30 July 2010

Well that's just about the coolest thing I've seen today - '76 CB750 Cafe Racer

Occasionally I troll the interwebs looking for motorcycles, because motorcycles > just about anything and even though I'm not in the market for a bike (a guy with no garage of his own isn't allowed to have more than one motorcycle) I know people that are looking for bikes and ask me about bikes and blah blah blah. Who cares? Motorcycles are awesome. 

I've been browsing cafe racers, especially mid-70s Honda's that have been converted into cafes. There's a big subculture surrounding these bikes. You can get a CB350 for a song, and they are awesome as long as you (or someone you know well) can do the work, you're not too particular about how consistently it starts, and you don't plan to take it on the freeway. I'm a bigger fan of the CB750, because it's got a little more snap and I think they look cooler. They also have a reputation for for being more reliable than the same-era Norton's and Triumphs (although the British bikes have more cred). And they're affordable, where the Triumphs and Nortons cost a fortune.

There's a guy not far from me that does some fantastic work on CB750 cafes. He's not much for web design but he does jaw-dropping work on bikes: http://www.cb750cafe.com/bikes.php?cat=1&PHPSESSID=aca4f00818f06bb48f6858699af4867a

And also here: http://www.cb750cafe.com/bikes.php?cat=2&id=88

Pictured is a bike I found on clist that made me do some serious reconsideration of my no garage / one bike rule. Can't believe you can get something that cool for $5000 (I know it says $5500 but I bet if you showed up with $5k the guy would take it). I'm pretty sure I'm not cool enough to own it so I sent it to a rocker friend of mine. He's in the same boat as me, so I'll have to admire it from afar. If i weren't getting my eyes fixed next week I MIGHT have to go take a look at it (pun intended).

Sharing is caring

One of the only pics from Vegas that isn't awkwardly stupid-looking. Why am I standing so close to Jay? Because I just got done saying something inappropriate about someone at stage left, and didn't want them to hear me.

I went with the same hat/glasses combo as last year. Also duplicated my prodigious hangover.

General consensus was that we probably should have shared some of the booze. It wasn't that we didn't try, it just ended up that when we felt like sharing no one was having it, and when people wanted to share, we weren't having it. By the end of the day we were making up our minimum spend with chicken strips and surplus pitchers of blended mojito.

Good times. 

29 July 2010

Not a coincidence that the placename includes the word 'Hell'

Was all set to write some jokes and post some pictures, but I don't feel funny today.
Courtesy guardian.co.uk

I'll be back tomorrow with something less sobering, more entertaining.

27 July 2010

Made it back from Vegas; couple pictures but nothing significant to report

Made it back from Vegas in one piece. Long day at the pool. Good time was had by all. Pretty quiet trip, all things considered. That's if you count spending the day at the pool drinking as 'quiet'. Stories and photos to follow tomorrow or the next day. For now you'll have to enjoy the unintended irony of someone at SI.com failing on an image caption for a college brand.

'Sleaker' is not a word. Sleeker, as in 'more sleek', is a word. I feel bad for whatever intern is responsible. I've made a few glaring typos of my own. The first I remember, in seventh grade, was on the title of a book report on the The Annals of the Black Company.  Anyway, I left out the second 'n' in 'Annals' on the title page of my report. Awkward much? Teacher got a big laugh out of it.

23 July 2010

Vegas is good for you

It's time again for the Responsibly Irresponsible / Emotionally Unavailable tour to take their show on the road. 

That means another quiet, introspective day at the MGM Wet Republic pool. Nothing says introspection like an enormous bar tab. I think I'll be wearing the same hat and sunglasses this year. Gotta get new boardshorts though. Look for the whitest guy at the pool; that is Spencer. I'll be standing next to him.

Reason for visit: Friend/roommate/landlord  Spencer is celebrating closure on his divorce. Finally got his papers signed. I feel like we've come full circle since I remember his bachelor party pretty well.

Weather Forecast for Saturday in Vegas: Sunny and hot with a chance of hangover.

Update and pics on my return.

22 July 2010

Fanfare of trumpets!

It's semi-gallimaufry time today. Get. Effing. Excited.

First things first, I haven't watched the show Glee, mostly because - how to put this? - I'm insufficiently fabulous. Too busy doing masculine guy stuff, like riding motorcycles in color-coordinated leather outfits and rolling around with sweaty dudes in my spare time.

Wait, what?

Anyway, the version of Don't Stop Believin' by the Glee Cast is blowing up the intertubes. Apparently the Journey die-hards are hating it, and the tweens are loving it. I heard it on the satellite radio in the rental car. I'm a big fan of the original, but I'm also loving the new version. Video embedded below.

