Wednesday, January 28, 2009


What's that flashing red light?

That was the first thought I had when I encountered a flashing red bicycle light. And of course since that's where I was looking, I instinctively started veering toward the cyclist. I did realize I was dangerously close and moved away, unlike the new black Volvo wagon as I was riding home last night. I'm working on reading license plates as they zoom away since that might come in handy one day. I fully expect to get hit every time I get on my bike.

I love my flashing light. I used the "blink" setting this morning as I was wearing a grey hoody on a foggy morning. The "KITT" setting is my personal favorite though. That was Michael Knight's (J didn't know that was David Hasselhoff, so I'm telling you in case you don't know either) car from Knight Rider with the flashing red lights.

I really need to get a high visibility/highly reflective vest to wear while riding. They're not expensive and can come in handy at other times: walking at night, jogging, working on a car by the roadside, working an autocross, decoy while being chased at night, etc...

Ah, also J and I went to see "Slumdog Millionaire" which we both really enjoyed it and as Abbi the Curly Comedienne commented, it's like visiting India without the plane ride and mass of people. J mentioned last night that it was directed by Danny Boyle (who also directed Trainspotting, one of my favorite movies) and Loveleen Tandan. Danny also directed 28 Days Later, which I enjoyed. Super fast zombies are awesome.

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Monday, January 26, 2009


Don't call my escorts whores!

- Gob Bluth played by the riotous Will Arnett from Arrested Development.

Writing is. It's officially crunch time and I will become a hermit except for this Saturday's party. Home, work, grocery store. That's about it. We did go see a matinee of Slumdog Millionaire on Saturday. Amazing movie and if you've never seen real abject poverty, prepare yourself. It's pretty hardcore. J mentioned that people were offended at how they portrayed India. I don't see how you can get upset at the truth. It's like me being offended that someone portrayed America as a place where education isn't valued, teenagers become parents, and the masses toil for the rich elite. I might be offended but that doesn't mean it isn't the truth.

I lost some weight and gained it back over the weekend. Dammit. Such a vicious cycle.

At least Obama repealed the "Global Gag Rule". Hooray! Sorry fetuses!

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Friday, January 23, 2009


What else am I going to do? Stay here and learn?!?!?!

-E.L. played by Seann William Scott in Road Trip

Yes we're watching more of our DVDs now that we have no TV. I still haven't tried cramming a wire in the back for broadcast, but that wouldn't work in a few months anyway. Also most TV is available for free online. J and I watched 2 episodes of "The Colbert Report" at Super Bi-Lo yesterday. Thanks to Fosters for the few commercials!

J and I worked out our "Worst Case Scenario" last night. Basically if I graduate and can't find a job we get to "boomerang" back into her parent's house in Orlando, find any job we can, save up money while we both look for real jobs and then move out. We would stash our stuff in storage up here and the cats might have to live at J's brother's house because her dad is pretty crazy allergic although he hasn't been around our cats, so that remains to be seen. Seriously last time we were down there I pet a neighborhood cat and his eyes watered halfway to the airport just with my fingers being inside the car. But that cat was hairy and dirty, very unlike our sweet kittehs.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009


Crunch time

We're entering crunch time. I've been focusing a bit too much on background and introduction and will now almost solely focus on my results and conclusions. Background and intro is important but not more important than MY results!

J is doing well. She's looking forward to quitting her job. I'm looking forward to finding one. We're both looking forward to moving out of SC and the South. It's time for a change.

I've been much better about my diet. I've lost some weight and want to lose more and keep it off. Fat people don't get job offers, okay they do but not as many.

My newly ($200!) tuned-up bike will help me keep the weight off and take more off.

I wish I had the time and knowledge to fix the bike myself. I'm going to need to ride A LOT to work that $200 off in gas. But now that my bike is almost as good as new, that shouldn't be too hard.

If you see a guy on a red bike with silver baskets on the back and a matte metallic red helmet riding around Clemson, don't hit me! Or any other cyclists for that matter.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009



It's Barack "Hussein in the Membrane" Obama's big day! He will officially be sworn in at 11:30 am today. I'll be out at the research park but hopefully I can catch some of it online. Apparently Big Media is falling over itself to offer as much online coverage as they can.

J and I canceled DirecTV. We were paying about $82/month for TV and we went ahead and decided to turn it off since TV is a luxury and most TV is available online anyway. If only we could get our phone bill down. You're next AT&T. This bell tolls for thee.

