Friday, July 30, 2004

Bike to work, phase IV:

Being the seasoned bike-to-work vetran that I now am, allow me to impart upon you the vast amounts of knowledge I have gleaned from this experience. I'll start with this:

If you bike to work two whole days in a row, like we advanced commuters do, be sure to take a fresh pair of underwear on day two. Becuase the clean pair you had previously brought to the office you wore yesterday and (hopefully) took home. Therefore, there are none for use on day two.

That said, you can all just refer to me as "Commando Gary" for the day. HooRah!

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Bike to work, Phase III: Success!

I AM LANCE ARMSTRONG...only in very small scale (and not diddling that semi-hot-yet-older-singner-chick, cuz my girlfriend would kick my ass). Do I qualify for a "cars r coffins" sticker yet?

This day, I have begun my bike to work life. Left the house (in the truck) at 7am. Drove past my launch point, to the local video rental joint. Dropped off Hellboy at the local video rental joint (review currently in my "Drafts" folder...will be posted soon). Drove the two blocks back to the launch point. Mounted my trusty road steed (a 1976 Motobecane Super Mirage yard sale find, provided by DT a couple of years ago). And sped off into the sunset...err...sunrise.

Commute went something like this:

7:20am: start @ W&OD Trail, Vienna VA
Mile 2: cross Gallows road
Mile 3: cross over Rt 66. Feel pity for poor schmucks sitting in traffic below.
Mile 4.5: Cross over Rt 7. Feel pity for poor schmucks sitting in traffic below.
Mile 4.75: Leave West onto Great Falls St.
Mile ??: Leave GF St. onto McGarity.
Mile 8.5: At work. Travel time 40 minutes.
8:10am: In my office and changed, and all fancied-up.

Number of revelations achieved: 1. Evidently all of the friendly people are on the WOD in the mornings. I got more "hi"s and "good morning"s than I've ever experienced. The silent majority were still both. But the frienly minority were out in force too.

If I worked 8.5 miles from home and could ride the entire length on the W&OD, I would commute, without question, by bike every day. The semi-sketchy parts of my commute are the roads (Great Falls Street in particular) where I'm sharing a single lane with vehicles. Cars don't bother me too much, but the occasional trash truck, or dump truck scare the shit outta me. Luckily a lot of GF St. is a lane and a half or has a bike-path-esque sidewalk. So hopefully I'll be able to keep this commuting by bike thing up.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Bike to work, phase II complete. Fixed up the road bike. Had to tweak both F and R derailluers (can't spell that word). Aired up the tires. Rode around the 'hood a bit to make sure everything was ready to go. All seems well. Honestly, I don't remember the last time I rode it...unfortunately.

Also rearranged my backpacks. Minimizing amount of junk I have to carry on the ride in. I think I have all the necessary stuff, without all the unnecessary stuff.

The plan for now is to drive to a parking lot on the W&OD trail (some parts of the road between home and work are just too dangerous to try and navigate on a bike), leave the truck there, and head off to work. Although it just occurred to me that I have to stop by the local video store and drop off Hellboy. Hrm, that will complicate theings a bit.
Made the first move. I don't bike enough and I'm getting fat(er), so I want to start commuting on my bike. So today I brought a full change of clothes (including shoes) into the office. Now I just gotta get off my fat ass, suck up the fact that it's hot and humid and gross outside, and pedal my ass in. Wish me luck. I'm a lazy bastard.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Warning: spicy language to follow. You have been warned...

Fuck WalMart. Fuck them right in the ear. Lately I've been hesitant to shop there due to questionable business practices that come to light from time to time. But now it looks like I'll be writing them off of my "places I will shop" list preminantly. Looks like I'm gonna be getting a Costco membership, too, even tho they fired me once (way back in the day when they were still Price Club). And I know that W is the biggest of big-business, so I shouldn't be surprised they're firmly entrenched with the 'publican party. And truthfully, I'm not surprised. Just seeing it all laid out before me kinda acted as a wake up call. Fuck them.

Here's the story that pushed me over the edge:
Rivalry between Wal-Mart, Costco also extends to national politics


"Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer and owner of Sam's Club warehouse stores, gives more money to Republican candidates than any other company."

