Monday, October 31, 2005


Mmmmmmm, soda

An arabic station, MBC, has started airing episodes of the Simpsons. Homer's name is Omar and to follow Islamic law, he drinks soda instead of beer, Egyptian beef sausage instead of hot dogs, and snacks on an arabic cookie called kahk. - The Week

That website is also in english but I linked the arabic site. And they're obviously not going to be able to use a few of the Simpsons episodes if Homer can't drink beer. Or ALOT of Simpsons episodes. Or maybe he'll drink a bad batch of soda and that will explain his behavior.

The race went well. I was pleased with my performance. Results are here. I got 9th out of 53 cars. 1st in class. Fast and clean. But I need to get faster. That Protege is on sticky Hoosiers and has 2 very good drivers behind the wheel, albeit not at the same time. But that would make a funny picture. Next race is this Sunday.

I worked on my seminar alot this week and my goal is to "finish" the presentation by tomorrow afternoon and then start practicing the talk. I need to practice a good 5 or 6 times before it's money. And I'm giving it to the group on Wed., and they always have good tips and good questions. And I'd rather look like a moron in front of them than the entire department.

Off to work continue working on my seminar.

Oh yeah,

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2005



Yep, I get to race tomorrow. And get to work on my seminar tonight. Yay!

I have strange acne. Yes I'm 26, but stress causes me to break out, which is currently happening. It's just one or two, but for some reason they gang up together and make Superacne. J calls them fetuses because it could be a fetus growing from my face, just like the South Park nurse
except mine grow from the left or right of my chin. Whatever.

My abstract is due today at 4:30. I'll get it in before that but I still have to do it.

So I have some work to do but I'll leave you with a few links in descending order of disturbing:

Body hanging from tree mistaken for Halloween decoration
Damn. This neighborhood must have some excellent decorations if a real body is just written off as a "decoration". My condolensces to her family, of course.

Murder suspect's mother arrested
The 16 yr old who killed Daniel Horowitz's wife is crazy. And the mom told him not to come home cuz the police are looking for him. Um, news flash Mom, your kid needs help and advising him to run from the law is not the kind of help he needs.

OK, now to the light-hearted links:

Mr. Sulu came out!

So George Takei, Mr. Sulu from Star Trek, is gay. I'm glad he came out. No real reason, I just can't imagine how hard it is to lie about your orientation for years. And he has one of the greatest voices ever. He's no Thurl Ravenscroft but it is up there.

Wisconsin cat found in Nancy, France

Apparently Emily the Cat wound up in a paper warehouse and got stuck in a cargo container and got shipped across the Atlantic by boat. It took 3 weeks but luckily she had her ID tags on and so the French(wo)men that found her, called the vet and now we're just working on a plane ticket and some paperwork to get her home. Crazy.

Sheryl Swoops is out too!

I think this is a good step in the right direction. There are very few women sports role models and even less gay women sports role models. So hopefully this will break down some barriers. Like Penn State's women's basketball team coach Rene Portland who reportedly harrasses any player she thinks is a lesbian.

Thursday, October 27, 2005



I have them. Lots of them. I have a few on my freckle/skin cancer watch. J actually "discovered" a big one on the inside of my left ankle a few months ago. "Is this new?" Nope, been there forever.

My lit. seminar is coming along swimingly. Two books I ILLed showed up today, so I'm going to go get those. (That's Inter Library Loan) One is the History of Lighting and should cover a good 10 minutes of my 45 minute talk. Background is important and I think the progression of lighting technology will be interesting. Fine, maybe mildly interesting, but you haven't heard me give a talk. I'm wonderfully fascinating.

Halloween is rapidly approaching. Joan and I have picked out our costumes. Or I picked them out several months ago and have barely thought of it since. It's not great, but it's an easily made costume from a mildly successful movie. Dude, Where's My Car? And no we're not going as Jesse or Chester. We're going as Zoltan Cult members.

The adorable Hal Sparks is Zoltan. And we are his followers.

I figure a movie from 5 years ago, and from one that not too many have seen, is obscure enough. And it can't be that hard to make a bubble wrap suit. And wear some black shorts and tank top. And just to be fair, I got one of those picture from No it isn't a great costume, but I haven't had to think about it for several months. I can never come up with a really good one, so I picked a mediocre one.

So what are you going to be?

And yes I'm going to send that to Davy and FOUND.

