27 June 2011

The world I live in

Baby Girl is a big reader but it wears her out

Baby Girl and I hung out on Saturday. I had to attend a wedding on Saturday night and needed to have a lie down before I got dressed and cut some rug.

Anyway, Baby Girl felt like maybe she could also use some quiet time, so this was my view on the couch. Love that dog.

In unrelated news, my friend the Peez sent me the following text today (this is verbatim):

I just had to take a huge crap and my zipper got stuck on my suit pants- so I couldn't pull them down. Problems.

Can't say I've been there, but it sounds distressing. Luckily he has been working out a lot, dropped a couple ell bees lately, and was able to shimmy out of his slacks before any Unpleasantness. Aren't you glad we talked about it? Yeah me too.

Cookie break

Somehow this eluded me.
Big thanks to Sonz for the tip, and Sweet Katie for enjoying this almost as much as I do.

PS. I love cookies.

Beer shopping

Party Cat is checking beer temp
Big party on 2nd July at friend Jeff's house. He was nice enough to throw a party so I said I'd buy the beer. Had to order a keg and wasn't sure which type of beer to get so I consulted the Oracle of the Intertubes and Party Cat seems to indicate that Miller Lite is the first choice, followed by PBR, and maybe Leffe (a personal favorite) if you want to go upscale. Leffe is a bit heavy for beer pong and PBR only tastes good if you're drinking it in Long Beach or at Thanksgiving dinner so: Miller Lite it is.

Note that Party Cat isn't actually my cat. I live with a dog right now, and she's more the bookish type. (Pictures to follow.)

23 June 2011

Four wheels is two too many (unless it's two bikes)

Note: I said 'two too', not 'tutu'.

After hitting the road ride spin classes on the regular for the past several months I've gotten good enough at turning the pedals over that my friends and instructor are trying to get me on a road bike. There's a lot of crossover between motorcycling and cycling, so I'm tempted to try it. (The fat kid was a serious mountain bike rider through high-school, after which there were too many distractions.)

My power to weight ratio is above average (not least of which because I have thighs that would be the envy of a speed skater or a Virginia ham). That helps on the flat, but it's not helpful going uphill, an issue compounded by the fact that, unlike many serious cyclists, my upper body doesn't look like I'm malnourished. Stamina is decent, at least for the first 20 miles. You care.

Anyway, the problem with trying to ride a real bike is that a spin bike is not, you know, a real bike. I am reminded of an expression that rowers use when someone pulls a superhuman time on the erg machine: "Ergs don't float". And spin bikes don't roll. Hence the skepticism. In spite of all that my roommate is the same size as me and he's got a road bike just collecting dust in the garage, so I figure I'll take it out for a trip around the hood some time in the next couple weeks. I'll let you know how badly I flail.

The following is lifted straight from this blog: http://surlybikes.com/blog/some_answers_to_just_about_any_bike_forum_post_ive_ever_read/ and I liked it. So here you go.

If you think your bike looks good, it does.

If you like the way your bike rides, it’s an awesome bike.

You don’t need to spend a million dollars to have a great bike, but if you do spend a million dollars and know what you want you’ll probably also have a great bike.

Yes, you can tour on your bike – whatever it is.

Yes, you can race on your bike – whatever it is.

Yes, you can commute on your bike – whatever it is.

26” wheels or 29” or 650b or 700c or 24” or 20” or whatever – yes, that wheel size is rad and you’ll probably get where you’re going.

Disc brakes, cantis, v-brakes, and road calipers all do a great job of stopping a bike when they’re working and adjusted.

No paint job makes everyone happy.

Yes, you can put a rack on that. Get some p-clamps if there are no mounts.

Steel is a great material for making bike frames - so is aluminum, carbon fiber, and titanium.

You can have your saddle at whatever angle makes you happy.

Your handlebars can be lower than your saddle, even with your saddle, or higher than your saddle. Whichever way you like it is right.

Being shuttled up a downhill run does not make you a weak person, nor does choosing not to fly off of a 10 foot drop.

Bike frames made overseas can be super cool. Bike frames made in the USA can be super cool.

Hey, tattooed and pierced long shorts wearin flat brim hat red bull drinkin white Oakley sportin rad person on your full suspension big hit bike – nice work out there.

Hey, little round glasses pocket protector collared shirt skid lid rear view mirror sandal wearing schwalbe marathon running pletscher two-leg kickstand tourist – good job.

Hey, shaved leg skinny as hell super duper tan line hear rate monitor checking power tap train in the basement all winter super loud lycra kit million dollar wheels racer – keep it up.

