28 December 2009
20 December 2009
If you aren't a friend on lamebook or only happen on this space by accident, I posted some pics of my motorcycle in a new flickr set. Few examples here, many more on flickr. Thanks for looking.
You can see it here:
This is video of Kenny Roberts Sr. riding his insanely fast motorcycle around the flat track in Indy to commemorate his famous victory there back in 1975. They outlawed this bike immediately after he won because it was both faster and lighter than the HD competition. (HD was a major sponsor of the series and could not compete with this bike.) Problem was it took brass balls to ride it. So much so that when other riders were given the opportunity to take it for a spin many of them passed, Ben Bostrom (who is a fucking badass and no mistake) a notable exception. Rumor was that Rossi himself was suited & booted but when he saw Kenny ride it he decided he would skip. (I mention this as both an example of Kenny's awesomeness and also as an example of how it takes more courage to know your limits than it does to just ignore them and die.)
If you don't get goosebumps when KR hammers the throttle at the start finish line to start his 'demo lap' then call a doctor to restart your cold, dead heart. Haven't ridden in a year? No problem. You used to kick ass for a living, after all.
Hat tip to Hell for Leather.
17 December 2009
I'm on vacation, but if you want to kill some time here's some advertising you might enjoy.
My favorite is embedded above.
16 December 2009
This is just awesome.
And all done on a drafting board. I almost bought a copy of the book just on general principle.
First things first, I enjoyed the hell out of this portfolio of machinery and machinists.
View it here:
It reminds me of my grandfather.
There was a time when you could find guys like this all over the country. They have largely been replaced by computers and, more tragically, 'moved offshore'. Now we give them their own television shows*, make them into obnoxious celebrities manque (even if they build appalling, unrideable junk). Barf.
There was a time (pre-Craftsman) when good hand tools were beyond the reach of the recreational mechanic. They were either wildly expensive, or they were junk. My grandfather was an accomplished mechanic and woodworker and he bought an antique wooden block plane in the 50s that was already 100 years old. He bought it from a furniture store that was using it as, and I am not kidding, a decoration. He immediately put it back into service, which is where I encountered it in the mid 80's. When he died my grandmother asked if I wanted any of his stuff; I identified two things: his dog tags from WWII, and the block plane. Those two things said more about him than anything else I could think of.
He would have looked right at home in the machinist pictures.
Sad ending: I got his dog tags, but not the block plane. My uncle took it in one of his many scavenging missions through the house before my grandfather died. (He couldn't take the dog tags because my grandfather had them on his key ring.) In the end it's good that someone wanted it. I think.
* I should point out that Jesse James has legit cred and it's maybe not fair to lump him with the Teutul clowns. His bikes are lame but the guy has real talent as a fabricator and builder. More importantly, he's not a loudmouth asshole, he's just an asshole. There's a difference.
14 December 2009
I wasn't sure how fast this guy was going. It looks fast, but how fast is it? Fast enough to catch a motorcyclist and a car, so probably faster than the posted speed. And when your face is 2 inches off the ground that must feel incredibly fast. And crashing headfirst into anything at any speed is going to kill you. Those concrete pylons (death, every single one of them) are flying by at a pretty good clip. So this is both insane and awesome.
11 December 2009
08 December 2009
I call the color "low profile orange". You can hardly notice it. It's like permanent stealth mode. Very subtle. Understated.
That's me gazing at the temps, waiting for the engine to warm up so I can ride away. I would have made a rude gesture at the photographer but I was too afraid of dropping the bike. They have a tendency to tip over when they're not moving.
I'll throw a couple more of these on flickr and fbook if I have time, so if you already saw them there than that's one more reason to stop wasting time on facebook.
It's important to wear proper protection when you're on two wheels. That means helmet, back protector (under the jacket), jacket w/ some kind of armor in shoulders and elbows, sturdy riding pants with impact protection in the knees, riding boots, and gloves.
It's especially key when your fancy bike has flames on it. Grrrrrr!
(Hat tip to Spencer for letting me borrow his bike to cruise around the neighborhood. And for taking my picture.)
06 December 2009
Sometimes people tell me I'm funny. That's a generous compliment, but the truth is I have a good memory and I know a lot of funny people. And I steal from them. Seriously. I do this all the time. The next original joke I tell will be the first one.
Also I read funny websites, articles, and books. One of my favorite websites is wwtdd.com. Tyler is borderline NSFW, so if you're curious, check it from home. The guy that writes Tyler is named Brendon (sp?), and I don't know much about him except he's a meathead ex-marine from Lousiana, I think he lives in LA, and he's the most consistently funny person on the web that I know of. My favorite recent example:
Yesterday there were a bunch of pictures (like this one) of Colin Farrell on vacation in Mexico. I didn’t download any of them of course, because if I wanted to see some short-fused drunk mick with his shirt off I would go to my family reunions.
You and me both, buddy. You and me both.
In case the link expires someday (and it will), here's the full correction text from The Washington Post:
A Nov. 26 article in the District edition of Local Living incorrectly said a Public Enemy song declared 9/11 a joke. The song refers to 911, the emergency phone number.
Fear of a Black Planet came out in 1990. NINETEEN HUNDRED AND NINETY. So it predates the terrorist attacks just a wee bit.
*Yes that is a reference to Flava Flav's clock accoutrements. No joke too cheap over here, as per usual.
04 December 2009
Not much to say about these except that I liked them.
03 December 2009
02 December 2009
Not sure how 'artistic' it is, but whatever. I'm not picky.
01 December 2009
This via the 'zine Hell for Leather, who currently leads the web in the category of two-guys-that-are-doing-shit-I-wish-I-were-doing-that-are-not-named-Walter-Iooss-Jr.
I don't know what 'jujubi' means but I know it's not cool to shoot your enemy in the back. And knowing is half the battle.
24 November 2009
Big day in history today. Darwin was born on this day in 1809. It's caused the usual kerfluffle about the "debate" over creationism and evolution but that's to be expected.
I hesitate to call people that believe in creationism stupid because I know some very smart, very successful people that think it's the gospel truth, in spite of the fact that there is no proof for it or 'intelligent design'. It should be noted that their success was not in a field of rigorous scientific study. Better to just agree to disagree and let Dawkins fight the good fight.