Update: Hopefully you can see this webpage. It's A Look at Those Who Died in Iraq

My thoughts are with their families. I hope everyone else makes it home. These fine men and women have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I FOUND something!

So here it is. If the rightful owner of this wants it back, please let me know.

And a little bigger.

I think it's very cool. And all I usually find is trash.


Homer J. Simpson

Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -Homer J.

From a modern day philosopher. Thanks Matt Groening for bringing him into our lives.

The elevator smelled like Cocoa Puffs this morning, before you add the milk.

I think it's the Netherlands, but they just enacted laws that make it illegal to abandon pets, and you have to walk your dog at least 3 times/day. From The Week

As I rode the bus to work, I couldn't help but think about Rosa Parks. And that got me thinking about how I would've acted in Alabama in the 40s and 50s. Assuming I would've had the same life experiences, I'm sure I wouldn't have thought blacks were any different than whites, despite what alot of people thought and unfortunately, still do think. I wouldn't have expected someone to give up their seat for me, based solely on the color of their skin.

But on the other hand, you never know. Mob mentality is a strong phenomena. And 300+ years of racism against blacks is a big thing to overcome. I'm fairly certain that my parents would've taught me that we are all equal in The Creator's eyes. But would I have done anything to stop the racism? Do I do anything today?

Enough introspection, I have work to do. And I'll get my FOUND object up today too. In fact, I'll go do that right now.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


End of an Icon

Rosa Parks, 92, passed away Monday in Detroit, Michigan. She helped spark the civil rights movement in December of 1955 by refusing to sit in the back, or "colored" section, of a Montgomery bus. Her arrest, and with some help from 26 yr. old Martin Luther King Jr., started a 381 day boycott of the bus system.

Rosa, you will be missed

And if you're ever in Birmingham, The Birmingham Civil Rights Institure is well worth a visit.

Kind of hard to do a post after that, but I'll try. I actually FOUND something about 2 months ago. It's been sitting on my desk since then, just waiting for me to go downstairs and use the scanner. I presume it was dropped by an art major. It's small and cool. I like it, and I think Davy Rothbart would like it too. But I'll let you be the judge of that since I'm a FOUND newbie.

Hopefully I'll get that up later today. Until then, I'm off to work!

Monday, October 24, 2005


So fresh and so clean

Went camping in the Cohutta Wilderness this weekend. It's in GA, but near TN.

We like to camp on a ridge overlooking Jack's river. It's about a 3 mile hike in and with food, water and camping supplies, and a dash of none of us know how to pack very lightweight, our packs were fairly heavy. But we ate all the food, drank most of the water, so our packs on the way out were almost enjoyable.

Our menu for the weekend:
Fri. dinner-Hamburgers and snacks
Sat. breakfast-sausage(which we made into sausage burgers) and grits
Sat. lunch-chicken and cheese or steak and cheese quesadillas (pre-cooked steak and chicken)
Sat. dinner-hot dogs
Sun. breakfast-pancakes

It was all very good. And I must say, I did a damn good job with the pancakes. It's a little tricky not burning them but you just have to be focused. Cooking over a campfire is always a tricky proposition.

It was sort of cool the first night and got pretty chilly the second night. First night, laid on top of my sleeping bag for about 20 minutes before I got inside it and never zipped it up all the way. Second night, took my clothes off inside my sleeping bag and then closed the top to keep all my warm air inside. Definitely colder. And if anyone doesn't know, sleeping bags work best with the most amount of exposed skin possible and that's why I sleep naked in the woods, it's warmer. I sleep naked at home because it's more comfortable. And if you don't believe me, please give both a try. It does make it a little extra cold in the morning but those are cold anyways.

The drive home was good. I went a new way, suggested by Mapquest and it worked out fairly well. Nice sections of 2 lane highway and a couple sections of 4 lane highway, so it's a nice balance. Now a few driving stories.

The speed limit on those 4 laners is 65. Which means at least 70-75 to most people. I like to keep my speeding no more than 15 over, so I was cruising at 80, no cars in front and none behind. Or so I thought. I glance up in my rearview and see a state trooper flying up on me. Luckily I'm in the right hand lane and he's in the left, so he just zooms by at around 90 but it still spooked me a little bit. I did see a couple other law enforcement agents but none running radar and I did not have the chance to stop and chat with any of them. Another ticket free trip for me!

Some of the roads are 2 lane. And I drive expeditiously, so I pass people. I try and not make it too close, it really freaks people out. But I did finally realize a few years back that, especially in my Focus, that it's easier to hit the brakes and drop back than it is to "floor it" and get around the person. So there was one instance where I was attempting a triple car pass but just as I was up to the third car's bumper, an oncoming car pops up, so I hit the brakes and slide in line behind him. And then passed him later.

But the closer one was this: I'm behind a Kia Optima, or some Kia sedan and move to pass. As soon as I'm over in the other lane (no one oncoming at all for a good distance) I see a truck coming up to a stop sign at an intersecting road. Shit, locals don't really respect road signs so I'm guessing he's going to look left and then roll through the stop sign. Hey! I'm right! So I was watching the guy and he did exactly what I expected so I hit the brakes hard and got back over. I guess the tires squealed (I didn't hear them) or someone in the Kia squealed because a red headed teenager popped up out of the back seat to see the impending carnage. Alas the carnage did not occur. Everyone made it out okay and the truck got a finger whangle for not stopping at a stop sign. (I have no other recourse for things like that. I prefer to save the finger for blatant disregard or traffic laws, so I resort to the "fist shake" or the "shame on you" finger shake) But I'm still behind this Kia, so next chance, I go to pass. They IMMEDIATELY hit the brakes and give me lots of room to pass. I give a nice wave and continue on my way. So to that family in the Kia. I'm sorry. It was the truck's fault. Don't be scared of the Focus, which is crazy dirty by the way. I should take her picture like that.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005



For the hater in you.

Went down to Fairway Ford for some lug studs. It was a special order so I had to prepay and then find out that Advanced carries them for $0.98. Crap. I should've known better. These are just a temporary fix anyway, until I can order my H&R lug studs that are INDESTRUCTIBLE!

Showed up at 8:04 am, left, made it home, got my things and Joan, then drove to school. We missed the 8:30 CATbus, so we parked in commuter and caught the CATshuttle. It is very similar to a CATbus but instead of an actual route, it basically loops endlessly all day between the commuter lots near the stadium and a road that cuts through the Eastside of campus. All day, every 5-10 minutes. So if you're a CATbus driver, do not pick that route. I'm sure I would not be in a happy place after driving in a large pseudo-circle all day.

I rode the CATbus home yesterday, BUT the driver, some older gentlemen I'd never seen, turns before he is supposed to. He completely cut off the end of the route WHERE I LIVE! But there is a secret shortcut through the woods and over a creek that connects to an adjacent apartment building, so I rang the bell, asked him if he was swinging by Creekside, didn't like his answer and got off to break trail through the forest. Finally made my way down with only one foot getting caught in a vine and only one thorn getting stuck in my skin. Crossed the creek and only got one shoe wet and then walked up the hill/parking lot to get to my house. I'm sure I saved at least 15 minutes by getting off there. It's also a good way to catch the bus if you missed it at your regular spot and REALLY need to get to school. Sure you'll have a wet shoe and possibly pants, but you'll get there.

Did everyone see this? The NBA is starting a dress code, which the NHL and NFL already have. But my favorite comment was from someone I can't remember, but I read it in USA Today, and he said that the league should offset some of the cost by providing suit vouchers. The article then went on to say how the league MINIMUM is $325,000. So I can sit on my ass all season, be Mr. Benchwarmer, and still make 300k. The league average according to an USA Today article is $3.7 million.

This is very similar to Mr. Latrell Sprewell's view on their pay as well:
On Halloween 2004, Sprewell, who was in the final season of a $62-million, five-year deal he signed with the Knicks, said he was insulted by Minnesota' s offer of a contract extension that was reportedly worth between $27 million and $30 million for three seasons. "I've got my family to feed," he said. Wow.

I think we need a "NBA player lives on grad student pay" day. And of course the flipside is a "grad student lives on NBA player" day. I think that would really open some eyes. And remind those NBA players what Ramen noodles taste like.

Monday, October 17, 2005


Lug stud

I'm fine. I still have some rugburn on my forehead and my left thumbnail is not 100%, I'd say 87%, but those are the only lasting injuries. My neighbor and a friend of his have both randomly fainted and he said it was probably the same thing. So I suppose it's fairly common.

Lit seminar is coming up faster and faster. It is 3 weeks from last Friday. So I'm busy.

But I still raced all day Sat. and Sun. Sat. here and Sun. in Greenville at the BMW plant.

