Friday, October 15, 2004


Bunch of us went out to Indian Buffet for lunch today. I wouldn't necessarily have been invited, since I haven't been hanging out with the "lunch crowd" for a long time, but CB knew I like Indian food, so he made sure I got invited.

Anyway, lunch was fairly uneventful, except for me getting into a political discussion with Matt, who happens to be a Bush supporter. I have nothing against Matt in particular, but I've really grown tired of conversations like this - they sap my energy, and I'm sick and tired of feeling sick and tired about the path our country and our society are on.

But on the ride home, Unger throws out the question (to his carload of 5 dudes) "So, what do you fear the most?" This is *so* Unger, to toss out a random, deep question. Gotta love the guy.

I blurted something out, but in retrospect it's not correct, or even close to it, so I won't mention it here. Unger says he fears Death. The Unknown. I pondered this, and realized, surprisingly, that I don't think I fear death much. This isn't to say that I'm looking forward to it, or that I'd welcome it, but rather that I don't think it'll be a big deal. Another experience. Happens to everyone. Now, do I really feel this way, or is it false bravado? Am I somehow, in my current singleness, becoming hardened, or caring less? Is this a temporary condition?

But the question remains, what DO I most fear? I need to ponder this, and come back to this one.

Alpha back

How is it possible that Alpha (one of my all-time favorite groups, and definitely my favorite in the downtempo, trip-hop, Bristol sound genre) released a new album this spring, and I was totally unaware of it? Stargazing is their third full-length release - you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

The Making of Jurassic Park

I remember once, a long time ago, I saw a show about the making of "Jurassic Park" - mostly about the special effects. There's the scene where the T-Rex is approaching the Jeep, and the first sign of it's approach is the ripples of water in a glass on the vehicle's dash. Left to it's own devices, the water wanted to ripple haphazardly, but they wanted clean, concentric ripples, and it took them forever to figure out how to do it.

Well, I discovered (quite unintentionally) that I can duplicate that effect in my kitchen sink. My sink is one of those double-basin, stainless steel jobs. I had a glass full of water in one basin, and tapping on the bottom of the other basin produced these perfect, beautiful, concentric ripples - just like in the movie! Neato.

Bad Raleigh

Since I started participating in Critical Mass and Saturday Night Rides, I've been inspired by those riding fixed-gear bikes and I've been thinking about putting together my own fixie.

Then I remembered that I'd found an old Raleigh in the garbage 2 years ago. Problem is, I left it outside at my old apartment. So I swung by the old place, and lo and behold, it was still there! I freed it from a snare of old garden hoses, and walked it home. All I could tell from looking at it is that it's a rust-colored (but thankfully not very rusty) 3 speed of unknown vintage.

So I brought it inside, and started to look it over to see if it would be suitable for a fixie conversion. I laid it on it's side, drivetrain side up, to get a tooth count of the front chainring. (Can't remember the exact count, but it's more than 50.) Anyway, unbeknownst to me, while I'm counting there's a large quantity of rust-colored water draining from somewhere near the rear hub, all over my living room carpet. By the time I see it, it's the size of a dinner plate and spreading. So I tip Rusty back upright, and start cleaning up that mess. What nerve, I'm kind enough to bring it out of the cold, only to have it trash my place! Duh - I should have assumed the thing would be full of water after 2 years outside.

Anyway, from what I've learned it's a 1980's era bike. I have to take some frame measurements, crank measurements, and make sure the bottom bracket isn't hosed, but if all goes well I've got myself a fixie-worthy frame!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

When it rains, it pours

Every summer I go backpacking with a group of guys - big weeklong journeys - the goal being to ditch humanity, shoulder the packs, get high (as in above treeline, silly!), and get lost in the solitary scenery. We call it the "Adventure" series (as in Adventure '04, Adventure '03, etc.) This year's trip was in the Golden Trout Wilderness in the Inyo National Forest in California's Sierra Nevada mountain range. I really need to get some pictures online, as the experience was simply incredible. But I digress ...

In talking with Paul last night, it seems that the men of Adventure '04 have had some pretty significant life changes recently:

Paul - after 3 years of working for these guys, Paul landed a different job. Good work Paul, you earned it.

Kennedy - He and his wife now have two children, and have recently decided to divorce. It's almost good to know (now) that things weren't going well in his relationship then, since this would certainly explain the weird vibes he was giving off on Adventure '04. Really gotta feel for their children, though.

Moi - Decided last year that I don't want to have kids, now or ever, and just last week took control of my life and "fixed" things so I don't have to worry about that happening.

My experience left me feeling empowered. I wonder what feelings have been inspired for the others?

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Oprah ... WTF?

OK, just how self-absorbed/egotistical does a person need to be, before having a magazine named after yourself which also bears your own image on the cover every month seems like a good idea (or a good use of resources?) I mean, why not use your powers for good, instead of for evil, or self-promotion, or whatever?

And NO, giving out free Pontiacs does NOT qualify as good, either. Of course I might feel differently if she were giving away Hondas or Toyotas.

On a related note, I wonder if Oprah does a photo shoot every month, or if she shoots many months in advance whenever she thinks she's looking her best?

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Crimson Tide

OK, how lame is it to start my first post off with a comment about the weather?! But it's so deserved - the weather these past two weekends has been delicious. The leaves have been turning past few days, the crimson just starting to peak out yesterday. I'm dying to get out and ride - no destination, just soak in the season - but unfortunately, having just had my little operation a few days ago, I'm in no condition to do much but sit around. Fortunately, I had a few good books, and a coffeeshop a block distant, so all was not lost. In fact, spending the afternoon there, while not as great as riding would have been, was satisfying none the less.