People used to think the sun revolved around the earth, that the world was flat, etc, and so forth. Science will win out in the end, but there's no use trying to combat willful ignorance, especially of a religious nature.
You can get some forward-thinking encouragement from other parts of the world, though. In England they put a picture of Darwin on their 10 pound note. I keep one in my wallet just on general principle.
20 November 2009
This is funny as hell. It's too bad it was on radio because there's no swear words, and I'm confident that Dock Ellis would have used some swear words in a typical retelling of the story, and it would have been funnier.
Note that he talks about the frequent/common use of stimulants in baseball. Not officially a performance enhancing drug though, because it wasn't banned. I've covered that hypocrisy at length already. Search this blog for 'Barrold Bonds' or the phrase "fucking idiots" and you'll find the posts.
Anyways, great animation, great (true) story. Enjoy.
We do a brisk trade in sad songs over here at GJAW. If you want rap music you can get that somewhere else, but if you want some melody and guitar then you've come to the right place.
I wanted to embed a video of a live performance of Bon Iver song from Glastonbury but I couldn't work that out. Something about copyrights and geography. You'll have to watch it and listen via some kind of foreign website. You could check it on his myspace page, or catch up with it on Letterman, but where's the fun in that? The definitive version (for me) is the Glastonbury performance; I think it shows off the strength of the song in a way that even the studio version fails to do. But that's me.
19 November 2009
I will reproduce the text from Kathy Ryan, Director of Photography of New York Times Magazines, because her description is excellent:
There is a small gem of a show at Danziger Projects right now, featuring a little-known trove of Polaroids by Andy Warhol of famous athletes. They were commissioned by one collector in the late 1970s and early ’80s. The simplicity of Warhol’s method — straightforward portraits shot with the Big Shot camera — gives the tiny images (4 1/4″ x 3 3/8″) a purity and sincerity that belies the radiance and aura of greatness coming from the sitters. Even today, there is something tingle-inducing about seeing Muhammad Ali, Dorothy Hamill, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Chris Evert, Pelé, Tom Seaver and Wayne Gretzky captured at the height of their youthfulness and fame. These portraits, made by the ultimate connoisseur of fame himself, have aged beautifully. The show is up through Dec. 12 at 534 West 24th Street.*
* Courtesy/copyright NYT and Kathy Ryan.
16 November 2009
Usually when people talk about the 'good old days' in sports it's complete bullshit. The players are better now than they have ever been. This is true in every major American sport, and also in the most popular sport in the world (soccer). However, it's not true in boxing. The champions of the past would literally pummel the champions of today (with a very few notable exceptions). And the mid-level guys from back in the day? They would walk all over the 'talent' in the current era. These facts are not in dispute. I mention them only because occasionally there IS something in boxing worth talking about, and that something is Manny Pacquiao.
The good news is that Manny Pacquiao has cemented his legacy as one of the all-time great fighters by taking on yet another tough opponent and beating the tar out of him. This is after he torched a well-past-his-prime Oscar De La Hoya (in a beating so savage and severe I was concerned for De La Hoya's long-term health), and exposed Ricky Hatton as an overmatched punching bag. Pacquiao's dismantling of Miguel Cotto is the last, best example anyone should need that this guy is not just handling mid-level competition; he takes on tough fighters and still dominates. Floyd Mayweather is the only guy left that can give him a fight, so let's hope Money Mayweather put his money where his mouth is and fights him. Preferably sooner than later.
12 November 2009
I was relating the story at lunch today and realized that part of the reason I'm flying solo these days is that although my lifestyle/hobbies are awesomely cool to teenage boys, it's not quite so awesome to successful twentysomething professional bitches.* I know, I couldn't believe it either. For example, here's a list of all the shit that is awesome when you're 16 that I do now:
- practice jiu-jitsu
- play xbox (mostly CoD4:MW2 lately, and if you don't know what that is then it just further illustrates my point)
- live at my friend's house - underrated awesomeness
- play guitar - actually most girls like this, but it still makes the list
- get tattoos - no new ones recently but still
- ride motorcycles
- floss the mma/eurotrash haircut
- read science fiction books
- read wwtdd.com
- watch science fiction movies
- drink beer
Who wants to go for a ride?
*I mean girls that are professionals, not girls that specialize in being bitches, although I've dated a few of both types.
11 November 2009
07 November 2009
If you can make it through four minutes of this then you're amazing. I managed 120 seconds and that was it. I don't want to knock it because the guy is trying really hard and this is not easy and I respect that but... umm... watch the video and you'll see what I mean.
06 November 2009
I posted this on lamebook but if you missed it there here's your chance to get involved.
Pictured is the dog I live with. It's not technically my dog, although she is making herself comfortable in my bed. She especially likes to get in there right after I'm up in the morning and brushing my teeth. She manages to make herself surprisingly comfortable in just 2 short minutes.
I like how she manages to maximize her coverage of the pillow on which I sleep. It's warm and smells like me - what could be better than that? How about a pillow that doesn't smell like dog? Can I get one of those? No? Oh. Okay.
I love this dog and she knows it, although we did have a bit of an issue when she ate one of the buttons off my duvet. She's a good dog for the most part. Occasionally she acts up when she doesn't get enough exercise, and she sheds like a bomb going off, but besides that she's about as good as a dog can be.
05 November 2009
Troy Patterson, slate TV critic and, more significantly, person whose work I enjoy reading that is also likely to use words I don't know, wrote a short essay about the Cookie Monster. It is both awesome and hilarious.
Full version here.
The most monstrous of Sesame Street's monsters, he is desire turned comic-grotesque. In an important sign of his derangement, Cookie Monster is the only core character to sport bobbling pupils in his eyes. His signature song, "C Is for Cookie," is a pub song invested with rousing grandeur, an anthem to monomania. "Let's think of other things that starts with C," he growls, before entertaining second thoughts. "Ah, who cares about the other things!" His lack of interest in much other than eating extends even to grammar. Him wants proper declension [definition link added, because I had to look it up].
I love the muppets. A lot.