"Wal-Mart (two-thirds of whose 3,580 stores are in the "red states" that voted for Bush in 2000) is backing White House policies on everything from trade to limiting overtime pay."

"Wal-Mart supports the Bush administration's expansion of free-trade agreements and its bid to curtail the number of workers eligible for overtime pay, according to its lobby disclosure reports."

"Wal-Mart has benefited from the president's opposition to raising the minimum wage, since some employees make less than $7 an hour, and from the Republican-controlled Congress's reluctance to make it easier for workers to unionize. Wal-Mart has no unions; about one-sixth of Costco's workers are represented by labor groups."

"Wal-Mart's political action committee, the biggest company PAC, gave Republicans 81 percent of its $1.3 million in donations in the past two years, a higher proportion than any of the top 25 corporate PACs, according to PoliticalMoneyLine, a nonpartisan Washington-based group."

"Wal-Mart and Costco aren't the only companies in the same industry whose executives are on opposing sides in the election. Google Inc. chief executive Eric Schmidt is backing Kerry, while Internet rival Yahoo Inc. chief executive Terry Semel endorsed Bush."

Looks like I'm should start using that gmail account and ween myself off of the Yahoo mail too.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Pretty active weekend considering all the blowing-off of plans I accomplished...

The blow offs actually started before the weekend. I was supposed to attend the East Coast Xterra Challenge in PA this past Thursday thru Sunday with the rest of MAXC, but decided in the middle of last week that I wasn't gonna make it. The idea of spending $25 for event registration, $60 to camp for three nights, $10 to become a 'member' of the off road park where the even was held, $75 ($25 per day) to actually off road in the park, not to mention gas to get up there and back (~240 miles away), cash for food and drink, etc, etc, etc, I have other places I'm trying to put my money. As much as I'd like to have hung out with the friends I've made in MAXC, I couldn't justify it.

So, after having my weekend planned out for the last few months, I suddenly had a it wide open. Not wanting to sit in the house all weekend, the girl and I made plans to go camping/hiking in Shenandoah National Park. True to form, the weather totally didn't cooperate. They called for rain on and off all weekend. So we decided to bag the camping in favor of doing more local outdoor stuff.

Saturday comes and we decide to hit the National Arboretum in Washington DC. The girl hadn't been there since she was a kid, and I'd never seen the place. Sounded like a good opportunity to do a bit of biking and take a few pix of some new and unusual subject matter.

So the girl and I spent a couple of hours tooling around the Arboretum grounds (me on my SS, her on her geared bike) looking at plants and trees and other oddities. Gotta say, the coolest thing we saw had to be the Bonsai exhibit. Check it if you're there. Also, feed the bigass goldfish in the outdoor pond. The day would have been totally perfect if it weren't for the dumbass thugs blaring "50 Cent" or some shit in the maintenance yard (clearly audible from the far end of the park grounds). Made for a relaxing time among the serene Bonsai. Anyway, we persevered.

Sunday, there's a MORE picnic planned in MD, but I was leaning toward blowing that off too. Not for any specific reason. Just that my original plan was to be outta town one way or another this weekend, so I never gave it much thought. The picnic was in conjunction with the opening of a new trail system at Rosaryville State Park in MD. I want to get out there and ride the trails soon, especially since I helped build them :)

So instead of attending the MORE picnic, the girl and I decided to work in a hike. (Since the original weekend plan was for nothing *but* hikes, it seemed appropriate). Since the weather was questionable (read: it was raining like hell all morning), we decided to stay pretty local. Since neither of us are in our peak training condition, I decided to find something not too taxing. A copy of "50 Hikes in Northern Virginia" suggested a casual hike in Mason Neck State Park, a little way down Route 95. After some back-road GPS exploring to avoid the parking lot that is always 95 South, we managed to find the park.

The casual hike turned out to be a casual walk. Probably only 1-2 miles. There was an extra 1 mile loop, but we decided to skip it since it didn't really seem to include anything interesting, and there was a second .5 mile spur that has been closed permanently (see below). The 'hike' started out along the bay (dunno what bay), and within a half a mile we came across a huge church group doing baptisms in the bay. Not that I'm all that religious, but it was pretty interesting to see 100 people watching from shore and 4 in the water, dunking people. I took a bunch of pics, but I'm not sure I had the angle or distance I needed. We'll see when I dump them from the camera.