Saturday went very well. First run was slow so for the second I decided to go stupid fast. And apparently my new race tires were okay with that. I improved 1.5 seconds and was literally out of breath after that run. I've never been that fast in my car before. The results are up and I'm 12th out of 49 and was beat by 8 cars. And I'm only going to get faster once I get used to my new tires.

Results can be seen here.

And Sunday started out okay. Left home on time. Very little traffic at 8 am Sunday morning. Arrived at BMW with plenty of time to register, change tires and walk the course. But I had trouble getting one of my lugs onto the car after the race Sat. So I started there, knowing it would give me the most trouble. Sho nuff, it was very hard to get off. But I did and rounded off the stud. Crap and I looked at the lug nut and it was pretty messed up, so I took a couple lug nuts off the back and put them on front and tried to put the crappy lugs on the back. I have extra lug nuts and from now on I will bring them to races and I'm stupid. So I get one on and then try and take it off. Not even moving a little, so I go ahead and snap off the lug stud so I can get my street tires on the car. I then tried another lug nut on another stud and couldn't get it to thread at all.

Moral of the story: Take your spare parts with you. And I drove home on two lug nuts out of 4 on my back tire.

I drove the speed limit and was passed by every freakin thing on the road, except for a man who appeared to be 148 years young putting along in his truck. I passed him doing 50 in a 55. But I made it home and called the Ford dealer this morning for some new lugs. They'll be in tomorrow and then Focus will be road worthy again once I get them installed.

But my friend let me drive his WRX in the autocross. Man that thing is fast. And I placed 2nd in our class in it. He got 4th I think. I'll get those results up when they're posted.

Off to do some literature work.

Friday, October 14, 2005


Remeber the Alamo

I blacked out at a local Mexican restaurant last night. Twice actually. I tried to stand up too soon and rewhoozied myself.

I was just sitting there and everything got distant and black and I tried to stand up and go outside and fell into a table and hit the carpet with my head and now have some nice rugburn. I talked with the police and cancelled the ambulance. I'm not paying $300 for a 15 min. trip down the road that Joan could've just as easily done for free.

But I'm on my way to the school health center now, so hopefully I'll have some details later.

I'm OK though.

And I did some research yesterday and realized that the Holocaust deniers don't think it didn't happen, but that the number of Jews killed was greatly exaggerated and that they didn't have gas chambers. Basically that the Germans weren't genocidal maniacs, which I would definitely want to believe if I had stronger German ties. But yes, the white supremacists don't think it happened at all, but they're obviously crazy.


He's OK!

Just got back from Redfern, or Deadfern as it is lovingly dubbed. They took a quick complete blood count on their CBC made by Beckman Coulter and it looks like:

which is the COULTER® Ac·T™ 5diff CP (Cap Pierce)

But he said it was a basic orthostatic hypotension.

From what the doc told me and what those websites told me, basically I just had a big meal and a big drink and all the blood was in my belly trying to digest and then I stood up and my body revolted.

"Orthostatic hypotension is diagnosed when symptoms suggestive of hypotension and a marked reduction in measured BP are provoked by standing and relieved by lying down."

Hey! That's what I had! So basically I'm a spaz and didn't drink enough water yesterday and then drank and had a big meal. Oops.

The doc kinda scared me. Once he had the bloodwork back he said "This isn't a good blood count." WTF? You're scaring me with this pause that is too long. "It's a perfect blood count." Oh. Um, don't do that. I'm okay with "good" bloodwork. I don't need the word "perfect" to feel good about my health. This is the first doctor visit I've had in 5 years and that makes me feel good about my health, thank you.

But aside from the dramatic pause and the small amount of blood drawn for the CBC to do its job, everything went smoothly. I'm off to get a drink of water.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Lost another one

I had a good post. I really did. It had to do with something current, but completely forgot it. I really do need to keep a little blog booklet lying around.

J and I watched Hotel Rwanda last night. Good movie, parts were funny, parts were way too dramatic, had as happy an ending as possible in a movie about genocide. Don Cheadle did an amazing job and the real Paul Rusesabagina who currently lives in Belgium, should be very proud.

It's summed up as Belgium ruled the country, depending on size of your nose, you were either Tutsi or Hutu. The Belgians picked the Tutse to be in charge. When Belgium left, they left the Hutu in charge and with alot of help from radio propaganda, they succeeded in turning a significant portion of Hutus into a murderous genocidal mob intent on wiping out all Tutsis. Paul housed almost 1300 Tutsi and Hutu refugees at the hotel and did everything he could to ensure their survival.