04 November 2009
It's good to have goals.
I also learned that they're either handing out Eat, Pray, Love free with eH memberships or vice versa (I can imagine a special coupon at the back of the book, encouraging girls to seek a partner now that they've been on a "journey"). This book was so cliche that I closed any girl that listed it as her most recent reading. You think it's cool to go to Italy and get fat before you fall in love? Good for you. You probably think it's romantic to build entire series around abstinence and bloodsucking-as-sex metaphors. That's why you spend your nights watching Gossip Girl home alone with your cats and/or parents.
Anyway, someone I've never met that writes about motorcycles went and took some good pictures in Florence, so I guess if you frame the trip in that context it might be cool. Or not. I think this is as close as I'll ever get to Italy, except when I skip it the next time I'm in Europe.
02 November 2009
I used to be really into mountain biking. Now I'm into motorcycles, some of which are described as "mountain bikes with engines". This is not a coincidence.
The guys in the video make the riding look pretty easy. It isn't.
And they should be riding those bikes back up the hill, not taking the truck. Downhill-only is fun but it's not as cool as x-country.
It was halloween this weekend. I wore a silly outfit and pretended it was a costume. It wasn't, because I didn't get 'dressed up' as anything. I was just myself. Costumes are not my thing. But the deal ended up being fun, and I've heard there's some pictures kicking around on fbook, so I'll share them as they become available.
Today's picture is a metaphor. It represents progress. I got my fourth (and final) promotion as a white belt last week. Next promotion is a new color belt, and that's at least 5 months away (probably more), so I'll have plenty of time to get used to this.
In jiu-jitsu it's not a big deal to get your fourth stripe on a white belt; a lot of people do it, and it doesn't make me any better at jiu-jitsu (bummer, because I can use all the help I can get). I'm still not good at it; a fourth stripe just tells you that I'm slightly less not-good than someone with, say, 2 stripes. The differences are so subtle as to be nearly meaningless.
Still, it's nice to have your hard work is recognized by your instructor.
29 October 2009
halloween is lame in the extreme. I hate it sooooooo much. but there will be people there. I keep telling myself I can handle it. if spencer weren't driving I couldn't deal. but he will drive so I'll just have to dj the ride out there so we don't listen to Europe "Final Countdown" the whole way. yeah this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
I was all set to embed the Europe video but it's been disabled.
F that noise.
27 October 2009
Been almost two weeks since we last visited. I'm losing readers left and right but I don't have anything interesting to share. I work, I go to the gym, I study or do some kind of professional development, I go home. Sometimes I ride motorcycles.
Big news of the week is that my old roommate Charm was on TV for a while. I had heard he was on the Tool Academy show but I hadn't had a chance to to watch it. I finally caught an episode this past weekend. Well, I watched the first 8 minutes until it went to commercial. Didn't bother coming back after that. Turns out he was doing surprisingly well on the show until this weekend, when he got the boot and (predictably) blamed other people. You might remember this is the guy that I evicted for:
- Moving his girlfriend (pictured) into the house without mentioning it to me & the other roommate (when I confronted him about this he blamed her and said "I told her to keep it low pro, but she didn't respect it").
- Not paying rent on time.
- Not paying bills on time.
- Not keeping the place clean.
- Using stuff (my computer, other people's food) without asking.
- Making the other roommate miserable with his noise and lazy, filthy personal habits.
- Any number of other awesome stuff that you can expect from a roommate that sucks, such as: buying porn (titles: Big City Booty and Asses Extreme II) on the cable PPV and leaving me with the bill. I already paid him his full deposit, so that's sunk cost at this point. Sweet.
- Special Bonus: When I gave him notice his mom wanted to come and talk to me about it. She was convinced that he was getting a raw deal. It couldn't possibly be his fault that he sucks at life.
It was kind of fun to see him in action and watch him take his shit-show public. Judging by the comments it was not very well-received.
15 October 2009
Long week this week. Moved over the weekend, adjusting to the new commute and new roommates (one of whom is pictured). Still trying to get unpacked, I don't get home from work and the gym until after 10. All of which adds up to a reduced blog schedule. I'll get back to my usual post rate after I get my act sorted and settled.
New roommate just wants to love you. Unless you're a dog. Then she's a liiiittle bit aggressive, and by that I mean she might eat your face. But she's super sweet with people and she's doing her best to become more friendly with the other dogs. Aww, super cute. She's a rescue dog, and as far anyone can tell she's mostly doberman, with a mix of other stuff. But mostly doberman, as you can see by her coloring.
thanks for reading.
08 October 2009
We're in transition right now at Chez Case. For example, we won't be at Chez Case after Saturday; we're taking our show over to Chez Spencer, which is a bit far from where I'd like to live but also a lot cheaper with no lease or similar financial entanglements, which is nice when you're in a state of professional and personal transition. Moving sucks, but I've been selling everything that isn't nailed down. Said goodbye to the washer and dryer yesterday, and sold Thunder (the blue bike) earlier in the week. Was sad to see her go but she's in a better place now.
On the plus side the new bike is looking better than ever with a new fender eliminator and rear hugger (that's the shiny orange bit over the rear tire). And I still have a job (as of today). So things could be worse.
Really enjoyed this article about motorcycles from Slate. Excerpt:
The impression came one day in my late teens when my cousin taught me how to ride. Out of a shack that passed for a garage he wheeled a dusty old machine with the word Honda visible on the tank. He started it with a few vigorous kicks, indicated the throttle and clutch, and mentioned something about brakes. I managed to kick it into gear and hit the throttle, sending a stray dog running for his life.
In that moment, it dawned on me: I had found one of earth's highest pleasures.I know what you mean...
02 October 2009
I spent several hours last night installing a new part on the motorcycle (a Taylormade fender eliminator, if you must know). Except it wasn't the right part. So I called the distributor today and told him hey, that's not what I expected, and he said yeah that's the new part, replaces the old part. Oh. That's kind of annoying, I said. Yeah, we're talking to some people about that, but you know how it goes. Indeed I do sir, indeed I do.
