30 August 2011

Repost all up in this bitch: Dogs are awesome

This is repurposed from another website, who repurposed it from somewhere else. Original lives here: http://www.thedoghousediaries.com/?p=1321

I felt bad because when I left this morning I said goodbye to Baby Girl and she was unusually sad. What she didn't know is that I hid some treats around the house for her so that she has some fun surprises to discover later in the day. I'm nice like that.

29 August 2011

Consider the Lobster, by David Foster Wallace (read it free online!)

David Foster Wallace has featured prominently in this space before. He is my all-time favorite writer.

Found a link to one of his articles today, so I'm re-posting it here.


You can also find it in his book of the same name, via amazon. I think the book version is longer, if you're into that. I have a copy kicking around so let me know if you want to borrow it.

Effort matters

"Too... much... pasta..."
Just got back from my Italian vacation. More on that in a bit. Sonz had this link in my inbox for me to read, so I'm sharing it with you. Just a bit of inspiration to start your day.


In related news, I got a blister from walking around Lucca and I may have been kind of a little bitch about it. So now who's the asshole? --> this guy <--

(I didn't take that cat photo, but I could have. The towns I visited in Italy did a brisk business in extremely relaxed cats. It was rad.)

17 August 2011

For the cyclists: Danny MacAskill (yeah that's the correct spelling)

I guess this is pretty cool, if you're into insanely difficult stunts on two wheels.
The whole thing is just crazy awesome, but my favorite parts were the 180 from one side of the train tracks to the other, and then the bit where he balances his way down the steel cable. On a bike. Are you kidding? The whole video is beautifully framed and shot.

Not sure who chooses the music for his videos but it's nice that it's not all METAL MULISHA PUNCH ME IN THE FACE BECAUSE I'M SO TOUGH DETH METALLLL GRRRR. It's actually pretty good. Weird.

Aside: the person that posted the video below misspelled Danny MacAskill's name. Bust.
It's capital M, ac, capital A, skill.

Confirmed it on his website here: http://www.dannymacaskill.co.uk/ (Click through to see correct spelling; URLs are always all lower-case.)

Link to one of my all time favorite web videos here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cj6ho1-G6tw

Starting tomorrow I'll be out of town for 10 days on my Assassin's Creed Site Visit Tour of Pisa, Lucca, Cinque Terre, Florence, and Bologna in lovely Italy. I will post some photos and updates on that as best I can.
Thanks for reading.

16 August 2011

Well that's pretty much the best thing I heard today

Long-time readers will know of my deep and abiding affection for the muppets. In order, my favorite characters are: Beaker, Dr. Honeydew, Cookie Monster, the Swedish Chef, and Kermit.

It turns out there's a Muppets tribute album coming out. You can hear it early on NPR* (natch). It is perhaps telling that the list of contributing artists reads like my typical itunes playlist:
Alkaline Trio
Ok Go
Airborne Toxic Event
Andrew Bird
Rachel Yamagata 

Full link here:


If you don't want to sing along to the Weezer cover of Rainbow Connection I invite you to watch some muppets with a 6 year old. They will show you the way.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers, and me...

Thanks for reading.

* The promo sponsor for NPR during my listen was Pabst Blue Ribbon. That's what I call a hipster / muppet / nerd BULLSEYE.

15 August 2011

Long overdue good news: The US gov't might stop subsidizing ethanol

It's about damn time.
Actually it's way, way past time, but whatever.


I liked this part from the farmer that produces corn for ethanol:

Despite the increasingly negative public opinion on ethanol Schipper is just not ready to give up on it yet.

"Everything has turned on us, but ethanol is still a great thing," he said. "It's been good for us."

No it isn't a great thing you fucking moron. It's wildly, shamefully inefficient, awful for the planet, awful for the economy, awful for most taxpayers (excepting you and oil companies), and awful for the country. Get your shit together and grow food that people can eat. You only started growing the stuff in the first place because of artificial demand. Ugh.

12 August 2011

What are you looking at?

You know you want it.
Sturgis is this weekend or last weekend or maybe the week before that. You don't care and I'm too lazy to check. Point is, it's happening, and it's a big deal in the v-twin / custom bike building communities. I'm not really a fan of American v-twin (read: Harley Davidson, but could also mean Victory or anything that comes with a matching t-shirt) motorcycles in general, and 'custom' bikes in particular. They tend to sacrifice function for form. And by that I mean they are unrideable pieces of junk. Plus I've never thought Harley's were cool; I was always more into the speed racer bikes.

Anyway, the v-twin crowd is kind of awesome with their pirate-wear, and we have an excellent example here: Nothing goes together like shorts and a motorcycle, so here's a photo of a sexy Hardley rider from the intertubes. He's got all the bases covered: tight cutoff jeans (rolled up slightly, natch); custom pipes; short sleeved shirt (very protective in the event of a crash); half helmet (link to photos of half-helmet wearing crash victims redacted in deference to the fact that it is too gross); sort of boots with white socks; weird coyote skin (??) seat covering; come hither gaze.

If this guy saw me on my bike he would probably have a big laugh at my zany helmet, jacket, pants, gloves, and boots. And I would envy that he looked vaguely comfortable at a stoplight, because this time of year it's quite warm in all the gear. Not so warm that I would consider sitting on a dead coyote, but still pretty warm.

11 August 2011

The cat loves art; hot Italian summer

Two pieces of news today.

