Saturday, May 31, 2008

Emerald Coast , Opal Sand

This is a widescreen picture in 16:9 aspect ratio, taken by my new camera. It fits perfectly (all 16:9s do) on my desktop!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Fun Fact #11

The average number of passengers airborne over the US each hour is 61,000.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sugoi Helium Back

Here's an admittedly amateur picture of the back of the Sugoi Helium jacket. It's been hard to find one online. It's got a good amount of reflective material and you can see the unzipped side pocket with the music (8th) note. The pocket isn't huge. The material is thinner than I was expecting. There are vent holes under the armpits. The zipper is "backwards" with the movable part on the left side when the jacket is open. I haven't had a chance to wear it in the rain, but I did put it under the sink to test its waterproofness and it stayed dry.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Or is it the other way around?

This is a picture taken with my new camera. I guess you can't really pick out the quality since the shirt's kinda old. I'll get better pix up some time.

Pick #77

Enon - "In This City" from High Society

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Good v. Evil Tow Truck Drivers

I used to like tow truck drivers. They came and got me when the Olds overheated or when Brown wouldn't start or when I broke down. They were friendly and took me somewhere I needed to go.

Since I moved to Tally, I've met a new breed of tow truck drivers: the malicious ones. They prowl parking premeses perusing plates & permits, picking out those cars that don't belong. They quickly take the cars to an impound, unsolicited from the owner of the vehicle. Many people walk back to where their car was parked and can't find it (they're all like "I know I didn't get that drunk").

So, here's a quick anecdote about how evil tow truck drivers can F* with you...
I agreed to make a trip to Ormond Beach with Sarah this weekend because her sister's graduating high school and Sarah wants me to meet more of her family. I stayed over at her place on Friday night. I didn't get a visitor spot when I came in, so I parked in the front lot. The catch is that you have to be out of that lot by 7am or they tow you. I went to move my car about 3am or 3:30 but all the visitor spots were still full (I expected people to come back from the clubs and move their cars). I was about to resign myself to letting Sarah get up at about 6:45 to move my car into a visitor spot, so I started walking back to her apartment on the other side of the complex when I saw someone walking out of a building toward the visitor spots. I jogged to catch up to him and asked if he was in a visitor spot. He replied in the affirmative and I was about to get my car to shark his space...BUT, he was in the same lot I was in...didn't do me any good. I go back inside and go to sleep, making sure there's an alarm set for 6:45 am. It goes off and I tell Sarah to get up and move my car, presumably into an empty visitor spot. There weren't any empty visitor spots. She drove back to her building and parked my car in front of it and came to get me...turns out that you can't park inside the complex until 8am unless you're a resident or your car's in a visiter spot. So, in that hour between 7 and 8, they tow a $h*+ ton of people. In order to evade towage, we had to drive my car to my friggin house! Those bastardly evil tow truck drivers are emotionless pricks who thrive on the suffering of others. Fuck them.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

That's Not a Seat

Look: the gator is sitting on top of a turtle. I think they were both trying to sun themselves and there wasn't much rock space.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sugoi Helium

I just ordered the full length Helium jacket from Sugoi. I guess I'll write a review after I wear it a couple times. Check out the specs and see how awesome it looks.

I got it because it's better than a poncho for riding my bike home in the rain. It won't get caught in my spokes and it packs down way smaller (smaller than a soda can) than my poncho. It's only 3oz...not like weight's a problem for me. The jacket is also ventilated and has reflectors instead of the non-breathable camouflage poncho. Oh, did I say camo? I might mention here that I got the "Supernova" color aka safety yellow for visibility, not style.

I can also take it running. I'm looking forward to getting a lot of use out of it.

Shave Pounds Off Your Legs

There's an article in Slate about Oscar Pistorius and his artificial legs. It's a good, quick read.

I think it's a cool idea to have the Paralympic Games for athletes with disabilities. I have personally raced against handicapped individuals and I think it's awesome that they have the drive to train and compete against able-bodied athletes. I guess I usually beat them, but I think that my attitude toward them wouldn't change if they beat me. Maybe it's a moot point since we're both (me and disabled athletes) in the middle of the pack. If there were higher stakes than placement in your age group, then maybe my opinion would change.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Let My Money Do Something

Since the interest rate is low right now, I decided that I might as well get a return off some of my money by purchasing consumer durables. As I noted last Wednesday night, I just got a new digital camera. I plan on getting utility out of it for a couple years.

I know theory tells us that investment (in the business sense, not the stock market sense) will pick up when interest rates are lowered. This is why lowering the interest rate is supposed to stimulate the economy. However, I'd like to share some ideas that might make you even more willing to take some cash out of your savings account.

If you buy something that can make you a return, like CFL bulbs or high efficiency appliances, then you are investing in consumer durables. The CFLs will save more than their cost over their lifetime. Each month, you get a small return from them which is the difference between what your electric bill would have been with incandescents and your new bill with CFLs. One REALLY nice feature about this dividend on your investment is that it's tax free. Same goes with appliances. If your new fridge saves you $10/month, then it's earning you $120/year of tax-free income. Also, if you're thinking about replacing the washer/dryer with the high efficiency models, consider the yearly return in energy (and water and time) savings and add in the trade-in value of your current washer/dryer.

Those stimulus package checks should be coming pretty soon and they might be just the thing you need to push you over the edge to buy some consumer durables that will go to work for you.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Old People Who Shouldn't Drive

Upon leaving Publix today, we passed these 2 old ladies in the parking lot who were obviously not in shape to drive. Neither of them could remember where they had parked...I mean, not even in the vicinity. The Publix employee asked what kind of car they were driving and one of the ladies replied "it's a Chevrolet." Can you believe that?? These same geezers are going to forget to stop at a red light and might not see the little kids playing in the street. They certainly won't have time to react to someone slamming on their brakes in front of these old hags.

Which brings me to the test you must administer to anyone who is old and driving: Say "hey grandpa!" and immediately throw a NERF (NOT a regular) football at him. If he doesn't even turn around, then take his license. If he turns and looks and makes a fumble for the ball, retest in about a year. If he catches it, throws it back at you, and asks what's the big idea, then he's good for another 5 years or so.

I am against age limits for privileges. I think that people should have to earn their right to partake in a particular privilege. Sixteen my ass...just make sure that someone can operate a motor vehicle competently. If there is a lower age limit, then why not have an upper age limit? Instead of an upper limit, I'd rather see the above test (or something similar) performed.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

New Digital Camera

I just got a Sony Cybershot W150 and I'm loving it. I really wanted a portable (ultracompact) camera that didn't sacrifice the features on my current compact camera which is now more than 6 years old. It's got loads of features combined with a great size. I have it on 8.1MP mode so the dimensions of the pictures are 3264 x 2448. Maybe when I take a good picture (instead of a test picture) I'll post it to the blog...but you can't see the whole resolution.

I'm hoping to take this camera with me on my bike and in my pocket to places where I would have never carried my older, larger camera. We'll see how that works out.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bit My Lip

I don't know why I sometimes bite my lip/cheek/tongue while eating. You'd think that after 24 years of practicing eating a few times a day, every day, I'd be good enough at it that I could get through a meal without hurting myself.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Baby v. Cobra

What do you think would happen if this was in America? Notice the adult voices in the background. I think it's a pet snake that's been defanged.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Time Machine

I finished reading The Time Machine (1895) by H.G. Wells (or Mercury [Hg] Wells, as I started calling him) this past Friday. It is one of the seminal works of science fiction. I was amazed while reading it that Wells had these awesome ideas about selective breeding...did he read Darwin's Origin of Species (1859) or Mendel's Experiments on Plant Hybridization (1865)? If so, he took these principles to heart. If not, then he had an enormous imagination. Perhaps he discussed these works with friends and colleagues if he didn't read them.

BTW, it's a short novel that I recommend reading. It's such an engaging story that you just want to keep turning the page. If you've seen the earlier movie, then you'll see all the foreshadowing present in the novel. It just makes you hold your breath that much more.

Notes on the book:
I was really surprised on the socialist commentary. Wells thinks that the Capitalists have become the Eloi and the workers the Morlocks (see especially Chapter VII). I laugh at the prospect of the human race dividing into two species based on social class. I also like the ending and how it keeps the novel current.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Fun Fact #9

Polar bears' fur is actually clear. Their skin is black. They could eat you in one bite.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Skid Marks

I just got 5 new tires last week (and a new front suspension). My car is getting more love while I'm home, but I'll not bore you with the details. Also know that my ABS is not working, but should be getting fixed later this week.

H0-kay, so, I was in Ft. Myers for Angelica's wedding and had 6 people in my car (of course, Jana had to ride bitch out of necessity) and I was cruising at about 58mph when I'm close enough to a green light that turns yellow. I was about to gun the engine to beat the light, but then I saw an oncoming motorcycle turning left across my path, so I had to brake instead. I locked up my wheels and made a pretty good skid mark. I was unhappy a) that my ABS is broken (but I didn't slide) and b) that I may have just damaged my brand new tires. Why did b) cross my mind? Because Beerman just got done telling a story about some skid marks left on I-95 by his roommate.

B's roommate was going 110mph down I-95 and went to change lanes from the rightmost lane into the middle lane but noticed that another car was too close so he pulled back into the right lane, over corrected and put the car into a spin. On the way back from Ft. Myers, we took the long way so that we could see the skid marks. They were like interwoven Xs. I've never seen anything like it. Wish I had a picture.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Oh, There's My Money

I misplaced an envelope with about $200 in it over the weekend. I only discovered this when I wanted to get some more spending money once we were in Ft. Myers. Good news: I left it in Vero!

Friday, May 2, 2008