I had some questions about the install because this kit was not going together as expected (some pieces missing, some pieces don't fit quite as well as I'd like). He couldn't help me, told me to call Taylormade. I said sure. So I called Taylormade Racing and asked for help. They put me on the phone with, no joke, Paul Taylor. As in, the boss. Bear in mind I didn't buy a super expensive or exclusive part (as these things are measured).
So I talk to Mr. Taylor, who sounds like he stepped straight off the set of Masterpiece Theater, and he gives me the scoop on my 2nd generation part (quality improvements, he says), the install, and the missing pieces (our mistake, he says). And as annoyed as I was last night with my bike in pieces scattered around my garage, and that my part doesn't match what I was sold on the website, it's all better now. And it only took 5 minutes on the phone.
Still have to install it tonight when I get home though. Should be easier a second time. Maybe.
28 September 2009
23 September 2009
A whole week and nothing. I'm doing my best but I don't get out as much as I used to and I can't do a post about motorcycles every day. I mean that you would read. Because I'm sure I could do one every day if it came to that.
Today on my motorcycle I was almost killed by someone merging back into the carpool lane from the shoulder. Traffic was moving at a brisk 75 MPH. Instead of using the shoulder to build up speed, they turned their blinker on and just, you know, pulled into the lane. Never mind that there was a paved shoulder on which to accelerate. That's the kind of idiocy you just don't see every day. To be fair, the blinker was a huge help. It was a like an idiot flag flapping in the breeze, announcing that the impending stupidity. A real lifesaver.
Maybe that's the new recommended lane change: turn on your blinker and go. No need to look over your shoulder to that spot not covered by your mirror. Or look behind you some distance if traffic is moving quickly. If there's anyone there they will honk. Or die. Either way.
Only 10 minutes later I also avoided hitting a guy that made a right turn into my lane. I saw that shit coming from a distance, which was good, because he looked right through me (I'm easy to miss on a bright orange motorcycle, and black & white jacket, in broad daylight). Alls well that ends well, I guess.
You know, it's not that motorcycles are dangerous (although they are), it's that people don't pay attention. And they're stupid. (Mostly the latter.)
17 September 2009
In the interim, if you want some information on ACORN, here you go.
[note from my friend]
well maybe that should be at the forefront of the issue and not fining people for not having healthcare. how are you going to fine a poor person. it is absurd. obama care is like acorn--waste of everyone's time and money. can we please fix the dam economy.
[my response, which you may find useful if some fucktard suggests that ACORN is 'what's wrong with this country' or some similar bullshit. These issues seem to be wrapped up in people's minds in an irrational way, so allow me to inject some perspective.]
What are you talking about with the fines and Acorn? first things first: do you really think they will fine people for not having health coverage? really? and if they did, how is that different from fining people for doing stuff like not wearing a motorcycle helmet or a seatbelt? Be smarter than that.
As for Acorn: don't you have a degree from an ivy league university in urban planning or poor studies or something? do you know that Acorn works to empower poor people? in the last 15 years they have collected ~50 million dollars from the Feds. That's about $3.1 million a year, and they spent it trying to help poor people be less poor. Is that a waste of time and money?
Because the last time I checked poor people hadn't bankrupted the country while collecting TRILLIONS of dollars in bonuses and bailouts (thanks wall street), started any wasteful wars (thanks GW), raped environmental protections (GW again). Don't be so obtuse. Acorn is just some smoke and mirrors. You will never be affected by it unless you suddenly become tragically poor and the only affect is that you will be more fucked than you imagined because the senate just cut the funding. 3.1 million a year - we gave $700 billion to the banks and no one knows where it went AND they're about to make more money than ever and you think Acorn is the issue?
Acorn represents a portion of the federal budget so small I had a hard time putting in my calculator because there were too many zeroes, but it's about .0004% of the money we gave to the banks this past year, not to mention what we spent on defense and everything else. The total amount, in 15 years, is .007% of what we gave to the banks this past year. That's 7 thousandth's of one percent. If you had one thousand dollars that means you gave me 70 cents. I'll try not to spend it all in one place.
16 September 2009
14 September 2009
That's a picture of the motorcyle I bought this weekend. I snapped a photo just after I committed to buying it. With my cellphone. So it's a little grainy but it's the best I could do for now. I'll post more pictures when I get some time.
I think this is it for the mid-life crisis. I'm glad I didn't have to get a divorce, bail on my kids, or even get a bunch of plastic surgery. I just had to get a new motorcycle that goes 180 MPH and 0-60 in 2.9 seconds.
Whoever says money can't buy happiness doesn't have 13 grand to spend at Honda.
10 September 2009
It opens a PDF file and that's an obstacle if you're running FireFox and/or don't have Acrobat Reader. And it's also kind of boring unless you're crazy or weird.
Not included in the case study: I might get laid off next week. Hoping not, but you never know.
(I am sure I mentioned it in the interview - no idea why they didn't write it in there.)
04 September 2009
Superb essay on great volleyed goals over on the Guardian today. This was my favorite part, reproduced in its entirety because Cantona defined imperious. He was insufferable. He was arrogant. He was rude. He was mercurial. But he was so, so good. Moreover, he was so much better than anyone else at the time in the Premier League.
They called him Eric the King for a reason.
Here's the essay to accompany the video (from Rob Smyth of the Guardian):
The volley is widely perceived as the hardest skill in football, but the flip side of that difficulty is that it is the perfect tool with which to demonstrate your superiority, as Eric Cantona showed at Selhurst Park in 1994. The backstory is important here: Cantona should have been sent off in the previous round, at Norwich, and in the seemingly interminable build-up to this match (the FA Cup was big news in those days), Wimbledon promised to ruffle his feathers, get in his face, and other popular cliches. Early on Vinnie Jones piled in with a laughable and predictable reducer; Cantona simply looked Jones up and down with the sort of magisterial contempt that only he could muster, and then, just before half-time, showed how you really hurt someone on a football field.