The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

The following short answers are good answers, but not the only ones for the question asked – 29”, Brooks, lugged, disc brake, steel, Campagnolo, helmet, custom, Rohloff, NJS, carbon, 31.8, clipless, porteur.

No bike does everything perfectly. In fact, no bike does anything until someone gets on it to ride.

Sometimes, recumbent bikes are ok.

Your bikeshop is not trying to screw you. They’re trying to stay open.

Buying things off of the internet is great, except when it sucks.

Some people know more about bikes than you do. Other people know less.

Maybe the person you waved at while you were out riding didn’t see you wave at them.

It sucks to be harassed by assholes in cars while you’re on a bike. It also sucks to drive behind assholes on bikes.

Did you build that yourself? Awesome. Did you buy that? Cool.

Wheelies are the best trick ever invented. That’s just a fact.

Which is better, riding long miles, or hanging out under a bridge doing tricks? Yes.

Yes, you can break your collar bone riding a bike like that.

Stopping at stop signs is probably a good idea.

Driving with your bikes on top of your car to get to a dirt trail isn’t ideal, but for most people it’s necessary.

If your bike has couplers, or if you have a spendy bike case, or if you pay a shop to pack your bike, or if you have a folding bike, shipping a bike is still a pain in the ass for everyone involved.

That dent in your frame is probably ok, but maybe it’s not. You should get it looked at.

Touch up paint always looks like shit. Often it looks worse than the scratch.

A pristine bike free of dirt, scratches, and wear marks makes me sort of sad.

A bike that’s been chained to the same tree for three years caked with rust and missing parts makes me sad too.

Bikes purchased at Wal-mart, Target, Costco, or K-mart are generally not the best bang for your buck.

Toe overlap is not the end of the world, unless you crash and die – then it is.

Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.

Yes, you can buy a bike without riding it first. It would be nice to ride it first, but it’s not a deal breaker not to.

Ownership of a truing stand does not a wheel builder make.

32 spokes, 48 spokes, 24 spokes, three spokes? Sure.

Single speed bikes are rad. Bikes with derailleurs and cassettes are sexy. Belt drive internal gear bikes work great too.

Columbus, TruTemper, Reynolds, Ishiwata, or no brand? I’d ride it.

Tubeless tires are pretty cool. So are tubes.

The moral of RAGBRAI is that families and drunken boobs can have fun on the same route, just maybe at different times of day.

Riding by yourself kicks ass. You might also try riding with a group.

Really fast people are frustrating, but they make you faster. When you get faster, you might frustrate someone else.

Stopping can be as much fun as riding.

Lots of people worked their asses off to build whatever you’re riding on. You should thank them.

21 June 2011

More football!

I know that about half the readership (that's ~5 of you) aren't terribly interested in the football stories. I encourage you to come back tomorrow for a post on ridiculous wars on ideas/concepts. If you just want some good old-fashioned funny then give it an extra day.

The NYT gives FIFA crony Jack Warner the benefit of an investigative report. As anyone who even kind of follows international football already knows, FIFA is corrupt. In evidence I submit: Qatar and the 2022 world cup.

And also this:

In other news Clint Dempsey decided to show up for the game against Jamaica. He played very well, scored a goal and was generally threatening throughout the game. He made a lot of noise about his detractors after the game; not sure why. If you're a disgrace to the USMNT jersey then you can expect to hear about it. On the other hand, if you play well, then you should expect to hear about that too. Got to take the rough with the smooth, homie.

I think the final is this weekend? Can't remember. Check your local listings.

17 June 2011

I enjoy an econ lesson as much as the next econ-loving non-economist

Robert Reich gives you a quick summary on the current economic situation. Here's a hint: it's not good.

How did GW and his ilk convince people the middle class to vote against their own interests? Two ways:

1. As John Updike pointed out, there are no poor Americans, everyone thinks they are 'down and out millionaires'.
2. The GOP aligned itself as the party of religious piety, enabling them to capture large numbers of voters whose middle-class interests they promptly ignored.

Which is not to say that the Democratic party is any great shakes at this point. The major parties are two sides of the same coin. But the hypocrisy of the GOP (pro-business) is more blatantly ridiculous than the lazy corruption of the Democrats (pro-union) because the GOP tries to sell themselves as folksy. Just admit you're the Kochtopus and get on with it.

In summary: people are stupid.

16 June 2011

My kind of flight attendant

Loved this video way too much.

(Special shout-out to my football-loving readers.)

True story: John Spencer probably has more game than some of his current players.