Unfortunately, it turns out that what might have been the coolest part of the trail has been permanently closed. It was once described like this:

"The Kanes Creek Trail ultimately leads to a wooden blind constructed to view birdlife in the exceptionally beautiful Kane's Creek inlet and marsh. And the waterfowl is there in abundance - from bald eagles, to great blue herons, to migrating waterfowl. An ornithologist could spend hours at this site, and hikers will drink in the view and wildlife with relish."

Upon our arrival at the trail leading to the blind, we were greeted with a sign which said (essentially): Due to environmental concern and other considerations, the trail to the marsh blind has been permanently closed". You can see the section of the trail that's been closed on this map. It's the part circled in red. Disappointing.

Anyway, after our brief hike we wandered around a few paved paths in the park and did a bit of exploring on some out of the way (but not off limits) shore line. Took a ton of photos, but as I said earlier, I haven't pulled them off of the camera, so I don't know what I have yet.
Lance kicks ass

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Random thoughts on the use of the word "Extreme" in advertising are thus:

You should only be allowed to call your product (or sport) "Extreme" (or "XTREME") if and only if your product or sport has the potential to kill it's users (or participants).

Extreme sports should have the ability to kill you. Bottom line. Extreme skiing. Ok...Above 20,000', in avalanche condition, jumping out of a helecopter. Extreme skydiving? One in 20 parachutes are actually backpacks full of sweatsocks. Extreme soccer? Two words: Land mines. XTREME chess? Fuck it, can't happen. Not even the 21st century marketing machine can make something that lame "extreme". If your KoolAid is "XTREME BLUEBERRY", one in 10 packs of that shit should contain enough cyanide to kill a mule. "Extreme Cheetoes" in ten bags should be filled with 16oz of puffed plastique and should blow your face off when you open it.

So stop trying to sell the world your bullshit by slapping on an "extreme" label and trying to make it cool.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Didn't see that coming at all, did you?...

Three weeks ago (6/30), Microsoft's "The Slate" magazine says flat out "...How Mozilla's Firefox trumps Internet Explorer."

Today (7/23) Microsoft announces it's planning on selling The Slate.

Coincidence? I think not. That'll learn them editors to let embarrassing stories slip past.

"CIA Officials: bin Laden Will Be Caught"

"RANT-O-RIFFIC Officials: we're betting just before November 2, 2004"
Posted a few more pix up to Making pretty good progress going through all of my old (since April 2004) digital shots. Only about 1000 more to go till I'm done. Then there's the 10 year old box of photos in the closet that might yield a few worthy pieces to scan and post. I spent a lot of time in my youth tinkering with B&W shots and taking photos of cemetaries and the like. As I remember, I would occasionally capture an ok shot. Just hope they're still in good shape.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

So there I was wandering down the hall singing the GoGo's "This Town" (as covered by Korn with one of the chicks from Veruca Salt). Anyway, I wander into the bathroom growling out bubblegum pop and there's this guy taking a leak. And I'm all "oh, hey man". I hate when that happens.
This just in from the "no shit?" department:

SORRENTO, Italy July 21, 2004 — The International Whaling Commission expressed concern Wednesday that current methods of killing the marine mammals with grenade-tipped harpoons may cause them "pain, stress or distress," despite pro-whaling nations' claims the harpoons bring instant death.

And there are lawyers trying to say lethal injection is "cruel and unusual".
A couple of thoughts with "cars" as the main theme today...

1) If the license plate on your Audi TT reads "COOL DUD" you are either not enough of the former, or too much of the latter.

2) In what way does the average Hyundai-driving Joe Blow think a re-elected GWBush is going to benefit them? I sincerely doubt that GW is aiming for the Hyundai demographic. Somehow, I think H2s and Navigators are more his style. So why is it that I have seen a couple Hyundais with GWB stickers?? I mean, if I saw Hyundai Joe driving along with a GWB sticker on one side and an "I'm a scary NRA guy, and I vote" then maybe I'd understand. Maybe a "My White Christian God can beat up your pretend Dark Skinned God". Or "I'm a middle-class white male and I don't like abortion" and a GWB sticker...then maybe. But if you drive a Hyundai and you don't align yourself with some facet of the Republican party other than the fiscal aspect, I sincerely think you're gonna regret supporting them.