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Friday, January 16, 2009


I stick by that.

I'm still boycotting Israeli products but did some reading to educate myself on the whole situation and maybe get closer to a solution. Here's a couple Op-Ed pieces by Thomas Friedman and Jeffrey Goldberg.

Basically Thomas suggests there are only two possible reasons for bombing Hamas and Palestinians in Gaza. One, to complete wipe Hamas out and probably many Palestinians in the process, or two, to over-react to Hamas attacks and kill at least 10 "terrorists" for each Isreali killed, taking a few women and kids with them, to convince Hamas (and Iran and other Islamic Death to Zionists) that Israel isn't going anywhere and to hopefully convince the Palestinian community to convince Hamas to stop bombing Israel and help them fix what little country they have.

The reason I'm boycotting Israeli goods is to convince Israel that might does not make right. And yes I'm looking at you too Mr. President-for-only-4-more-days.

My bike ride into work in high teen-low 20s wasn't too bad. I upgraded (J and I can't use that word anymore without thinking about Mike Judge's Idiocracy and the pimp named Upgrayedd played by Scarface) my gloves to my ski gloves, long sleeve shirt underneath my jacket, and ski goggles. My usual 2 layers on my legs would've been upgraded (hehe) to 3 layers if my ride was longer or had more downhills.

Also my stupid crankarm came loose again because it hates me but my bike goes into the shop tomorrow for an overhaul/tuneup and will be replaced. Serves it right.

Enjoy your weekend and I hope that warm weather front hits you soon!

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Thursday, January 15, 2009


Storm's coming Stu; his storm!

- Old black lady from the TV adaptation of Stephen King's "The Stand", Gary Sinise plays Stu if you were wondering

The cats were kicked out of our room last night. Foxy first, then Leon, then Foxy again. J and I went to sleep and I dreamed that I had a motorcycle. No defining characteristics but I seemed to dream it was used. I rode to the bank on a cloudy day and while I was there, the other customers and I watched the bank get hit by 3 tornadoes, the last one ripping off a front office and some of the roof.

If you see me pull up to your bank on a motorcycle on a cloudy day, it's probably best that you get the hell out of there.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009


The Big Stank in the West Bank

The seemingly never-ending Palestine Vs. Israel conflict seemingly keeps getting worse and worse. I don't have a good solution but I don't think bombing every building in sight is the answer.

Obviously America's party line is to support Israel in everything they do no matter what. They're the only "democracy" in the Middle East. I wonder how they enforce their first amendment?

In protest of Israel bombing Palestine and by the same accord Palestine bombing Israel, I will be boycotting all Israeli and Palestine goods. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for Palestine, they don't produce many (if any) so my boycott will mainly focus on Manischewitz, motzah balls, and probably anything else in the Kosher section of the local grocer. Although I did just see that Manischewitz is headquartered in New Jersey, so they're probably okay. Here's an Israli goods website. And here is the boycott Israeli goods website with a list of American companies who invest in Israel (and it's quite a list, Ben & Jerry's!) Here's another nicer boycott site.

I left my ski mask in Focus last night, J took it to work, and my face was freezing on the ride to work. It's only going to get colder in the morning, so I'm gonna need that back.

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Monday, January 12, 2009



J and I had brunch with friends, then went to Costco. I had never been but heard rumors. They were all true. It makes Sam's Club look like a truck stop swap meet. The produce was gorgeous and cheap, although I did feel bad for buying 2 lbs. of Chilean blueberries, they were only $4!

Their liquor store was pretty awesome too but they didn't have any of the comically huge bottles. They stopped at liter bottles and really wanted a massive 1.75 L bottler of Gran Marnier or Jagermeister. Oh well, guess I'll have to stick with regular liquor stores for those behemoths.

Of course then J reminded me of the Costco scene from Idiocracy and it made me sad.

For brunch however, I made (what we're calling and might actually be called) ho cakes. 2 cups of self-rising cornmeal, 1 cup of sugar (or less to taste), 1 cup of hot water. That's it. We played around a bit with the amount of water but it was all delicious. No syrup needed for these sweet cakes but our friends' fruit salad on top was just what it needed. And some bacon. Simple and delicious.