Did anyone watch the USA vs. Guadeloupe (sp?) game earlier this week? The only goal that the mighty USA scored against that lowly Guadelope-ians was a very nice strike from Jozy "I like to take most of the game off" Altidore.

Altidore is mostly famous for being just good enough to remind me of how bad he is.

Clint Dempsey, easily the US best player besides Landycakes, decided to pout and shart his way through the entire 90+ minutes. The late missed opportunity he had cleared off the line? I could have finished that. I usually don't make those kinds of statements because I think it diminishes how difficult it actually is to play the game. But if you watch it I think you'll agree: it was a sharting. I watched it again and I agree that Dempsey is a showboating jackass, and that sort of thing only works well when delivering a result. Which he didn't.

Bob Bradley needs to be replaced. I didn't think his contract should have been renewed after the last world cup and hasn't done anything to dissuade me from that opinion since then. You care.

Can we get John Spencer in the job? It would be good if only to see what he said to Dempsey after that missed goal opportunity.

13 June 2011

I've been there

So good I can't stand it.

This has been kicking around the interwebs for a while but it's the first I've seen of it. shirt.woot is it's own subculture. I used to stop by woot every day and see what they had on offer but I've lost interest. There's only so much stuff I can look at (and don't have any use for). I bought a blender from there that is still in its original box. That was at maybe 2.5 years ago. To be fair I moved in with a guy that already had a fancy blender and thus no use for mine. But I didn't have much use for my fancy blender either before I got there. I am 100% sure it would make epic milkshakes if given the opportunity, so I'm going to keep it for a while longer.

Long-time readers know how I feel about Cookie Monster. Cookie is definitely good enough for me, is what I'm saying.

10 June 2011

Trash talk knows no boundaries

This guy's English is better than my German.
I laughed.

09 June 2011

Full set of photos from track day

Because racebike
I didn't post the link to the full set of photos. I did email them, but in the event you aren't on the email list and can't get enough motorcycle...

// formatting issues //

... here you go: https://picasaweb.google.com/casey.farley/FontanaInfieldTrackDay7June2011?authkey=Gv1sRgCJmYz7e0hIm0ZQ&feat=directlink

Working late

I had to work late for that other thing but here's a superb Iron & Wine song.

Not a big fan of the image they used for the video but the sound quality is the best available on the internet. The song appears on the record Around the Well, which is a collection of B-sides and outtakes. No idea why this didn't make it to a regular record.
Anyway, this is one of my favorites. If/when I post video of me riding a motorcycle I'll score it with engine noise or, if that's not available, this. Because that would be funny.

Pwning some n00bs

Hit the track again this week. That's yours truly showing another n00b how to get somewhere on a motorcycle.

Body position makes a difference; I can go faster in the corner because hanging off enables the bike to stand up straighter, increasing the contact patch, and also enabling me to get on the throttle sooner. You care.

Not pictured: the mustache I've been working on. It's gotten kind of annoying, although it is awesome in a 70s sort of way. I went with the horseshoe, which I realized my father used to favor back in the day. (It's a distant memory, and as such a bit unreliable, but I think it's accurate.) It definitely makes me look like a cracker. Or the guy from Reno 911. Because I wear aviators all the time. It all looks a more than a bit ridiculous, which is the point. Still not sure if I'll make it to the 4th of July. That is serious commitment.

05 June 2011

Food for thought

I'll have some actual words about this tomorrow. Right now you can enjoy the link direct: http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/2011/06/the-armstrong-era/

02 June 2011

Didn't see that coming

(Apologies for celcam image quality - the flower is purple, I promise)
Long-time readers will remember when my roommate was cleaning up the dog poop and threw up in the koi pond. Never a dull moment around my house. Anyway, the fish didn't seem to mind but during the winter all the plants in the pond that aren't weeds pretty much give up. All the lilies disappear and you wonder if they're ever going to come back. When the roommate last cleaned out the pond he left one potted plant completely submerged with only a feeble stalk to even indicate that there may have, at one time in the distant past, been a plant there.

So imagine my surprise this past weekend when the feeble stalk grew into several little lily pads and an actual flower (!!). So much beauty. Awwww...

In unrelated news I'm trying to grow a mustache for my friend's fourth of July party. I'm committed to the concept but good lord it's annoying and itchy to have all this fur on my face. Right now I'm rocking a feeble beard. If/when the 'stache parts fill in a little I'll trim the beard section down and see how it looks. So far it's looking decidedly entry-level. I'm not sure the finished product will be strong enough for Independence Day, or even if I will be able to see it all the way through. You care.