Hotel Rwanda

Excellent movie and would highly recommend it. And Don Cheadle is awesome.

I just remembered my original post. How can people say the Holocaust didn't happen? Moon landing, sure. All we have is NASA's word, some video footage, and a handful of people who were there. Fine, I can at least see how it could, maybe, be a conspiracy.

But the Holocaust? The genocide of 5,596,029 to 5,860,129, Gutman, Encyclopedia of the Holocaust (1990), of European Jews. Videos, pictures, survivors, mass graves, entire countries of people who saw it happen.

Obviously it is just extreme antisemitism. People really don't like the Jews. They do run alot of businesses and command alot of capital, but that is because they make sound financial decisions and are genetically predisposed to being cheap. (that's a joke, John Stewart said it and he's Jewish and I paraphrased) But I seriously can think of no other reason as to why people would want to even think the Holocaust didn't happen.

And just in case you forgot, The US Holocaust Memorial Museum is up and running. My brother went a couple months ago. He said it was pretty amazing. They had their 10 year anniversary in 2003. It's on my list next time I'm in DC.

I did a quick search and found a few people who don't think the Holocaust happened.
Okay, now that I look, I only found 1 page on why it didn't happen and the other 3 are trying to either explain why it did happen or who these people are who think it didn't happen. That one is from Esquire magazine, 2001.

50 reasons the Holocaust didn't happen on the White Pride World Wide message board, big surprise there.

Jim Loy a quick page on how we know it did happen and a few emails from people who disagree.

John Sacks Esquire article Inside the Bunker, "The people who believe that the Holocaust did not happen meet regularly, in secret, to exchange theories and research. Are they anti-Semites, or are they just horribly mistaken? The author went to find out. The last thing he expected was to like them." I'm gonna read that one after the 50 reasons one.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Tricky Dick

J got me this morning. But it doesn't count because I was sleepy. She has to be at her school where she observes by 7:30 am. She has to leave the house by 6:50 am. She just got out of the shower and was laying on the bed and told me I needed to get up. What time is it? queried Sleepy Seth. It's 7. (I usually get up at 7:15). Okay, I'll get up. So I'm up, doing my normal morning routine and J is talking to me. I've been up maybe 15-20 minutes and she asks if I know what time it is. Beats me, I answered. Well I have to leave for school at 6:45 and I'm still here. Huh? Apparently I actually got up around 6:20-30. But it's okay. I caught the 7:30 am CATbus and am here at school bright and early.

I do need to start using my time more wisely. There are lots of things on my plate but the biggest piece is my lit. seminar which is 3.5 weeks away and I only have 1 weekend free with which to work on it. So that means lots of work during the week otherwise I'm hosed out of my mind.

But as Rob said last week, my little meaningless trials and tribulations pale in comparison to the devastation around the world today. Nawlins and coastal TX-AL still rebuilding. Tens of thousands dead in the 7.6 earthquake in Pakistan. And Seth had to get up early. Poor Seth. Where's the Red Cross with a Red Bull and a muffin?

President Bush already threw in $50 million for relief aid in Pakistan. So hopefully that will make a difference and there will be some more after that. It warms my heart seeing the global community stepping up to help each other out. Just don't forget about Central America. I know they're already our friends and under 1,000 people died, but they need some help too. Guatemalan landslide

Monday, October 10, 2005


I worked out with a dumbbell.

I feel vigorous. - From a top 5 ever TV show. Can't remember which episode. I'll put the answer at the bottom.

We reorganized the spare bedroom and made it more of a study room than a random crap room. And we moved both desks into that room and the computer. It frees up some space in our room and now we have a study room for doing homework or writing dissertations.

We got to work on my car again this weekend. Lots of fun and went very smoothly. First I got antsy and didn't want to wait on other people to show up so I went ahead and put on the new air filter. It took some work but I finally got it to go directly on the airflow sensor housing. Basically I just took off the airbox and tubing and replaced it with the filter, so it's sort of like a short ram air filter but without the typical $150-$200 price tag.

Then we moved on to the bumper. A little daunting but went very easily. We got the stock one off, and started transferring grill inserts. The Euro bumper needed two holes to mount the grill insert so I had to run to school and get our group drill. Once I got back it took about 13 seconds to get both holes drilled but would otherwise have taken a good 30 minutes. Yay powertools. We then realized that the side lightbulbs wouldn't fit into the Euro lights. Ours were too small. Duct tape to the rescue! We taped them up real nice and they aren't going anywhere. I couldn't think of a better way to do it.

So the bumper was ready to go on. But we had to remove the foam bumper thing that is underneath the bumper and makes the regular Focus bumper stick out too much. So I basically ripped that off and then the Euro bumper fit exactly. It was actually surprising how easy it was. European cars don't have as stringent crash policies as us. And I'm probably not going to hit anything from the front. And if I do I'll probably be going so fast that some styrofoam wouldn't do much.

Then we switched to general maintanence mode and switched my fuel filter. So we pulled the fuel pump fuse and let the engine run until it died. It actually took a few minutes, which I guess is a good thing. Then popped off the connectors, caught the spilling gas with some rags, felt ill from the fumes, replaced it, dropped the car and that's it. And it only took us about 4 hours to do all that. And we took a couple breaks.

No pics yet, but I'm gonna wash her this week, hopefully today and get her nice and shiny for the races this weekend and then take some pictures.

Here is the "Before" picture just to hold you over:

And lookie here:
The FBI is going soft.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Yvan Eht Nioj

A very very good Simpsons episode.

Rain muffles. It hides. Not unlike snow. Snow muffles. The few times these eyes and ears have been around snow, it's so peaceful. There are no sounds, just the crunch of the snow under your boots and calm. Rain is similar but ultimately different. With rain there is no calm. It's a constant cacophony of sound. It doesn't make everything quiet but it drowns out all environmental noise. Like white noise which I suppose is why it's so peaceful to fall asleep in the rain.

One of my dream houses is a place on the beach, up on stilts, in Thailand or the Caribbean. Very simple house, huge windows open to the world so that you are still outside. Then the rain comes, you curl up with a good book or your favorite Joan, and just listen and enjoy. Good times.

My seminar topic has been decided upon. Solid State Lighting. Basically what are LEDs (light emitting diodes), how they're made, how they produce light, why are they so efficient, maybe ways to make them better, and thanks to Ryan of Ryan and Emily, it will probably also include how they're being used to help the poor of the world.

Emily was my first lab partner ever back in high school in the DR. She is very cool and we have kept in touch, albeit sporadically, over the years. But she and her man are currently in Thailand, she is working on housing microfinance. "Microfinance is an interesting approach to poverty reduction." I don't really know what that is, but I'm sure Emily does. She's also taking 2 Masters classes. So she's busy. And Ryan is working on a few projects and one is bringing solid state lighting to the masses as an energy efficient, basically free light source. If you know anything about LEDs, they burn for much longer than traditional incandescent lights and require a fraction of the energy. So much that all that is reallly needed for these light systems are a few solar panels, a few wires, maybe a battery or two, and a bunch of LEDs. Which is a wonderful idea when the alternative is kerosene lamps which produce toxic carbon monoxide, electricity which is not readily availabe and expensive, or no light at all.

He provided a link to Light Up the World, which is dedicated to bringing light to remote parts of the world. I'll be adding that to my sidebar, which needs to be cleaned up anyway.

And now to answer the tagging by E-Lo.

o now I pass the tag along to you...

The rules are:
1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five other people to do the same.

I'm going camping this weekend.

That was pretty lame. And as penance for my lameness, I tag no one.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005



I miss riding motorcycles. There is nothing else that can deliver the sense of speed and reality of speed. Doing 40 on a bike is not like doing 40 in a car. 40 in a car, in a straight line of course, is boring. 40 on a 2 wheeled terror is not. The wind rushing past your helmet, or lack thereof if you so choose, knocks your head around and all you can hear is the engine, exhaust, wind and your thoughts.

It's such a pure vehicular experience. There is no radio to keep your mind distracted. You have to be super vigilant because any number of road hazards can eat your lunch. It keeps your mind sharp, but at the same time you are free to mull over your thoughts. Had a bad day? Nothing a 20 minute commute home on a bike can't cure. That and they're very fuel efficient. Even big Harleys get around 30 mpg, which isn't great but it's better than alot of vehicles on the roads today.

But that sense of speed is also why they call motorcycle riders "organ donors". Because it's true. If you're in a serious accident, odds are heavily against you surviving. Yes there are a few measures you can take and superbike riders do wreck doing 130 mph and walk away, but that usually involves one bike, a slide across some grass and hitting a bail of hay. No cars or trees or street signs or rocks.

Lastly, I've always been amazed by large people. By that I mean tall and big. Like Rob's size, 6'5", 260 lbs. Football player size. And also basketball player sized people. They're just so much bigger than the normal person. I was watching Shaq's Cribs episode and he has a room with a gigantic oversized desk. It's "size" therapy for him. Since he is so enormous, 7'1", 325 lbs., he has this desk that makes him reach for things. He has to reach over the desk to get the pencil, reach over the desk to get a paper clip. And the chair is low so it comes up to his chest. He feels so big all the time that to keep him sane, he needs to balance it out and feel small sometimes. Which is why I think we always feel sorry for the giants. They're not bad people, they just seem scary because of their size.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005



I finally sold my kayak. We're meeting halfway between Charlotte and here. At the BMW exit of 85. BUT he also has a European Ford Focus bumper, painted black, that he had on his car but sold and now has the bumper just laying around. So I dropped the price from $200 to $150 and I get a sweet new bumper. My bumper doesn't even have the factory foglights, and considering these go for around $350, it's a deal, sort of. I'm a little scared, but he sounds okay. He's a nurse up in Charlotte.

But I'm getting rid of my kayak, and maybe changing the face of my car a bit. Found it from BAT Inc. down in Sarasota. It's a .pdf document, just to let you know. So theoretically, I'm going from

to this Euro Focus bumper. At the very least I'll get to do some "fun" work on my car, instead of just maintenance.

I ran some errands this morning. I left after the 8 am bus and got back right before the 8:30am bus and rode it to school. And our bank doesn't open until 8:30 for future reference.

Today I have to grade some stuff for lab, play with crystals, teach lab, go home, strap kayak to the roof of Focus, get some money and a bumper, come home and clean.

And if you were in Iberia this morning (everyone know their geography? the Iberian peninsula? hint: it's in Europe) hopefully you had some eclipse glasses and got to see the eclipse. If not the next one is in 2028.
Rare eclipse

And congrats to Hahvahd. Their endowment just went past $25 billion. And they still charge 30 grand a year to go there. Unless you work there and go for greatly reduced tuition? Free?

Monday, October 03, 2005


Race day

Saturday was a good day of racing. Didn't win my class, but I got to race which is the most important part. And it was a clean day. Didn't hit one cone. And I'm still on crappy tires, while the class winner is in a Nissan 240, S13, which is RWD and he's on Falken Azenis, very grippy tires. That and he is a great driver.

Here are the results. I ended up 17 out of 44, which is pretty good considering. Please take note of the car that came in 6th. That's my class winner. He beat Vettes and NSXs, so yes he and the car are highly capable. And also take note of how fast the 1st car was. Damn. If that doesn't convince you that the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is a hellion of a car, then nothing will. And they mispelled my last name, but that's okay.

Good weekend. Friday night was nothing. I think J and I fell asleep around 11 pm. We were very tired for some reason. I woke up and raced and then came home and got ready for the wedding. Every time J and I go to a wedding, the more we lean towards eloping. It always seems like so much work, and there isn't any guarantee that it will come out as planned or that people will enjoy it. But we're focusing on school now, not marriage.

It was a quick ceremony. Think Vegas and the next couple has to catch a flight in 15 minutes fast. And then the officiant went into the kitchen and helped cook. I guess he was part of the package. Just because you want to keep God out of the ceremony does not mean it has to be short. 30-45 minutes is a perfectly acceptable length of ceremony. It just didn't seem special to me, but I wasn't the one getting married, so what do I know?

The reception was nice. They had Thomas Creek beer on tap. But they were out of the porter. Noooooooo! But they still had some doppelbock which was good. Thomas Creek is a microbrew out of Greenville. He always brings his beer truck to the annual College of Engineering and Science golf tournament and I got to meet him last year. Awesome guy with a white beard and white hair, so obviously he has that Santa charm to him. Well I just looked up his picture and it isn't Thomas Creek, but it is Bill Davis, owner and GM.

That isn't a great pic, but it's a good representation. And just for Smoove, I'll put up a pic of their sales manager who is appropriately attractive.

I bet she can move some beer.

Their IPA is good. Their Red Ale is good. Their Doppelbock is good. And I had some of the Vanilla Cream Ale at Mellow Mushroom the other day. Could be more vanillaey but was very smooth and sort of creamy. Haven't tried their pilsner, but I should. I just don't like pilsners too much.

But congratulations to the newlyweds! I hope your all days will be bright and merry!

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