Here's the thing: The song is f*cking awesome. I've sung it with friends in shite bars all over the world. I've sung it by myself in the car. My friend Sam, who works in the music business and is as cynical a music snob as you'll ever meet, said that the highlight of SXSW two years ago was when Badly Drawn Boy covered it to close out his show. Badly Drawn Boy. The hipsters didn't know what to do with themselves. The record execs rolled their eyes. Sam went ballistic. Sure it's cheesy, but cheese is delicious. So the haters should relax a little. New version is not better. New version is new.

Moar raves: finished a superb story this week, from which I cribbed the title of this post. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. This is on many best-of lists for 2009, but if you're looking for some light summer reading it just came out in paperback. It's at least as good as Girl with Dragon Tattoo, but with a lot less rape and incest. So that's nice.

21 July 2010

And you thought you were a big deal

Briefly, because I'm busy, the brightest star ever recorded was found hiding behind some other stars in an adjacent galaxy. Just in case you thought you were important.

Go to the guardian for the full workup.

And also here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/jul/21/monster-bright-star-r136a1-astronomers

20 July 2010

Get the word out - Bespoke pencil sharpening from David Rees

Regular, boring pencil sharpening getting you down? Well you're in luck. David Rees, mentioned in this space before because he's funny and smart, is offering to sharpen your pencil. No, really. Because why the hell not? People pay $5 for a cup of coffee and $4 for a bottle of stuff they can get for free pretty much everywhere (e.g.: water) so this sounds like a pretty good business idea to me.

This is for real. Take it away, David:
 [Source, with my thanks]

1. What's your artistic process like?
"Some people ask me, 'Are you going to have an electric sharpener and just shove pencils in it all day, like a factory?' No. The whole point is that I'm going to have an authentic, honest-to-God encounter with your pencil. I'm not going to be absentminded. I want to get these things fucking sharp as shit. And when you get it back, you're like, 'Whoa. It's actually vaguely menacing how sharp this thing is.'"

2. Why does it cost so much?
"It's not like I'm rich and can just afford to do these whimsical things. I priced all of this out. I'm sure there's somebody in India who could sharpen your pencil for $8. But if you want authentic American craftsmanship, $12.50 per pencil. That's how much quality costs these days. Also, it just felt like how much someone would charge if this were a real thing. Which it is now, I guess."

3. Why are you doing this?
"One of my inspirations was a guy I went to high school with who is a classical guitar builder. I mean, talk about a lost art. Building high-end, classical guitars from scratch. Bending the wood, making the rosettes. You really get to know the instrument you're building. You really take your time. You've done it all. It's this absorbing, meditative process. Now, am I saying that me sharpening a pencil is the equivalent of him spending hundreds of hours building a guitar? Fuck it. Yeah, I am."

19 July 2010

Which button do you push to call your parents to come pick you up?

Video below is one of my all-time favorite bits from the old Conan.

Favorite line (from title) appears about 7 minutes in. You can skip to it, but you'll miss some classic nerd insults if you do. I'm a nerd's nerd, so maybe this stuff makes me laugh because it hits close to home? Not sure. Full disclosure: photo evidence notwithstanding, I wasn't much of a Star Wars obsessive. And I have kissed a girl. (I know, I couldn't believe it either.)

Triumph The Insult Comic Dog - Star Wars
Uploaded by ZaraV. - Watch more comedy videos and sitcoms.

16 July 2010

Is it cheating if you don't get caught? What about if everyone else is doing it?

Lance Armstrong is having a bad tour. It happens. He's old. His team isn't as strong as it used to be. But mostly he's past it. "Athletes die twice" is a cliche but it's also brutal truth.

What is fascinating to me at this point is that the cheating allegations, many from questionable sources, are getting worse. For a long time I thought Armstrong might not be doping. My friend that did some competitive lower-division cycling in France scoffed at my naivete. He told me flat out that his friends that were moving up to the elite-level ranks were all doping, and that even the winning riders at the lower level were doing the minor-league equivalent of whatever doping drugs were available. It was impossible to compete without it. I had no firsthand knowledge so I gave Armstrong the benefit of the doubt. Now? Not so much.

Steven Leavitt weighs in and asks, how is it possible that all these teams were cheating and Armstrong managed to beat them all? Because there is a direct correlation between doping and improved performance in cycling. If you take the drugs, you go faster, recover better, etc. Somehow Armstrong managed to crush all these guys for SEVEN YEARS and he did it without doping? Does he know something they don't? I doubt that.