Gary Elkins made his only contribution to football history by heading Denis Irwin's long cross to the edge of the box, whereupon Cantona killed the ball with a velvety touch and then leathered it beyond Hans Segers. It was a perfectly unanswerable piece of skill that broke Wimbledon, who had been in the game until then, completely. There is some rather absurd revisionism going round about Cantona's contribution to the Premier League. He might not have been the greatest overseas player in English football history - the quality of the game in this country has increased so much in the last 15 years - but nobody has been so superior to his peers. And nobody knew how to demonstrate that superiority in such a regal manner. This was not a footballer; this was Cantona.
03 September 2009
Mmm... You might recognize this song from the Cadillac commercial, but whatever. It was awesome before Justice sold it to Cadillac. And they didn't sell exclusive rights (smart!), because they got paid again, and it's better this time. Plus: Assassin's Creed 2 motherfucker! Leonardo da Vinci! The middle ages! Stabbing people with knives attached to your wrists!!!111!!!!one!1!!
I mean football with a round ball and 2 goals. What did you think I meant? Is some other football season starting? I hadn't heard. Anyway, the English Premier League got underway a couple weeks ago and it was going brilliantly until my favorite team lost at Manchester Sucknited. In honor of the start of the season here's one of my all-time favorite goals. Watch the HQ version, b/c the quality of the first part of video is a bit off but you get the idea, and if you watch the whole thing you can see the distance of the the shot (20 yards), number of guys he beats (four, counting the goalie), and the quality of the touch (sublime).
For more brilliance, go here.
02 September 2009
Here's a quick rundown:
1. It's hot
2. Stuff is on fire
3. I still have a job
4. It's hot.
5. I need to get out more.
That's all for now. More this weekend when something interesting happens.
28 August 2009
Twitter, in particular, is the most useless thing to come along in quite a while. 160 characters of stupid nothing about nothing. If you can summarize your experiences in less than 160 characters you're too stupid to warrant any "followers". Ergo, all of Twitter should just shut up. It's like blogging, but even more vapid (which I didn't think possible until I heard about Twitter).
Finally, someone found a useful purpose for Twitter: a collection of money quotes from a pithy gentleman of 73 years of age. Typical example:
"It's watering plants, Justin. You just take a God damned hose and you put it over the plant. You don't even pay rent, just do it. Shit."
Read them yourself at: http://twitter.com/shitmydadsays
Seriously hot. What happened to mild southern California weather?
The Reality Distortion Field is weakening. I found this article about the iphone very interesting. It goes a long way towards explaining why I think it's lame. Sure it's awesome for surfing the web and playing games but it's a crap phone: expensive, bad customer support, bad network, bad network coverage*, bad for talking, bad for texting, short battery life, can't insure it.
This is my favorite line:
This allegedly revolutionary item, this magical gadget that promised to change our lives, fails at even the most elementary tasks.
Like talking, texting, and sending a picture message. What's the point of having a camera on your phone if you can't send someone a picture message?
*AT&T makes a lot of noise about having 'more bars in more places'. The fine print always says "worldwide", which is great if you're a frequent international traveler, but most people aren't. I'm interested in the coverage in the places I actually use my phone, like my neighborhood, or other neighborhoods in the continental United States. Which is why I'm on Verizon.
25 August 2009
They have time to turn it around but after this capitulation I don't expect it. They don't have the horses. Which is a shame, because they are a fun team to watch and could maybe make some noise in the playoffs.
In other news, Plaxico Burress was sentenced to 2 years in prison for the crime of being stupid. If that were a crime then he would have gone to jail as early as 2001:
[cribbed from a website that cribbed it from another website]
Plaxico Burress -- 2001, Pittsburgh vs. Jacksonville -- With limited playing time, Burress was in the game against the Jaguars, and after catching a ball in the fourth quarter and thinking he was down by contact, Burress did what anyone would do [ed. he did what any jackass would do]: He spiked the ball. Except he wasn't down by contact - no one had touched him. Live ball, Jags recovered.
Burress actual crime was possession of an unlicensed handgun in New York. He didn't hurt anyone but himself, and didn't attempt to hurt anyone. So why is he going to jail for 2 years? (He will probably serve TWENTY MONTHS.) Jail is for dangerous, malicious, bad people. Not stupid people. I don't see how this does anyone any good.
20 August 2009
This is the trailer for Little Miss Sunshine, a movie I happened to really like. It's not for everyone; although there are some parts that are very funny there are also parts that are challenging to watch. Even so, I recommend it.
I wanted just the scene that made me laugh until I cried ("sweet sweetness") but I couldn't find it. So you get the trailer instead.
I had to fly home early from JFK to Long Beach this past weekend. It cost an extra $300 but it was an emergency so I paid the money and changed my flight.
I was in seat 16C. The man sitting in 16B was so obese that he could barely attach the seatbelt - it was stretched across him like a rubber band around a water balloon. He was so fat that I had to lift his fat and his arm out of the way to change the channel on my TV. 5 and a half hours of transcontinental flight and this guy spilling into my seat (and the seat of the person on the other
side). I'm not a big guy (6 feet, 180 lbs) but I could not sit straight up without leaning up
against him, pushing his flesh out of the way.
How is it possible that we paid the same price for our ticket? He was more than twice my weight and spilled into both my seat and the poor woman in seat 16A. How is it that you will charge someone for an extra bag, but there's no extra charge for someone who doesn't fit into their assigned space?
I understand that sharing an armrest can be a contentious issue but that's not the situation here. This is a four hundred pound man that literally did not fit into his assigned seat. There was no room to share because he literally occupied all of it (and then some). If I can't sit upright without someone pressing up against me because they're too fat then something is seriously wrong.
My question is, what are you going to do about this going forward? He could have moved seats (he refused when I asked him) but that just transfers the problem somewhere else, it doesn't fix it.
I asked the attendant what could be done but there were no other empty seats on the plane. I don't blame them for not being able to do anything - once the guy boards the plane you're pretty much stuck (figuratively, and, as it happens, literally).
I'm sure you have tried to address this before because it's costing you money. In different circumstances I would have exited the plane and requested a later flight but I had an emergency and had to get home.
Even so, why should I have to request another flight? If the ticket is a type of contract, it's the obese guy that is in violation, not me. Is it my responsibility to point out to attendants that someone doesn't fit?
Let me know how I should handle this kind of thing in the future.