Then we threw down on some Mario Kart Wii. I did okay but there is definitely a learning curve. As soon as I'm done writing and defending, it will be mine.

Hope you have a great week!

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Friday, January 09, 2009


One Thousand!

It's finally here! Quadruple digit post count! Hooray!

Not many people like slavery. Some people even think slavery is dead. I have some bad news. According to a few groups, there are actually more slaves today than there have been in the past. Some people focus on sex slaves, but in Uttar Pradesh in India, there seems to be entire towns that are slaves via the old indentured servitude route.

One survivor, Somaly Mam, has started a foundation to help these modern day slaves by educating them and teaching them a trade, like craftwork or cosmetology. Nicholas D. Kristof wrote an Op-Ed column for the NY Times about sex tourism in Southeast Asia.

Here is a story by Dan Harris about how to buy a child slave in 10 hours. Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and the people trade is alive and well.

Legalized prostitution is a possible solution to this problem, but that's a bit too crazy for people to hear.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Use your imagination for the "After" pic

Yes I shaved. Yes pictures were taken but I forgot an "after". Not that that one is hard to get since "after" also happens to be "right now".

Getting food and beverages stuck in the stache is not missed, but I do miss playing with it and waxing it up in the morning. And the general nostalgic feeling I got from seeing that handlebar in the mirror. The few disadvantages are absolutely worth it. Do it. Grow a mustache, a stache, a mo. Especially if you've never tried. Trim it only a tad for a month or 2. I think it was around month 3 where it really started curling and coming in to its own. If you can't grow a handlebar, don't worry. There's lots of different types.

J and I went to the Clemson/Alabama men's basketball game last night. Clemson is now 15-0 and one of the few remaining undefeated teams left. The real conference challenges are still coming though.

Without further adieu:




You can hold up a finger over the half-stache to get the after. My idea was to go as a half-man/half-woman with a half-stache for Halloween. Sew together a suit and dress, stick on half a wig, but it didn't happen. It's still a good idea.

Also, you view larger photos right here.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009


I just blue myself.

- Tobias played by the hilarious David Cross from Arrested Developement

I rode to work in the rain again. J and I might be moving to Portland, so I figure I better get used to it. It's not so bad except for steep downhills where your speed propels stinging water droplets onto your face.

We "borrowed" (and returned) a neighbor's bike the other day for a J&S bike ride. [edit: I guess some back story is involved here and also a tip to number dial bike chain users. The bike I bought had a dial chain with it but it seemed pretty crappy and flimsy so I upgraded to a 6 footer with a key. But I did remember Subaru saying that it was only one number away from the right number, so when I ran across our neighbor's nice bike with a dial chain, I tried out that trick to see if it was common. Yep!] It was a lot of fun and can't wait to get J's bike from Orlando. She also has some furniture there which would be cool to bring up here. Getting it here is the only problem.

The other bike was very nice. I wasn't super crazy about the twist gear changes. The brakes were very nice, basically they're a step up from the old school inverted V brakes, but just below the hardcore radial brakes. The seat had springs in it which made it a tad wobbly in turns but otherwise was nice. It had a nice relaxed handlebar position, which I'm looking into a bit. The thing that really blew me away was the tires. They were not as thick as mountain bike (MTB) tires but weren't as super thin as road bike tires. They really cut down on the rolling resistance. I'm thinking those would make an awesome birthday present.

The local bike shop quoted me $125 for a tune-up. That would replace the chain, rear cassette (back gears), brake pads, true the wheels, replace the cables and the crankarm (what the pedal sits in) that is bent and loosens periodically. Sounds like a pretty good deal considering I could do all that myself but I'm a tad busy with writing. He said it would be almost as good as new and since it's an older bike, it is less likely to get stolen. Honestly I'm not super worried about it being stolen. I have a super beefy bike chain that I generally run through the frame and my basket and sometimes through the rear wheel, and around the bike rack of course. I figure if anyone really super wants my dirty old front wheel, they can have and give me an excuse to get new tires and wheels!

Group meeting went well yesterday. Our new group member seems to be working out but it's only her second "official" day.

Oh, I almost made it to school with pictures, but I changed into my waterproof pants for the ride here and left the memory card in my comfy pants at home. Doh! Clean shaven Seth pics coming either tonight or tomorrow. Promise.

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Friday, January 02, 2009


Happy 2009!

It is gone. Pics coming.


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