Unless of course daddy's trust fund just hasn't started paying off yet.

This goes for you too, Mr. beatup Corolla driving guy. What's he going to do for your middle-class-ass? Mabye give you more roads through forest land to drive your piece of shit car on. But not much else.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Be careful what you search for...

On, I did a search for sex and the city 6. The g/f is a fan, and I'm trying to see when the second half of the 6th season comes out. Got a few suprise hits (note, semi-adult related content to follow):

Invader Zim Vol 1.

Doc Johnson Crystal Jelly 6 Inch Butt Plug. Which features: "New shapes of Crystal Jelly butt plugs will put a sparkle in your anal play. Use this baby alone or with a partner. 6 inches of pure delight!"

Doc Johnson iToys 6 Inch Strawberry Dildo

Doc Johnson iToys 6 Inch Grape Vibe Vibrator Massager

Ultra Realistic Dongs 6 Inch Dildo Non-Vibrating Vibrator Personal Massager


Sunday, July 18, 2004

I've got a feeling that my partner in crime, Ben will be posting some pretty spectacular images in the next few weeks. I figured I'd take advantage in this, the calm before the storm, to fix up and post some new stuff myself (before being totally trumped by his work). Anyway, check the site for a bunch of new images I uploaded.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

King Arthur: Totally entertaining. Totally recommended. Not really a *thinking* movie, but who needs all that thinking all the time?. Definitely had that Gladiator/Braveheart kinda feel. The knights were charming, rogueish and funny; the battle scenes epic; add in a hot chick with tribal tattoos, a halter top and a bow and arrow and what's not to love?! Tho in all honesty, it's amazing how every woman in 462AD is a grubby hag, except for the 'cleans-up-nicely' leading lady. I'm not saying we need more hag-ish co-stars or anything. Just pointing out the stereotype.

Couple of added bonuses: One of the main characters in the movie was that outta control foreign (German ?) guy, Mark from SLC Punk (another one of my favorite movies). Took me a little while to place him. Also, before the movie I got to see the trailer for AVP: Alien vs. Predator. There's a huge potential for this film to suck, but I'm still hugely looking forward to it and will definitely check it out.

Bottom line: This movie makes me want to shave my head again, get a bunch of tribal tats, and take up fencing (with broadswords). A+.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Or as I like to call it Crouching Tiger, Hidden jesus-christ-is-this-frigging-movie-ever-gonna-end?". When I originally saw this movie in the theaters, I really liked it. But seeing it again today, it was the movie that would never end. I guess 4 years ago, this moive was pretty advanced and cinamatically beautiful. But now, it's campy. Maybe it's just that I don't like
kung-fu movies, who knows. But the running on treetops and dance-fighting just didn't do it for me. It seemed like all the fighting was...i dunno...soft. The sword clashes were hard/realistic enough. But everything else about it was just poofy. I don't know how else to explain it.

I wanted to see this movie again with my 12 year old daughter. I'm trying to find movies and books that have strong women characters. There are enough movies where the women need rescuing. I expect my kid to have a better view of the world. I can only hope, I guess. I think she enjoyed the fight scenes enough, but I think the whole thing in general was a bit hard to follow.

Daredevil: It's been a while since I've seen this, but it was so fucking bad, I wanted to try and save other lost souls from having to endure it. Not even the hot chick in full leather outfit with martial arts knify-things could save the day. And I don't even hate Ben Afflick. Well...I didn't used to.

If I were kidnapped, tied to a chair, had my eyes stapled open and was forced to watch a television with this movie playing on it, I swear that I would find a way to chew out my own eyes.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Aiight, the fruit-fly duration attention span strikes again. Time for a new blogger template. Decided the last one was too orange. Hopefully I'll stick with this one for a bit.

Got all the customizations working (I think). Haloscan comments, Links, Endorsements. Looks like we're in business.
Being a very amateur photographer living next to Washington DC, the paranoia-capitol of the (psuedo) free world, surrounded by countless monuments and military installations that may or may not be legal to photograph at any given moment, it really struck a note with me (and evidently lots of other people).

Humiliated, Angry, Ashamed, Brown.

-see also-
(his main page)

One less brown-skinned-amateur-photographer-terrorist in the world. Hurrah! I feel safer already. God bless the Patriot Act!

Why...why do antibiotics have to smell like farts. And why do coworkers have to walk into your office 3 seconds after you've opened your little fart-bottle and give you that "oh, sure, it was the pills...ok" look? All the technology in the biotec world, you think they'd find a way to make antibiotics smell like cheeseburgers or something.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Lucky you! It's time for the rant-o-riffic second annual(?) movie review. In today's installment:

The Godfather: Ok, so it took me 30 years to get around to seeing this classic. What's to say that hasn't been said elsewhere. It was good. Would I call it the best movie ever made? No. Maybe I need to see it a few more times to get the full vibe. But I enjoyed it. It was long as hell. And slow. And for whatever reason, it had screaming kids/babies on screen for at least 25% of the movie. And I had to rewind repeatedly to try and figure out what the hell that marble-mouthed Brando was yammering on about. But it's a classic, and gets the rant-o-riffic seal of approval.

The Triplets of Bellville: Uh. Oh my. Where to start. This is an animated, dialogue-free (that's right, kids, no real dialogue for 99% of the film), French film with cycling and the Tour de France (in the early 20th century) as it's central theme. Not that there's much linear about this movie. If I were to try and describe it in things you, gentile reader, may be familiar with, I'd have to say it's 80% Pink Floyd's "The Wall" (without the rock-n-roll), 10% Breaking away, and 10% a performance by STOMP. Add in some freaky characters, pretty cool animation techniques, and an old woman who goes frog hunting with WWI german hand gernades, and you start to get a feel for it. I've had less weird acid trips.

As best I can tell, the plot is that a club-footed grandmother encourages her young grandson to start biking. Jump ahead years and she's helping to train him for the Tour (using a whistel to blow a cadence, which is pretty funny overall). While racing in the tour, the grandson and two other riders are kidnapped and taken somewhere by boat (the US?). Grandma and the family dog (which she often rides like a horse) set off to the recue. Strangeness ensues.

So. Would I recommend it? Not for your average humans. Cyclists might be able to endure it. Hardcore animation fans would probably love it for it's style (it really looks cool). And people on acid woulnd't be able to tear their eyes away (or they'd tear their eyes out, depending on the mood of thier trip). But for my average, unassuming, normal fans, I think it's a little weird. Ok. A whole f*cking lot weird.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

I decided to add a new column on my main blogger page. Endorsements. After doing a couple of rides with some new (and not so new) parts on the bike, I thougth it worthwile to post my experieces (after all, I am an opinionated bastard). A couple of new toys have really struck me as priceless additions to the riding experience. Keep in mind, I've not been paid for these glowing reviews (...yet. I'm always willing to negotiate my sell-out-ness). Anyway, the first three entries on the "rant-o-riffic must have bike stuff list" are: ODI Lock-on grips (rock solid and slip proof, even when huffing up hills singlespeed style), Hutchinson Green downhill tubes (pinch proof, even for my 240lb fatboy delux bod. Bent a rim and still didn't pinch) and the Halo II (keep-the-friggin'-sweat-outta-my-eyes) headband.

For now, I'm tired from my ride earlier, so I'll finish up with some links tomorrow. Out.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Dear Potomac Mills Mall cop,

How dare you give my girlfriend shit about the "John Kerry for President" bumpersticker on her car when she calls you for assistance?

Girlfriend: "It's the silver car with a John Kerry bumpersticker on the back.
Dumbfuck Cop: "You probably don't need to be saying that too loud here in Bush country".

Fuck you!

Maybe you want to read up on some of old Bush 2.0's policies towards law enforcement before you plant your donut-eating ass firmly on his bandwagon:

President Bush has proposed deep cuts to important law enforcement programs as part of his Fiscal Year 2004 budget for the Department of Justice (DOJ). While the President has talked about supporting law enforcement and securing our homeland, he is proposing to eliminate the successful Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program and severely cut funding for local and state law enforcement agencies as they work to protect our communities against terrorism and to fight crime and drugs.

-or maybe-

"By FY 2011...justice spending (e.g., law enforcement) is down 13.8%".

Sounds like a good reason to stay in Bush country if you ask me.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

To me, this speaks volumes about the "president": Bush Rejects Bid for NAACP Appearance.

What an embarrassment.

Now I can only hope the African American community is paying attention. In November, go out and vote that fucker back to Texas. Please.

Friday, July 09, 2004

I went to the grocery store tonight. It's one of those grocery stores that has the little covered cheese samples (complete with toothpicks so you don't have to use your grubby ass hands). Tonight, I happened to see a guy pick up a couple of pieces of cheese with his fingers and pop them into his mouth. No biggie, right? Right. I mean, I'm not that much of a fancy pants. I admit, in my youth, to having dipped into the bulk food barrels for handfuls of Whoppers and Sweedish Fish. But no lie, when this freak scratched his armpit with the same hand he just used in the cheese dish, I nearly lost my lunch.

School in the summertime, this bastard had no class. Yuck.

Let me just say that I'm fairly pissed off at camera maker Konica-Minolta right now. (Note, most of the links to KM in my rant use tons of Flash stuff. And the best part is that the link for "Non-Flash site" is actually contained *in* the Flash application, so if you use a browser without Flash (or you have Flash turned off) you'll never actaully be able to get to the non-flash version of the page. Genius. Anyway...)

In mid March, I placed an order for their new soon-to-be-released DiMAGE Z2. This was the new/upgraded version of the DiMAGE Z1 (oddly enough). It had lots of the features I wanted (manual white balance, 10x optical zoom, 4mp, a host of manual settings and modes). Great! Sold. I waited until mid April before it was finally released and delivered. Since then, I've taken something close to 3000 shots with it and have been generally pleased. However, reciently I've been feeling held back by it's limitations and have decided that I really want (need?) a DSLR. Like most people in the world right now, I'm leaning towards either the Canon 300D (aka: Digital Rebel) (to which I will apply the "Russian firmware hack" making the camera much more like it's big brother, the Canon 10D) or the Nikon D70. Both entry level DSLRs well suited to my amature/wanna-be pro skill set.

My master plan was to save up some cash, then sell off my Z2 on Ebay to finance the purchase of my new DSLR. Much to my horror, I read this story on yesterday. Basically, what it boils down to is that Konica-Minolta have gone to a product lifecycle of less than 6 months. Furthermore, they've announced the release of the NEW AND IMPROVED DiMAGE Z3! Totally obsoleting my petty Z2 before I have a chance to carry out my master plan for camera upgrade! Damn them. Damn them straight to hell! To add insult to injury, the rumors are that the Z3 (4mp, 12x zoom, built in antishake technology!) will be priced at the same cost as my Z2 (4mp, 10x zoom, no antishake) was a few months ago.

So the question now before me is do I dump off my Z2 on Ebay now...before the new models hit the market, and go camera-less until I can save up the $$ for a new DSLR? Or, do I continue to use my Z2 until I have enough saved to sell it and immediately replace it with a DSLR? Knowing that it's value will be much more diminished by the Z3 on the market at that time. Damnit.

The ultimate irony to all this is that if I hit the lottery tomorrow, the DLSR I'd most like to have it the yet-to-be-released Konica-Minolta Dynax 7 Digital. It's got built in antishake in the camera instead of the lenses. So you don't have to pay for the technology in every lens you buy (like you do with both Canon and Nikon). Aweseom advancement. Too bad KM left a bad taste in my mouth with their current product lifecycle plans.

Time for the first edition of the rant-o-riffic Movie Review Guide .

One of the nice things that having a 12 year old affords you is the opportunity to see the latest in teen horror movies. Another is that you can bring out copies of the really old, really good horror movies and scare the shit outta your kid.

In the last week, I've had the opportunity to see both "Darkness Falls" and "The Others" in addition to "50 First Dates". I also got to see a movie of my own choosing, too: Farenheit 911. Reviews are thus:

Darkness Falls: Dumb. Not scary. Toothfary-monster-ghost-lady terrorizes moderately cute woman, innocent victim younger brother, and dashing, tortured-soul-save-the-day type leading man. Throw in a number of disposable cast members for the toothfary-monster-ghost-lady to kill off and you have a movie (at least that's what the producers thought).

The Others: Pretty good, actually. A lot better than I epxected. Nicole Kidman, two frail kids, some old creepy people and an oogie haunted house. Had my arm hair standing on end a few times. Cool plot twist too.

50 First Dates: Not horrible. Not being a huge fan of Adam Sandler or Drew Barrymore, I had to force myself to watch this. It's a sugary-sweet romantic comedy, but palatable enough.

Farenheit (how the hell do you spell that anyway?) 911: Incredible. Disturbing. Embarrassing (as an American). Worth all the hype. See it. I'm gonna see it again. Then read the book(s) it's based on. Then un-elect GWBush...again.

My master plan is to introduce my 12 year old to Poltergeist as soon as humanly possible (roughly 2 weeks). That should instill in her the same irrational fear of clowns, swimming pools, bigass trees outside your window, thunderstorms, and slabs of meat left on the kitchen counter that I still endure. You want horror, baby, you need to go old skool.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

So I spray painted the hood of my truck. Just the other day, I noticed at least 5 dime or smaller sized places in the center of the hood where the paint was peeling and chipping away (nearly all the way down to bare metal). The truck is about 4 years old, so I guess paint damage is normal, what do I know. Anyway, I could have bought some touch-up paint and fixed it up that way, but I decided to go the less refined way. Who'd have guessed.

Some may call it "ghetto". Others, "white trash". Still others may quip "uh oh, better get Maaco (thanks honey). But I've always liked that Landrover-out-in-the-African-bush look.

While my truck is not an Xterra, but a Frontier, my inspiration came from an Xterra owner who frequents a few boards I read. Rhombus. He's a member of the Souther Ontario Xterra Club. You can see a couple of pix of his truck below.

And in addition to seeing the hood, this is just an incredible picture:

If you hit the SOXC site, you can get copies of that last shot in various desktop sizes. Really nice.

Anyway, I decided to use Krylon Barbecue/High Temperature flat black paint for two reasons.

1) My shitty local Home Depot never has whatever piece of equipment I currently need (this includes Krylon Flat Black Spray Paint) and

2) I figured sitting in the sun, in the summer, above an engineblock all day would require a bit of heat resistance.

Of course in my Sierra Nevada Pale Ale fueled zeal to get the job done, I drove home from work, to the afore mentioned shitty local HD store and back home and immediately began taping and sanding under the bring late afternoon sun. Didn't occur to me that the hood would be about 200 degrees and every pass of spraypaint would dry instantly (and unevenly). Hell, most of the paint coming out of the can turned to powder before it even hit the hood. And I was spraying from 3-4" away. So anyway, the finished product is not quite as nice as I had envisioned. But have no's still a work in progress. I think this weekend may see me take sandpaper to it again (in the shade this time...and without driving it first), then perhaps hit it with a few coats of Krylon Flat Black Spray Paint. That is, if I can find it in the shitty HD store the next town over.

Just wave.

Seriously. That's all it takes to make me not want to kill you, skin you, and feed you to my pet fire ants. Usually.

If I slow down and hold up the 20 cars behind me in traffic to let you turn left onto the road in front of us all, how difficult is it to raise your fucking hand in a gesture of "hey, thanks for holding up those 20 cars back there and letting me get on the road".

If you and I are in two right-turn lanes (you in the far right, me in the next lane over), and upon turning, you decide to drift over 3/4 of the way into my lane, making me pull left and go 3/4 of the way into the oncoming traffic lane. AND you don't notice that I'm blaring my truck horn at you for 5-7 seconds *right outside your driver's side window* while you do this...just wave! It's really that easy. Sure, I wanted to kill you for those 5-7 seconds and maybe the next 2 seconds until you *did* wave, but then the tension was allievated when you did the sheepish "gosh, i'm sorry, that was a dumbass move and maybe next time I'll be a little more careful" wave. Then at least you realized you fucked up and nearly caused my death by head-on collision. And I appreciate you noticing.

Yeah, I realize this is basically asking people to be polite. And I realize I'd have better luck standing on the streetcorner asking people to shoot donuts out of their asses through a ring of fire. But at least I can ask, right?

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Just a quick this even illegal?

I mean, really. A pretty hot, 5'9", 110lb, blond haird, blue eyed, 23 year old female teacher banging a 14 year old male student? I don't know what kinda luck the rest of you guys were having at 14, but man...I was wishing for this kind of a payday. Hell...I'd have paid good money for it! They ought to give her a medal! Lucky little brat.

Sour grapes.
Man...smokers are gross. I mean, smokers themselves are nice enough, I guess. But the act of smoking is de-fucking-sgusting. Granted, this is coming from a guy who smoked for nearly 12 years (>33% of my life) and was smart enough to quit 4.5 years ago. And I know people say reformed smokers are the worst at casting stones. But still. That doesn't make me wrong.

A coworker asked me if I could take a look at her home-entertainment DVD player since I am in the IT/TechSupport/VoodooBlackMagic/if-it-plugs-into-the-wall-then-obviously-we-support-it department at work. (At the office, I have seriously been asked if I can "try to fix" a water fliter system in our company kitchen as well as countless fax machines and one industrial-sized paper shredder, among other things...but I digress). Anyway, I simply saw it as another opportunity to pull something apart and see what makde it tick. The best part of that is 1)the thing was already broken. so I couldn't be held responsible if it remained broken after my surgery and 2)it wasn't even my thing in the first place! So I wasn't out any $$ if it stayed dead. That's a win-win situation if ever there was one.

So, she brought the errant DVD player into the office in a messanger-style bag that just reeked of smoke. I mean, I smelled it as soon as she walked in the room with it. I put it (the bag, not the coworker) on my lap for 10 seconds to take the player out, and I still smell that ashtray smell even after giving the bag and player back to her. Yuck. Upon opening the player up I was hit with another wave of ashtray smell. Who knew electronics could absorb smells like that? Certainly not me.

So let this be a lesson to you kids. Smoking is fucking foul. Trust me.


Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Back from a week at the beach in NC (ok, so a week at the beach and 3/4 of a week of being home and lazy and not blogging). I had a blast. Spent a lot of time with the kayak in the surf (great it allowed me to buy my boy DT a new pair of biking glasses cuz the pair I had psuedo-borrowed from him got sucked off of my face and out to sea after one of my 10-point surf landings). Also, had plenty of time to fine-tune my farmer tan. Taking it from light-brown-fade-to-pasty-white to darker-brown-fade-to-burny-pink. Did some beach 4x4ing to get as far away from humans as possible. Only got to do a minimal amount of biking...maybe 5-6 road miles up to a ranger's station to ask a few questions.

The cast of characters for the week consisted of me, my 12 year old daughter, my GF, her 12 year old niece and every member of my GFs extended family (anywhere from 12 to 17 people at any given time). Overall, tho, I think everything went really well. The 12 year olds were a bit much to take at times. Who knew, when you get two (or more?) of them in the same room, they start to feed off of each other and become exponentially more annoying to deal with than any one at a time. Lesson learned.

I got to do some hiking around these bigass dunes that totally looked like the Sahara Desert once you were on 'em. Took a bunch of pictures, but haven't really gone through them to see if there are any worth tweaking and sharing. One that I think does need to be shared was taken as a white-trash-style birthday gift for my sis...out in front of the "Grave Digger" monster truck home. Stylin, I tell ya. I'll post the pic somewhere in the near future. It's a winner.

So, that's about all I have to say on the vacation for now. Good time. Happens too infrequently. And now I'm back trying to get everything back in order in the office that got busted while I was away.

Ooh, one more thing...upon my return, I went with my girlfriend, DT (note: not "my girlfriend DT"...cuz we don't play for that team) and his girl to see Farenheit 911 by Michael Moore. Truly great movie that makes you (or at least *should* make you) think, regardless of your political views. Even if you don't feel like I do...that Bush v2.0 is a fucking moron-tool in the pocket of big oil. But this isn't the place for my opinion...oh, wait...