And they responded with the following, which was more than I expected. Also, the part in bold was news to me (I added the bold):
Dear Mr. Farley,
Thank you for contacting JetBlue Airways regarding Flight #209 on August 16, 2009. Your comfort while flying with us is extremely important and we recognize this was an extremely uncomfortable situation.
We apologize that you were seated next to an overweight customer. Because many JetBlue customers book online and utilize online check-in, we cannot see the size of the customer until we begin boarding the aircraft. At that point, we'll make every attempt to seat them in a row that might allow them to have two seats. By that time, however, it may be too late to adjust seating
assignments, and when a flight like yours is full, we do not always have that option.
This situation is extremely challenging for us as an airline. We recommend, if they ask us, that they purchase an extra seat as the arm rests can be raised between the seats allowing for extra room. We assume that for their own comfort, and the comfort for those around them, they will choose that option. If they don't, by law we can't force them to do so.
We regret that we do not have an alternate solution to this problem. Although we are working to find ways to rectify it, we can only advise at this time to alert a flight attendant and asked to change seats if space is available.
As a gesture of our apology for this experience, we have issued you a $100 travel voucher. JetBlue vouchers are not transferable and can be used as payment online at jetblue.com or by calling us at 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583).
18 August 2009
13 August 2009
12 August 2009
11 August 2009
I don't get to see Lindsay's family very often, but she is one of my closest friends, more like a sister.
Lindsay is one of the hardest-working, most disciplined people I know. It runs in the family - her dad is famously hard-working, too. I never gave it much thought until I found out her dad's mom had died unexpectedly and she forwarded me the eulogy he gave for his mother.
Everyone has a story to tell about their life, and some are better than others, but this one warmed my tiny, cold heart in a way that I had not expected.
Thanks for reading.
On Tuesday morning I started my day with my daily phone call to my brother. We discussed business issues, our calendars for the day, and our families. Little did either one of realize that morning, that hours later, our worlds would change forever. There was no warning, there were no long term illnesses, there were no goodbyes. All that remained now were our memories of our wonderful and incredible mother who died so tragically.
Over the last day or two, I’ve agonized on what to say today and in the end, I decided that I could best honor the memory of my mother by telling the story of her remarkable life.
Her life was not easy. In the lives we lead today, we truly cannot fathom what my mother’s life was like or what she endured. Very few of us, with the exception of other Holocaust survivors and survivors of the brutalities of war, can even begin to understand the toughness and the spirit that my mother possessed. My mother never spoke with my brother Robert or myself of the horrors she lived through and the pain and suffering she endured during the Holocaust. She lived her life with a great spirit and tremendous desire to succeed and to see her family prosper and her family was everything to her. I never once heard her ask “why me” or have an ounce of self pity.
This is a small part of her story; a story filled with dignity and courage.
The war broke out in Poland when my mother was only 12 years old. One day she was asked by her parents to watch her 2 younger sisters. The German army came into the Jewish ghetto of the small town she was living in with fixed bayonets. My mother and her sisters saw this and ran. In the end, my mothers survived, and her 2 sisters who could not run fast enough were never to seen again and presumed dead. Months later, my mother and her 8 year old brother Carl, were given refuge in a Polish home her parents had bribed to take their children in and offer them safety. A few days later, the owner of the house instructed my Mother and her brother to look out the window. They both stood helplessly, this 12 year old child and her 8 year old brother, as they watched their parents being taken by horse and wagon to be executed for the crime of being Jewish. At the age of only 12, my mother had already witnessed 4 members of her immediate family killed. In our world today, we don’t even let 12 year olds go to the grocery store by themselves let alone witness 4 members being murdered. My mother now knew, that she was in the middle of a world gone mad, a world that was creating the Holocaust.
My mother and her brother were now on their own with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They had no money, no food and no sanctuary. They were weary and tired. It was starting to snow and they had no cold weather clothing. A 12 years old and an 8 year old trudging through the woods whose only goal was to hide from the Germans and not be killed. They came to a fork in the path and my mother just lay down in the snow not knowing which way to take her little brother. For a moment she gave up and just wanted to lay there and die. Imagine, a 12 year old with nothing to live for except pain and suffering. Moments later she picked herself up and trudged on in the snow, securing safety for the moment for her brother Carl and herself.
Weeks later, my Mother and her brother happened by chance on a relative that created a shelter in the form of a hole in the ground. For the next 3 long years, my mother and her brother lived and hid in a hole in the ground eluding the German army and polish militia. They lived there with just the clothes on their back, never bathing, never receiving medical attention and foraging for food. They never left the hole in daylight and only left when there was total darkness in order to avoid capture and sure death. This existence was not 3 days, 3 weeks, or 3 months, it was for 3 years. The shear thought of this existence for a young 12 year old girl and an 8 year old boy is truly beyond my comprehension. They survived on an innate desire to survive and vision for life after the hell they were living in.
As the news that the war was ending arrived, my mother and her brother Carl were euphoric. They had survived! They had eluded the German Army and Polish militia for 3 long years of hiding. They were elated and overjoyed. My mother and Carl found some distant relatives and were asked stay overnight in their house that they had taken back. My mother was now a young woman of 16 and Carl was now around 12 years old. That evening my mother slept in the only bed in the house with her aunt and Carl slept on the floor. The rest of the relatives slept in the kitchen and other living areas of the small house. They all were happy, there was peace. That night the polish militia stormed the house as they heard that Jews had settled there again and one by one, execution style gunned down each person in the house killing everyone with the exception of my Mother and Carl. During the attack, my Mother hid underneath her aunt and made believe she was dead. She was soaked with the blood of her aunt, lying motionless as the Polish militia ransacked the house looking for valuables. Her brother, Carl,was shot point blank in the back resulting in three major wounds. How utterly incredible was this, the war was over but the death and destruction continued to follow my mother and her brother. How dishearting this must have been to have survived the war and only to see your remaining family killed. I truly don’t know how you could move past this event and still have hope but they did.