1. A while ago I got my friends a fun signed print from theoatmeal of a kitteh with gatling guns and a jetpack. I think it would take tardcat to the next level but I'm not sure it's in the budget. And I'm not sure tardcat is qualified to operate a Gatling gun. Her mom got a photo of tardcat reviewing the framed piece. It sort of goes with a small postcard I brought back from a museum in Madrid (not the Prado, the Museo Thyssen-Bournemisza). I'm artsy like that. Official word is that the cat approves.

b. I'm going to be out of town for about 10 days starting late next week. Taking a trip to Northern Italy, or, as I like to think of it, 'visiting some cities that I might recognize from Assassin's Creed'. I'll be in Pisa, Cinque Terra, Luca (sp?), Bologne (maybe), Florence and maybe some other places (but not Venice). Not sure. But I do know I'll be in Pisa and Florence. So that's something. I also know it'll be hot. Details and travel blog entries to follow. And then maybe photos. We'll see.

04 August 2011

The Readers Respond, part XI, plus special bonus science comic (for you scientists out there)

Anonymous reader anonymous says about the jam below:
fact: cheese makes everything more delicious

To which I respond: WHY. EEE. ESS. YES.

Resistance is futile. Just embrace it. You know you want to. REPEAT OFFENDER!*

In unrelated news, this comic about science arrived via the intertubes. I know ze Newbs will particularly enjoy it, since he is a scientist and when he takes a break from being a megagenius we occasionally discuss matters of a scientific nature, scientific discoveries, difficulties surrounding research of same, and similar. Or we talk about what douche he is. (It's either highbrow or lowbrow over here, if you hadn't figured that out already.)

*'Repeat offender' is when you listen to a track and then restart that shit again from the beginning. It's not done any more but back in the day, before the proliferation of dance tracks and electronic music and dance radio and cd's and electricity and running water and clean underpants and proper oral hygiene and pretty much everything we take for granted now, DJs would play the same song over and over again in a single set, either back to back or mix it in from different spots. The crowd would go nuts for it. On limited-press vinyl they would literally wear out the record, sometimes in a single night. True story. Is that awesome or what?

03 August 2011

Summer Anthems - Summit by Audible

I haven't really heard any instant megajamz so far this summer. Yeah there's been a parade of pretty good Adele remixes but nothing that has a fun, sunrise set flavor. (Not that I would know, since the last time I saw a sunrise set was a good long while ago, but whatever.) Until today, when I heard this. It's unsophisticated catchy fun, and makes me feel like partying. As with most good summer jams it'll be gone before you know it.

I've been load-testing the speakers for a couple days now and recommend you do the same. Some haters will frown on it because it's cheesy. They can eat a slice of shut up.

Track is by Audible, and it's called Summit (original mix). As I type this it's got only 321 youtube 'views'. So you're getting in early.

If you want to go all out you can buy it here: https://www.beatport.com/release/summit-league/389720

02 August 2011


In my yoga practice I frequently talk with people that are new to yoga and/or say stuff like "I can't do yoga, my flexibility is poor".* (I practice yoga at a gym and also at some local yoga studios. The gym studio tends to draw more new and less committed yogis.) Or they tell me that they feel intimidated because they couldn't do certain poses. Or I notice that during their practice they focus too much on getting into a certain position (hand on ground, arms open, whatever) and compromise the rest of their pose.

The thing is, that's all bullshit that gets in the way of your yoga practice. It's not what yoga is about.

Yoga is not about what you can do. Yoga is about HOW you do what you can.

Your pose will look slightly different from my pose will look slightly different from everyone else's pose. Doesn't matter. What is important is that you find a way to reach your full potential in a safe, healthy way. Don't cheat your way 'deeper' into a pose by pulling other parts of your body out of alignment. It doesn't matter that you can get further into a twist or put your hand on the ground if your hips / knees / shoulders are flailing around. It's not good for your body and it's not good for your yoga practice.

Instead, focus on proper alignment. Build a good foundation and then work within it. That's your yoga. That's everyone's yoga. Good yoga is not a handstand. Good yoga is a strong, well-aligned, fundamentally sound attempt at a handstand. Whether you (or anyone) gets there is icing on the cake, and even if you are practicing your handstands the same principles apply:

You will make real progress towards your full potential in yoga when you let go of what you can do and instead focus on how you do what you can.

Namaste, bitches.

* The concept that you cannot do yoga because you have poor flexibility is so patently ridiculous that I don't know where to start. It's a negative feedback loop of nonsense. It's like saying, 'I can't get exercise because I'm fat.' How do you ever expect to get in shape if you don't exercise? How do you expect to improve flexibility if you don't stretch?


Friends were out of town for the weekend so I got to look after tardcat. The funny thing about tardcat is that although she gets lonely she doesn't want you to actually touch her. Instead she just wants to be in the same room as you and maybe, if you're lucky, she will sit by you or rub her face on your hand. Do NOT dare pet her or she will get uncomfortable and leave. You can sometimes scratch her neck if she's in the mood.

Like many cats she eschews her water bowl and drinks direct from the tap or from a freshly filled cup. Her preferred technique is to stick her paw in the water and then lick it off. It's not very efficient but tardcat has all kinds of weird behaviors. Like when she gets stuck on the roof and lays down in protest.

Another classic tardcat behavior is 'killing' birds that accidentally fly into the sliding glass door. She can't take them down on her own. But if they're sufficiently dazed and confused by the impact then she can sometimes get one. If they're dead already and still warm she brings them into the house, just like a normal cat. It's kind of gross. This habit led to the following exchange during a recent visit:

Me: Is that a dead bird?
Monica: No. It's a cat toy that looks like a bird.
Me: You sure?
Monica: Yesssss. Stella (Ed: actual cat name) never catches anything.
Me: (looks closely) Why is there blood coming out of it then?
Monica: What??? Ewwww...

I love pets.

Hells yeah

I might have to set the DVR. Purely for informational purposes.

Thundercats promo video: