Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Reptile Dysfunction

Sarah's family is using a vacation rentals website to rent out their Tally house until the fall. Today Sarah & I decided that they might want to list on the site that there's a turtle in the aquarium. We thought that maybe somebody might be scared of turtles or just not want one around. That's not so unreasonable...people are afraid of snakes and frogs and lizards, etc. We told her mom. Her mom asked why anyone would be afraid of a turtle. I replied:

"They might have a reptile dysfunction!"

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Piedra negra sobre una piedra blanca

Les comparto un poema de César Vallejo de su obra Poemas humanos (1939).  Todavía recuerdo partes de ello aúnque matriculé en el curso de Modernismo-PostBoom hace unos 5 años.

Me moriré en París con aguacero,
un día del cual tengo ya el recuerdo.
Me moriré en París--y no me corro--
tal vez un jueves, como es hoy, de otoño.

Jueves será, porque hoy, jueves, que proso
estos versos, los húmeros me he puesto
a la mala y, jamás como hoy, me he vuelto,
con todo mi camno, a verme solo.

César Vallejo ha muerto, le pegaban
todos sin que él les haga nada;
le daban duro con un palo y duro

también con una soga; son testigos
los días jueves y los huesos húmeros,
la soledad, la lluvia, los caminos...


Qué magnífico su punto de vista de "ya recordar" su propia muerte.  Pues, es algo especial poner su muerte durante un jueves de otoño.  Ni jueves ni otoño llegan al fin de sus ciclos...es decir que César va a morirse antes de su tiempo natural.  Es un hombre inocente porque "les haga nada" y a la vez se lo pegaron.
  No conozoco París, pero no creo que yo tenga la habilidad de ver la muerte y no huirla a causa de estar en una ciudad así.  Mucha gente se enamora de París, pero no voy a ser uno de ellos.
  Yo también escribé un poema sobre mi muerte, pero me maté a mi...me ahogé en la espuma del mar.  Tal vez puedo "postar"lo en mi blog en el futuro...si mis lectores quieren leerlo.

TANG

Dan brought home some TANG tonight.  I can't remember the last time I had TANG.  It's freaking amazing.  It makes you feel like you're 12 again.  I like that feeling.  (Note to TBW:  we should put drinking Tang in our A&W are 12 years old photo album).  

I recommend that you pick up some Tang the next time you're at the store and bring back sensations from the good old days.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Pick #115

Azul Azul - "Bomba"

encontré esto a causa de tener ortografía equivocada en mi canción escojido de la semana pasada cuando la busqué en youtube.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Brown's Home Kitchen Center

I found the coolest store yesterday. Brown's Home Kitchen Center is a completely awesome shop with anything you could want to stock your kitchen (except for food). They are also a restaurant supply.

Here's how I found the store: Step 1) Dan broke my pizza stone a while ago by heating up the oven with the stone on the counter. He put a frozen pizza on it then stuck it in the oven. :::Shatter:::. We were living fine without one but Dan said he'd buy a new one. Step 2) Andrew picked up some plus-sized crescent rolls at Publix. I was going to make a taco ring. I made one a week ago and it was tough without the pizza stone. We ended up making a taco oval on a baking sheet. I knew there was no way the plus-sized taco ring would fit on my baking sheets. Step 3) I asked Dan if he knows where to get a pizza stone in Tally. He guessed Wal-Mart. After watching The High Cost of Low Price, I am making a conscious effort not to shop at WM. A quick Google search revealed that Target had a pizza stone on their website for about $13. Turns out they don't carry it in store. Instead of going to WM, I decided to look for "kitchen store" on Google Maps. I called the first place that came up and they wanted $55 for a pizza stone. Cross them off the list. The second store wanted only $14-15, so I went there. That turned out to be Brown's.

I think I could have spent $1,000 in Brown's that day if I had a gift card. I only purchased the pizza stone (Dan has yet to pay me back...maybe I should remind him), a mini mortar & pestal, and a 1L carafe. Other items I may have picked up are: knives and a magnetic knife holder (the wall-mount kind), cast-iron skillets, Vinturi, glassware, pepper grinder, utensils, and I can't even remember what else. I recommend checking it out.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Remember the Milk

Rememberthemilk.com is an online to-do list. Accounts are free. You can make different lists (e.g. Personal, work, study, money, girls, etc) and it gives you lots of options for each task. I just started using it last week and I'm still figuring stuff out. It's really smart. For instance, I clicked "due date" for a task and typed in "tue" and it filled out "Tuesday, February 17th, 2009." Amazing. "Tomorrow" does what you'd expect it to, as does "10pm" and "next wed." You can generate notes about a task (e.g. Date. Saturday, 9pm...the note could be the address...or the girl's name).

Here's part of the stuff you can edit about a task:
Due: never
Repeat: never
Time estimate: none
Tags: none
Location: none
URL: none
Postponed: 0 times
Shared with: no one
Notes: 0

You can also prioritize tasks, view tasks due today or due this week. There are features where it can remind you via email that you have a task about to become due. There's something about emailing yourself and it will automatically generate a task for that activivty.

Maybe this will make it easier to keep track of to do lists. I guess you could make a grocery list...I'ma do that right now... Usually to do lists get buried on my desk under other to do lists and notes to myself on scrap paper. I could be more productive??

Monday, February 16, 2009

Team Fellatio

I was riding in to town from Sarah's new place. As we were pulling out of the driveway, she said "team fellatio!" I had no idea what she meant. I mean, is that when you have a girl on the left and another on the right??

Turns out she was talking about the "sold" sign in the front yard which features a picture of her realtor and his mother. Their last name is Felaciano (or something like that). I guess they call themselves "team Felaciano," which was misunderstood by Sarah.

To make matters funnier, she had no idea what fellatio means. She couldn't understand why I was cracking up when she said "team fellatio" again and again. I explained myself and we checked to make sure that their last name was not actually Fellatio. Lucky for them, their name isn't.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Florida Bicycle Association

I just came across the Florida Bicycle Association website a couple days ago.  It's got a lot of useful info on there about biking rules and safety and programs.  DYK that cars can pass bikes, even on a double yellow line?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Rudy Project Zyon Review

I found a pretty comprehensive review at Outside's website. On top of that, here's some of my experiences with the Photopolarized ImpactX lenses in black frames:

I got my Zyons last August. What I didn't see on the website is that they come with a hard- and a soft-case. The hard case has compartments to hold the side shields. The side shields do a great job of keeping debris out of your eyes on a bike ride.

My Zyons are the first glasses I've had with transitions lenses. It's really nice if you're going on a run about an hour before sunset because the lenses will darken when the sun's in your eyes then lighten so you can still see without having to put them on your head. As for the "transition" property of the lenses, it's pretty fast. The only time you notice it is if you go from dark inside to extremely bright outside (Florida summer midday), then there's about a 3-4 second window when the lenses are darkening that you have to squint a little bit. Other than that, they're perfect at adjusting to lighting conditions. Before I got these glasses, I was used to wearing mirrored lenses and I had to get used to the fact that people can see your eyes through these lenses.

The adjustable nose piece and temples keep the glasses secure no matter what you're doing. You could probably wear these into and out of the pit at a Deftones concert if you made the right adjustments first. They've comfortably stayed on my head while jet skiing and on rollercoasters.

As for the 96% polarization, it's awesome to be able to read screens. I haven't had a problem with computer monitors, alarm clocks, watches, GPS, or anything else while wearing these glasses.

One drawback is that I was used to wearing Oakley Minutes which have a much smaller lens. When I first started wearing the Zyons, I would make my nostril hit the frame when I was scratching my nose from the bottom. I guess I've adapted to that now because I don't have any more problems.

One nice non-sports advantage is that I can wear my prescription eyeglasses between my eyeballs and the Zyon lenses by adjusting the nosepiece and sitting the Zyons farther away from my eyes. This is very nice for driving, but I'd never work out like that. I guess if I had a bad enough prescription, I'd just get Rx lenses put straight in the Rudys.

Overall, the price is a little high, but they're good quality glasses that you could wear every day for the next 6 years (or so it seems right now) without problem. Rudy Project has an incredible warranty system which covers the frame for 3 years and the lenses for life. I say invest the extra money and go for quality eyewear like the Zyon.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Digital Library & Media Center

I just found out that FSU has a cool new program available through their library system. It's called the Digital Library and Media Center. You can convert analog to digital media if you're a student or faculty @ FSU. You can edit audio and video. It's "drop-in" so you don't need an appointment.

I think this would be really cool to do some video capture stuff for clips that I want to teach in class. I haven't checked it out yet, but I plan on doing so.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Things Will Get Better

OK, I've accepted that our country is in the middle of an "economic downturn" although I'm not entirely convinced that the causes were independent of a self-fulfilling prophesy. Tonight I was talking to Sarah about about how recessions are a cure for inefficient companies. Non-serious competitors get out of the marketplace and leave only the strong firms after the hard times have passed. It's kind of like when there's an abrupt change in the environment, killing off the weaker species/individuals and the strong survive.

Even with this positive outlook on the future, it does kind of feel weird to be checking out at a store that's having a liquidation sale. You know that everyone who works there needs to find another job soon. Liquidations can get you good deals. If you have the money to spend, you can get a lot of bang for your buck. In the case of Blackwell Research, I got some $850 wheels for $250. I thought they were a good, quality company. Maybe they just couldn't keep their costs down enough to the level where other companies of similar quality have them.

Anyway, the forest is burning around us and the trees are charred. The grass has disintegrated and only smoldering ash is at our feet. However, anyone who's witnessed the aftermath of a forest fire knows that new growth springs up in a few weeks' time. The next generation of trees is fertilized by the burnt remains of the older generation. The strong survive and their progeny have an advantage in the new forest. I think we'll be seeing some green in about a year.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Towed!

I stopped by Mike's Beer Barn last night around 9:30 to return a tap & get my deposit money back. I parked in a spot right off the street next to the Beer Barn. I saw a tow-away sign, but it looked like it was for an adjacent lot. Maybe you can see what I mean if you go to a street view on Google maps & search for 308 N Copeland St, 32304. Look East. Move up the road to 316 N Copeland. I was parked where the red car is in the street view. There was a white van 2 or 3 spaces over from me. I guess I knew there was a risk of towing, but my probability estimator put it at under 1% since I was going to make such a short trip.

I got out of my car (mind you, I didn't see any tow trucks), walked into the Beer Barn, waited for a customer to get his change, set the tap down, showed my receipt, took the cash, and walked back out the door. Upon rounding the corner, I saw a tow truck by my car! Then I realized it was attached!!! I hauled ass up to my (now moving) car. I got my keys out of my pocket, unlocked the passenger door as the car's going down the road, opened the door and jumped inside. My heart was racing and I couldn't think straight. I was definitely shaken up. Maybe I should have turned on the car and driven off. It's the kind of tow truck that just hooks your wheels then goes...not the kind that winches you up on to a flat bed. Instead, I opened my driver door and hollered. The driver's face was priceless when he looked back at me. He said I had to pay a $44 "drop fee." Well, I was flustered and didn't see any alternatives so I paid him with the $40 that I had just got from returning the tap and another $5 from my wallet. I was left with $1 in my wallet. Good thing it wasn't a $50 fee.

I told the driver that the white van had been there when I pulled up, so why wasn't he towed first? Turns out that he's the owner of the property. Bollocks. Anyway, I was pretty upset and wanted to see if I could make Professional Parking refund me my money. I checked the city of Tallahassee ordinances and found that it's possible for the owner of the property to have a contract where the towing company does NOT need to be called in order to tow someone. I called the police and asked about requirements for signage (for instance, it's the law that handicap spots have to be lined in blue and have a sign 5'6" off the ground stating that it's a handicap spot). Turns out that signage requirements are nearly nonexistent on private property. So, I had the idea that I must have been parked on some sort of easement right off the road. I looked at the property appraiser's website and found out that there is no easement on that property.

I was going to kind of prank call Professional Parking and say that I had someone parked in my yard and could they come tow it? Catch being that "my yard" would be on the opposite side of town, making them drive all the way out there for nothing. You know, I just want to get back at them somehow. Turns out that they don't accept calls from blocked numbers. Is it legal to let air out of the tow truck's tires? What about dropping a bunch of cinder blocks in the entrance to their impound? Or, I'd really love to hide in a monster truck after parking it illegally...then wait to be put in the impound and drive through the fence!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tallahassee Marathon

I ran my first marathon on Sunday, right here in Tallahassee. It was pretty convenient in that it started and finished on campus and was predominately run on the St. Mark's Trail. I decided a few weeks ago that I wasn't going to qualify for Boston due to the time I took off trying to get rid of a cough I caught over the break. I had accepted that Boston wasn't going to happen and just wanted a nice solid race. The GWTC 30k had KILLED me a couple weeks ago and I was resigned to being slow. I thought I'd finish anywhere between 3:20 and 3:50. Turns out that I was right in the middle at 3:35:22. I placed 7/17 in my age group and 64/208 overall.

The Tallahassee Marathon course was incredibly well supported. Water stations about every two miles. Plenty of restrooms (I had to stop twice during the race to pee...the high cost of hydration!). If you're thinking about a marathon, this one is excellent. It's a flat course with lots of amenities. The race packet was quality (coolmax shirt, free 12 month subscription to Runner's World, etc).

I wanted to go out slow and hold on to a steady pace until mile 20 where I could pick it up if I felt like it. I ended up running with a few different packs of people, most of them dropping me after a mile or 8. I started talking to some people...I mean, we were having conversations...That's weird for a race. I guess the marathon pace is so slow that if you couldn't talk then you'd be going too fast. I did pick it up between miles 20 and 21. At mile 21, I consumed half a cup of my "power smoothie" (see recipe below) which I viewed as a secret weapon. It kicked in at mile 22. Everything was fine until mile 24. I was staying on pace and feeling good...but mile 25 felt like it was a mile and a half long. The last 1.2 miles was pretty sweet though. It was getting back on campus and it had a track finish. I probably ran 7 minute pace or better on the 280 meters of the track finish.

After the race, Sarah was there to pick me up from the ground and help me find food and massages. I was a little delirious and had a hard time talking. The massage was golden...probably the #1 reason why I wasn't that sore. The #2 reason probably involves me going to swim for about ten minutes then jumping in the hot tub before I went home.

Power smoothie recipe:
1/2 bag Publix frozen mixed berries
2 bananas
2 shots Hammer gel
2 scoops Hammer HEED (High Energy Electrolyte Drink)
2.5 scoops protein powder
6oz mixed berry yogurt
juice

Tuesday, February 3, 2009