Shortly after the attack, my mother met and married my Father Murray. They traveled around Europe trying to find a safe place to call home. They eventually came the United States. Neither my father or my mother had any formal education as a result of the war, did not know the language and were virtually penniless. However, my mother and father both had an insatiable desire to succeed not for themselves, but for their family. Time and hard work meant nothing to my mother, the desire to succeed for her family was paramount.
For years and years my mother and father worked long hard hours. 15,16,18 hour days were the norm. Rarely a vacation. When people ask Robert and myself about our work ethic, we only have to point to our parents for our inspiration. My parents did it - they achieved the American Dream. After years of hard work, they owned their own business and they were prospering because of their efforts. It seemed Life was finally rewarding them for their many years of pain and suffering that they had endured.
Then on a cold Thursday night in January 1991, my mother and my brother were working at the fish market. A gunman in a robbery attempt, shot my brother Robert and left my mother crying and pleading with the gunman to take the cash register and leave Robert alone. Robert was taken to hospital in serious condition and rushed into the operating room. My mother was distraught and in a state of shock at this horrific event. My mother loved Robert with all her heart and would have sacrificed herself for him totally. My mother never went to the hospital that night and the next morning, she got up a 2 am and went to the store and washed Roberts blood off the floor and went on to work 18 hours. To have gone through the Holocaust, watch your parents taken to their death, survived an attack after the war was over, come to a new country for a new beginning and to have had this horrible thing happen to your son is more misery and pain then any one life should be able to handle. Yet she went on. She never gave up.
This was my Mother’s life. It was not easy, but through all the hardship, my mother always lived in hope. My father, Robert and I always held her on a pedestal and She truly deserved that spot in our hearts. She was the epitome of what a Jewish mother was supposed to be -she worked, sacrificed and loved her family.
My mother loved and was devoted to my father for over 50 years. She loved her sons, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She took great pride in her whole families accomplishments and was quick to let you know when you didn’t measure up to her high standards.
The last time I spoke to my Mother was last Friday. It was the day after she attended the opening of the new U or R Medical Center Ambulatory Care building that my brother and his partners had just built. Over the phone I could tell how much she was beaming with pride that her son was responsible for such a beautiful building that was filled with such marvelous technology. The happiness in her voice reflected her spirit for life.
This is how I will always remember this remarkable woman who lived such an incredible life. Her life will serve as an inspiration to her sons, grand children and great grandchildren in what can be accomplished with hard work and a never give up spirit. I will never dwell on how she died, but how she passionately she lived her life. My brother Robert and I were truly blessed to be able to call her our Mother.
07 August 2009
Here's some fun true facts about the turkey vulture. Comic was forwarded to me by Scott B, created by a cartoonist in Toronto named Rosemary. She hearts birds.
I reproduce it here but the image and content is copyright birdandmoon.com / R. Mosco.
Nothing new to talk about. Soooo... motorcycles!
I like this motorcycle. It's a CBR1000RR. People tend to think the race-replica paint job is either cool or horrendous. There also seems to be a correlation between age and preference. In other words, I have not met anyone over the age of 13 that likes it. (Besides me, I mean.)
One minor drawback to daydreaming about owning this ridiculously fast rocketship of a bike is that not only is it painted with the fancy sponsor colors (what the hell does Repsol sell anyway? I have no idea) but the the bikes is supposedly built for smaller riders. In other words I might not fit comfortably. (I'm only six feet tall but this bike is described as "Dani Pedrosa sized" - Pedrosa, a Honda rider, is 5' 2"; most other riders are not quite so petite, but 6 feet might be too big for this bike.)
I don't know for sure because I have a funny feeling that if I actually went to the dealer and sat on this bike (or the GSXR-1000, which is awesome even with it's fugly exhaust) I might end up riding it home. Which would not be a good. It would be totally bitchin, but it would not be good. Amiright?
05 August 2009
Bike is out of the shop (again) and running great. This is good news.
I refuse to do another political post. The Obama = Socialism idiocy is just plain dumb. But so is the national health care plan. There's no room in the middle - you're stuck defending the government cheese Democrats on the left from the neocon retards on the right because neither position delivers a workable solution to the problem.
We will return to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.
31 July 2009
The author of the article had to be laughing when he wrote this part:
New York-based Human Rights Watch called for an investigation.
“The Nigerian authorities must act immediately to investigate and hold to account all those responsible for this unlawful killing and any others associated with the recent violence in northern Nigeria,” said Corinne Dufka, the group’s senior West Africa researcher.
And followed it up with this:
However, it was unclear whether Yusuf’s death would end the violence or inspire revenge attacks by the group, also known as the Boko Haram sect, which seeks the imposition of strict Sharia in the country.
Strict sharia law is ALL ABOUT limiting your human rights. Soooo... human rights watch is up in arms (figuratively speaking, natch) about killing someone... who was trying to limit human rights. Maybe Corinne Bufka should have just gone to Nigeria and tried to hug it out? Radical islamic militants are usually so amenable to peaceable solutions. Wait... Bufka might not be a muslim and therefore is unclean, so maybe hugs aren't such a good idea.
Is this thing on? Helloooooooooo????
My friend took this picture of a toad dominating Nicaragua. I think had to break eye contact or the toad was going to smack him.
In baseball news there's been a lot of hand-wringing about the (supposedly confidential and anonymous) drug test results that say some MLB players tested positive for steroids in 2003. Leaving out the part where the players participating were told the results would never be released - who cares if they tested positive for drugs that may or may not have even been banned? Not me. It's just a big bunch of hot air being blown around because there's nothing else to talk about in sports this time of year.
When the players come up for HoF induction the judgy sportswriters ("bitter because they're ugly and the pay sucks" - thanks Ufford) will sit in judgment and decide whether or not players who may or may not have taken drugs should be allowed in. The guidelines even say that they should be judges of "character":
5. Voting: Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.
Here's the thing: Sportswriters are not qualified to judge sportsmanship, character and integrity. This should not be a popularity contest. Just watch them play baseball and decide, based on their performance, if they are worthy. You're either good enough or you aren't (and you might get in anyway*).
What, you think drugs are cheating and 'cheaters' should forfeit eligibility? Well, I've got news for you: there's a long and wonderful history of 'cheating' in baseball, and it's not enough to keep you out of the HoF. Not even close. Plus: drugs aren't as cheaty as you might think: many of the drugs that Bonds, McGwire, et. al. took weren't even banned until after they stopped taking them. How can you call them cheaters retroactively? If you're going to do that you can do the same with greenies, which were way, way more common than muscle-builders and HGH, and introduced decades ago.
*I could do a whole post on this short linked slice of bullshit from Tom Verducci but it's been done better by others and I'm busy. Verducci summarizes (in one paragraph!) several reasons why HoF balloting is a complete joke. 8 all star teams! Wow! That guy is amazing! [wanking motion]
29 July 2009
The citizens of this great country elected George W. Bush to presidential office. Twice. Then tens of millions of them voted for a ticket with Sarah Palin.
Showing some sense and electing Barack Obama does not get them off the hook for 8 years of epic, willful stupidity. Who cares what the polls say? Not me.
This video made me laugh. Also, the drummer of the Roots (?uestlove?) is the coolest motherfucker I've seen on TV in years. P. Diddly-Doo should take a lesson from that cat on what cool really is.
Went to Vegas for the weekend. It was fun. This is the best picture from the trip. I'm not in it, which is not a coincidence.
It captures everything that's excellent about a Vegas hotel elevator: mediocre girl trying to pull herself together after a long night, my friend Ben taking a self-portrait, and random guy caught in the act on the way to his hotel room. I laughed.
In unrelated news I got the new Blackberry Tour. I've had it for 24 hours and I'm not a fan. I'm returning it today. It has tons of features and it's a beautiful phone but it's not for me.
Sorry I don't have more to share. I'm not in the mood. I'll do better tomorrow. Get excited.
22 July 2009
Something to remember the next time you're thinking about trying a new restaurant, or maybe taking a trip somewhere new and want to know of a good place to eat.
Link to the blog, and link to the full-page map.
Way to plus it, internet!
21 July 2009
20 July 2009
Giant wieners can do a lot of damage, it seems. Just look at what happened today in Racine, WI. There, the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile penetrated a home's closed garage door in a decidedly non-consensual manner.
Fox6Now.com reports that the Wienermobile's driver took a wrong turn down a dead-end street. Subsequently faced with a scenario in which there was nowhere to stick the enormous 27-foot wiener, she decided to back up the street and start fresh. Unfortunately, she mistakenly hit the accelerator instead of the brake, a course of action that simply did not cut the mustard. In the end, it was a long day filled with hard lessons, as demonstrated in the attached photo gallery.
18 July 2009
Most sea creatures are very shy and retiring - they either ignore you or want to get away as quickly as possible. Almost all wild animals are like that. The ones that aren't wary are dangerous. To you. Take, for example, the Humboldt squid. It will just swim up and check you out:
Roger Uzun, a veteran scuba diver and amateur underwater videographer, swam with a swarm of the creatures for about 20 minutes and said they appeared more curious than aggressive. The animals taste with their tentacles, he said, and seemed to be touching him and his wet suit to determine if he was edible.
Just want to let you know that if an animal is swimming up to me to check if I'm edible I'm getting out of the water RIGHT FUCKING NOW.
Image courtesy/copyright MBARI, which I'm guessing is the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, but I'm too lazy to check for sure. Article here.
17 July 2009
Who said the video and text had to go together? I got my bike back yesterday. That took a lot longer than it needed to since the shop had let the battery die and (more egregiously) let me ride it away with a dead battery so that it stalled out and died after I got about a 1/4 mile down the block. Mmm... summer in Santa Ana... who wants to push a 400 lb. motorcycle in boots/jeans/jacket/gloves/helmet/backpack? I could have taken the gloves off and maybe the jacket, I guess, but there was nowhere to put my super fancy helmet. So I walked it back. Bikes don't roll all that well, btw, and although there's roughly the same amount of sharp bits on my motorcycle as there are on a bicycle, they stick out farther, and that's a crucial point when you're muscling the bike up a small hill and want to get your weight over the middle of it so you don't tip over. Footpegs become your bitter enemy. As do previously inconsequential changes in terrain.
Eventually we got it sorted and now I'm back to riding again. Need to get the decals off the bodywork. They're ugly. Besides that all's well that ends well. See you on the road.
13 July 2009
It's been unpleasantly hot and sweaty in my office b/c the AC is not working right. So that rules.
Here's something funny from wwtdd - it's adult in nature but you're a grown up and you can take it. When the bike gets out of the shop I will post pictures and blah blah blah.
Latin chicks are always tan and they have gorgeous long hair, but they’re all nuts. It’s a terrible combination. They’re super hot, but they’ll also stab you. Thankfully many of them have no tits and a big ass so even if they’re hot it’s not a problem. If you see one with a nice ass and big tits, beware. That’s natures warning sign to stay back, like how cobras do that thing with their neck.
I tried to find some good pictures from 4th of July but I'm over it. I'll try harder tomorrow. Maybe.
10 July 2009
The recent heartbreak of the bike crash (not my fault - other party assumed 100% liability, thanks for asking) has not prevented me from buying bike-related stuff. Case in point, this superbly kickass Belstaff 'Snetterton' motorcycle jacket I ordered from Urban Rider.
The brand is unusual in that you can't buy their leather jackets here in the states at all. I had mine shipped from London. You can find some of their textile jackets here and those are awesome for places where you actually have weather but I live in Southern California and I'd be the first person to tell you that the seasons I get down here are sunny and hot, sunny and cool, then partly cloudy followed by sunny and cool. So no need for much in the way of technical outerwear (close friends will point out that this hasn't prevented me from acquiring a stack of North Face and similar jackets in my closet, at which point I am compelled to remind you that sometimes I travel to places where it is cold, though only reluctantly).
In any case, this thing is effing awesome and I emailed Urban Rider to tell them so. They said thanks and let me know that they had not shipped one to California before, so as far as they know, I'm one of the only people here that has one. Which rules.
Though the jacket is surprisingly heavy, it looks the business and includes armor in the shoulder and elbows and protective padding on the back. You don't really notice how heavy it is once you get it on. I hope I never end up needing the protective stuff - I just love it because it looks cool on and off the bike.