More likely: Armstrong dominated by combining his iron will and discipline with the latest doping programs. Sort of like Barry Bonds did when he was on the juice. Both athletes were already world-class, but the added benefit of the drugs pushed them to new heights of performance. Barry Bonds with his 1.438 OPS (!!!!!!), and Armstrong with his 7 tour wins.

I don't much care if Armstrong took drugs or not. The point of a race is to go as fast as you can. If you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'. He put himself at great physical risk, and maybe some kid somewhere will be surprised when the evidence for Armstrong's doping becomes irrefutable. (The same kid was probably bummed when he found out about Santa Claus.) On the other hand, winning all those tours made him one of the most famous people in the country, and one of the world's most famous cyclists. People have done far worse for quite a lot less.

Put it on my read list

Looks like some light summer reading:


Product description:
William Shatner? William Shatner. WILLIAM SHATNER!!! It's the first ShatnerCon with William Shatner as the guest of honor! But after a failed terrorist attack by Campbellians, a crazy terrorist cult that worships Bruce Campbell, all of the characters ever played by William Shatner are suddenly sucked into our world. Their mission: hunt down and destroy the real William Shatner.

Featuring: Captain Kirk, TJ Hooker, Denny Crane, Rescue 911 Shatner, Singer Shatner, Shakespearean Shatner, Twilight Zone Shatner, Cartoon Kirk, Esperanto Shatner, Priceline Shatner, SNL Shatner, and - of course - William Shatner!

That's two Shatner posts in one week. Probably two too many, if we're honest. But really, how can Real Life Shatner ever raise a hand to Star Trek Shatner? That guy put a hurting on the Gorn.

15 July 2010

Scared of heights?

I'm not a huge fan of heights. They give me the heebie jeebies. Makes rock climbing an adventure since I'm even more frightened than most people (it's still fun though).

Anyway, this guy is doesn't have that issue: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2010/jul/15/norway#/?picture=364917921&index=0

He's not doing anything substantially different than a free climber. But it's still kind of cool to do a handstand. They are not easy.

14 July 2010

It's true; I did the research

You can't even turn on your computer right now without seeing one of these Old Spice ads but whatever. They're still funny.

Here's another recent favorite:

13 July 2010

Periodic Table of Swearing (UK Edition)

We love periodic tables of all types here at GJAW. This periodic table of swearing is the UK version, so they have the c-word, a word so severe that I reserve its use for only the most vile applications (such as my friends' ex-wives), set as element number 1. They take a different approach across the pond.

My favorite element? Number 58 - Lra, "Looking like a right arsehole."

Followed closely by number 57 (Lob: Load of bollocks) and 72 (Cfb: Christ on a fucking bike).


Wait, I'm on a bike too...

In response to this slice of awesome, some guy commented "i'm on a bike too." Which is a funny coincidence, because I'm also on a bike. Regular readers will remember that from my previous post.

In any case, I guess we're 'sensual bike friends of (b)romance'. It's way better than being bike bros.

12 July 2010

They make them tough out there on Gorn

Legendary fight scene from original Star Trek. I can't imagine that this ever passed for suspenseful television, even in it's original run. Instead it's campy cheese of the highest order. So much win here:
  • Why is the Gorn so slow?
  • Why are they in Malibu Canyon?
  • Why is there a weird light on the rock behind J.T. Kirk when he's looking at the ground?
  • How is that the Gorn goes to give him a hug but can't bite his face off, but then he picks up a rock the size of a vw bug and hurls it into the air?
  • Why is Kirk so damn sexy?

09 July 2010

So Much Pun, courtesy Reuters

Yeah I know it's a lame gay/dick joke but unless this is your first visit you can't be surprised. What, you expected some kind of sophisticated analysis? Cogent discourse? This is the internet! It says 'gay' and 'dix'. HONK! Get it? Hey, is this thing on?

If you liked that you'll love this: http://somuchpun.com/

Hat tip to Scott. He dominates the intarwebs.

Also, this happened

Fabulous Friday part deux!

Back to back awesome today. I see a void in your world and I'm here to help.

My favorite: When they call the 24/7 tech support hotline and the guy with the Indian accent says "That is very interesting."

When are they going to get one of these for the xbox360? Oh, they already have one and it's called xboxlive? Oh. I had no idea; I never used the headset while I was pwning n00bs.*

Unrelated: they have a 'windows' store at the mall. You should see it. It's just as depressing as Fry's, but much better lit.

New Apple Friend Bar Gives Customers Someone To Talk At About Mac Products

* Not strictly true.

Fabulous Friday!

If this isn't the most fabulous thing you've seen all week then I don't know you.

Did something happen in NBA free agency yesterday? I hadn't heard, since I've been busy paying attention to things that are interesting, like world cup soccer and what I'm going to wear tomorrow.

Video courtesy the (usually lame) link dump on SI. But they were good for two videos today, so that's fun.

"I've seen the future and it's much like the present, only longer"

Quote courtesy Dan Quisenberry.
Got a kick out of it. So I put it in the title.

Also thought this analysis of the Dutch team was very astute:
"It appears that Robben and Van Bommel have perfected soccer powers antithetical to each other," theorizes Subash from Chicago. "Robben's gift is in drawing a foul, often when there is none, and Van Bommel seems unable to be whistled for a foul despite repeatedly committing them."

Very true.

Not sure how those two 'gifts' will play out in the game on Sunday but I want the Dutch to win. Not sure how they are going to beat Spain, though. They haven't played well enough so far. They will have to get a bit lucky and also get a performance from Robin van Persie, who hasn't done dick in the tournament yet. The issue isn't that they have to keep a lid on Villa, it's that they have to somehow break down the brutally efficient Spanish back line. Heard on the news that the back 8 (3 midfielders, back 4, goalie) have started every game together for the past couple years or 50 games or some similar nonsense. Every. Game. On top of that they are really, really good. Lucky for the Netherlands their midfield players are better than ze Germans, and their wide players are a LOT better (esp. since Muller was out). Unless it's van Persie playing wide and doing nothing.

One last thing about Robben: he's got to be one of the most annoying players I've ever seen. It's not only that he goes to ground like a whimpering baby at the slightest contact. That's SOP for lots of players. The annoying thing is that he's very, very strong on the ball. Exceptionally so for a winger. He's a beast, like Didier Drogba, not a waif like Torres or a midget like Villa (5' 7" in his cleats). That is why the Brazil players hated him so much: because he was a barbarian away from the ball, and then when he got touched he would collapse. It would get a bit tedious, donchathink?

Prediction: Holland 2 - 1 Spain

If it goes to pens again this year I will be bitter.

08 July 2010

Better than porn: van Bronckhorst's Goal

I've been trying to find this online but it's copyright protected and as such not available on youtube or similar. So I had to go all the way to Russia*. Special delivery from Sergei Sovietikov.

Goal of the World Cup (so far), and not likely to be topped since almost all the players tend to launch this ball into the stratosphere. Except Diego Forlan and van Bronckhorst.

* Actually I found it on the yahoo soccer blog, which is pretty good.

07 July 2010

If it ain't Dutch, it ain't much

Backing the Netherlands to win on Sunday.
Just going on record early.

I was wrong about Spain beating Germany so what do I know? Not much, as any of my friends will tell you.

Gallimaufry time!

We're all over the place today.
First things first, some jackass stole my sunglasses, earphones, and gym card (??) from my car. When it was parked in front of my house. In the leafy suburbs. So that means I get the inconveniences of living in the suburbs (shitty commute, can't walk anywhere, lame neighbors, shitty food, no nightlife) AND the inconveniences of living in the city (petty crime). Compounding the general irritation of having some punk steal my stuff from my car in a neighborhood full of $750,000 (and up) homes, my sunglasses were prescription. That means they were a) very expensive, and b) useless to anyone but me. So that happened. Just to be clear: San Clemente cops are available to write speeding tickets and parking tickets, but not available to protect you from, you know, actual crime. Is it a coincidence that tickets generate revenue, but crime does not? No it isn't. Fuck you very much, Sheriff's Department.

Adding additional financial insult I got my jaywalking ticket in the mail from when I jaywalked across an alley against a red light in Long Beach last month. $174. Not exaggerating when I tell you it was a single lane, three paces wide, at night, with no traffic (light was timed, so no cars coming). But I did break the law, and for that I will pay. Way to protect and serve, officer. Doubtless there were no other laws being broken that deserved your time and attention. Hardly any crime in Long Beach, anyway.

In more pleasant news, a simple recipe for bread pudding. The story of the recipe's origins warmed my heart. As for the recipe, they recommend brioche or pound cake, but I'd suggest a regular french bread. The brioche or pound cake would make a very, very heavy bread pudding. Bonus tip: Whatever you do, use a fresh-baked bread from your local bakery. Bagged-in-plastic breads are made with preservatives that prevent your bread from getting properly stale, which is what gives a good bread pudding a proper crispy/soggy texture. And invite me over if you make some. I love bread pudding. A lot.

01 July 2010

The man your man could park like

Email forwards are dumb. Unless you send me funny ish I haven't seen before, like this parking card. Then they're great.

I'm on a motorcycle (no, really, I rode to work today)

In the tradition of the similarly awesome I'm on a horse advert, we now have a man on a motorcycle. It's a vintage Honda, but you get the idea.