened to them, and continues to happen to them. Reagan happened to them, and a Bush happened to them (three times), and however many congressmen and senators and state government and local government happened to them. Scott Walker continues to happen to them, right now. I would be angry too. Being broke is hell in America.

Hat tip to Jeffy for article, and for being the original recipient of the third paragraph. 

22 March 2016

RIMAC Comes Through

This was on the internet. For once I don't have anything snarky to say. It's just a nice story of a company that did some innovative things with battery development helping out a guy in a significant way.

13 March 2016

It's Political, Plus Bonus Words on that Toad Scalia

Antonin Scalia
There is a lot of political campaigning going on right now. Big election in November, if you hadn't heard. All of it is enough to give any reasonable person a headache, although watching the GOP implode under the weight of the racism and aggressive ignorance they have been peddling for the past eight years while Obama has been in office is fascinating theater.

I was astonished at how weak the Republican candidates were when Obama ran for election in 2008. The field has only gotten worse since then, and this most recent cast of idiots (Rubio, Cruz, Trump Drumpf, Carson, et. al.) is a marvel for the breadth and depth of their unlikeability. You have to go some distance to be more repulsive than a craven power monger like Hilary Clinton and yet they manage all that and then some.

It's weird when you step outside the echo chamber and discover that a person like Trump has a lot of popular support. He's a bully and an egomaniac and an asshole but for some reason people think that makes for a good leader. Bullies are terrible leaders, but they make small people feel good. Trump is Whitey Bulger with a better head start in life. Trump is a joke but the American voting public loves a good joke, which is why they elected G.W. Bush. Twice.

I had a person that I otherwise respected tell me with a straight face that Barack Obama was the worst president in modern history. I'm not sure how you reach that conclusion objectively as it ignores the fact that one of the main reasons Obama was able to get elected was that he replaced the actual worst president in modern history. But that's the narrative that Fox news is peddling. And if people are willing to believe that nonsense then a Trump presidency probably sounds pretty good to them.

The United States was founded as an oligarchy for a reason. People are dumb, and they get one vote, same as you.

Also, while I'm sharing some feedback on Politics: Antonin Scalia died and not a moment too soon. I never said a good word about that man while he was alive and I don't intend to start now. He was buried with great ceremony by that bigotry and ignorance think tank, that pederast-protecting and enabling institution that he so loved, the Catholic church.

Scalia was a pompous, arrogant toad that reveled in his own importance. The Catholics LOVED him like no other. As a true believer that never let the law get in the way of his closely held religious beliefs he was no better than a mullah or a rabbi that uses his holy book to guide his interpretation of the law. He sat on the court and flew that regressive Catholic flag for a generation, held back legislation for equal protection under the law.

His legacy will be that of Henry Billings Brown, who I had to look up because he is the asshole that wrote the majority opinion on Plessy vs. Ferguson ("separate but equal"). He's dead now and good riddance. Hopefully we can get someone on the court that isn't a steaming pile of shit. 

06 March 2016

Two Hours of Jams: Pretty Pink - Deep Woods Live Set

I know that one post a week isn't really cutting it but not much to report these days. No news is good news when things are good. And things are good, so: no news is good news. 

SKT T1 won the IEM tournament, which we can all agree is good news. Filed my taxes and was happy-ish to see that my tax return was almost exactly as much as the thousands of dollars of work I just had done on my German Sports Sedan. Maybe happy is not the right word. Glad. I was gladdened. Kind of.

That's enough banality. Here's two hours of music that you can stream for free on the internet. What a wonderful time to be alive.

29 February 2016

Bonus Day!

Bonus day today. To celebrate (?) here's John Oliver going in on Donald Trump Drumpf. Enjoy!

28 February 2016

Dating is a Chore

After a bit of a break I'm out there in these streets, dating. I've never been a big fan of dating and since the last girl I dated could charitably be described as socially retarded (and uncharitably described as "a terrible human being") I am a little gun-shy. Fortunately dating new girls is relatively easy as I'm reasonably good at talking to people and they aren't all socially retarded. (Silver lining: the spectacular awfulness of the last girl makes for entertaining conversation when I am inevitably asked why I'm still single. The narrative of how I was a decent person dealing with a psycho that needed the threat of a restraining order to leave me alone seems to play well. Apparently there are a lot of crazy people out there. Who knew?)

The second-level question of why I was with someone so awful requires a bit of introspection but if delivered with honesty it seems to land well enough. People see what they want to see, and while that extended my own personal nightmare (see previous paragraph) it also works to my advantage when I meet someone new. Human psychology FTW!

So how's it going? Enh, it's going okay. It turns out that dates want to go 'out' and do 'stuff', and by 'stuff' I mean 'something besides sit on my couch and watch replays of League of Legends'. Weird, I know. Granted, sometimes they want to do cool stuff, like go to the range or clean guns or make out or see an awesome movie. But other times they want to talk or go to shows or spend time with me on my birthday or go to bars or go to a bar and then a show and back to the bar, possibly on my birthday. It's all more than a little exhausting. The struggle is real. And I need a nap. 

25 February 2016

I Went There: Boulder/Broomfield

Flatirons (barely) in Boulder, CO
(One in an occasional series.)

Went out to Broomfield, CO to do that thing where I get paid to talk to people and they talk to me and we all enjoy the fact that we got to talk to one another. It's a pretty good deal if that's your thing. (Getting paid to do stuff that doesn't suck is very definitely my thing.)

Boulderfield busted out the 'good' weather when I was there, which was kind of a drag because I prefer cold weather on a winter trip. (Not much in the way of seasons in the land of endless summer where I live.) I would probably have had a hard time driving in the snow, and also they must have some kind of bear problem in the area because the rental car had a stick in it that had a brush on one end and some kind of scraper on the other. I was told that you are supposed to use it to scrape ice off your windshield but that sounds like a nightmare so I assume it was for the local wildlife: bears, college kids, etc. Hence: bear stick. I was going to bring it home with me but didn't want to check my luggage.

Overall my brief experience with south Boulder was that I went to a yoga studio that shared room in a strip mall with a 'running' store (if you like using your shoes for something else then go elsewhere), a bicycle shop, a 'mountaineering' store, and a craft brewery. It was the most Boulder-y shopping center I could find. The yoga was good! You should go there if you're in the area. Also good: the sunsets. The sunsets were unusually good because all the people were taking photos so I took one too. I wanted to get more mountains in there but there was an ugly streetlight in the way. More sky!

See you out there.