Monday, November 28, 2005

Dear Nissan,

I hate you.

Love, Gary.


For those following the saga of the dead-in-the-driveway-for-6-months truck:

My 2000 Frontier has just over 91k miles and the trans died. Cost of replacement...

$1400.00 parts (i found a $100 off coupon...yay me!)
$ 25.00 fluids
$ 722.50 labor

It also will most likely need a new clutch (probably another $300-400). That's an easy job while the trans is already out. To get it done later is about a $1200 job (since they have to take the trans out again).

The truck should be done by the end of the week.

Dear santa...

Friday, November 25, 2005

Worst of both worlds

I stand before you the worst of both worlds: the Consumer, and the Anti-Consumer.

Today, being that all-too-consumeristic-for-my-taste "Black Friday Run Up The Credit Card Bills Buying Useless Crap For Your Loved Ones Else They Won't Love You" day, I fully wanted to take part in Buy Nothing Day. It's basically a big "Fuck You" to the ridiculous BUYBUYBUY attitude that the Xmas season is. I heard about it via the Adbusters mailing list, which I joined when I bought my "Corporate America Flag" a few months back.

Well, as much as I wanted to support that ideal, I'm a weak, cheap bastard. There were just a couple of *really* good deals on gadgets that, while I may not have *needed*...I certainly wanted really bad. Specifically, a 200GB hard drive for $30 (instead of $110), and Radio Shack 1000 Channel Dual Trunking Scanner for half price (by the way, I'm not 100% sure what the hell all that means, but it certainly sounds cool, no?). While my life would continue without them, they were calling to me.

So in my usual half-assed sorta way, I woke up around 9am (well after prime bargain-hunting hours) and decided that I'd go to my local Staples and see if they had the HD in stock. If they did, that was fate telling me I was supposed to buy it. If not; fate again telling me it was frivoulous. While I was out, I'd hit the Radio Shack and see what fate had to say about that scanner.

Got to the Staples and found a bigass empty shelf with a "SALE - $30" tag on it. I asked the friendly customer service dood if they were sold out (knowing full well they were). He confirmed. He then went on to say they had people lined up at 0430am for the bargains, and the store had to issue vouchers so my fellow man wouldn't kill *his* fellow man in the melee for cheap stuff. I listened to fate and hit the road, destination: my local bagel shop.

Luckily, my "local bagel shop" is two doors down from my "local Radio Shack". Unluckily, my local Radio Shack had sold out of the scanner long before I got there. Regardless of what fate had to say, however, the words of the friendly RS nerd were clear: "You can order it for that price on-line...oh, and it's free shipping". Fuck you, fate, I win this round. I drove home and bought one.

I'm so weak.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

In my ongoing series...

Here's the latest in my "People who should get a free name change" series. In a story broadcast on NPR this morning about the state of Georgia (I think) not charging sales tax on Bible sales, but charging tax on every other religious or spiritual book sold, they interviewed one Ms. Candice Apple.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Oh my

Another keeper from

[Yaksha] We call this kids' mom 'Mapquest'
[norris] why's that?
[Yaksha] She has multicolored veins visible all over her body, looks like downtown Phoenix.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

This just in...

From the "Shameless Self-promotion Department". Word on the street is that the image of Lee Dier that I shot at the 12 Hours of Lodi Farm mountain bike race a few months back (and submitted to Dirt Rag Magazine) has been published in the Rider's Eye section (basically, the "reader's artwork" section). So it's not published-published, but it's closer than I've ever been to being published. Which is to's pretty frickin' cool.

Here is the snap straight from the camera. The one I submitted had a fair amount of post-processing done (mainly brightening, cropping, and noise reduction).

For those interested, it's in issue 118. I looked yesterday, but my local bike shop still had issue 117 on the shelf.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

ANWR Update

Evidently, the House of representatives heard about the anally -cancerous-sharp-object-insertion curse being aimed at their Senate counterparts by yours truly and thought better about their choices regarding the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge:

The LA Times says: "In a rare victory for environmentalists in the House of Representatives, Republican leaders Wednesday night abandoned a measure to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling."

Now, let's talk about this privatization of public lands for private mining...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Oh, the hypocrisy

Got this in an email today and had to laugh...kinda.

George Bush has started an ill-timed and disastrous war under false
pretenses by lying to the American people and to the Congress; he has run a
budget surplus into a severe deficit; he has consistently and
unconscionably favored the wealthy and corporations over the rights and
needs of the population; he has destroyed trust and confidence in, and good
will toward, the United States around the globe; he has ignored global
warming, to the world's detriment; he has wantonly broken our treaty
obligations; he has condoned torture of prisoners; he has attempted to
create a theocracy in the United States; he has appointed incompetent
cronies to positions of vital national importance. He is supported by an
extremist Congress, both houses of which are run by criminals in their own

Would someone please give him a blow job so we can impeach him?


I wasn't the only one to experience weirdness when trying to cast my e-ballot.

Schwarzenegger Hits Snag at Polling Place

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Looks like I wasn't the only one who wanted to tell the local Repubs to go fuck themselves.

The AP calls Democrat Kaine winner in the race for VA Governor.

Rock this vote, beyotch

Electronic voting machines that leave no paper trail scare the shit out of me.

I hit up my polling place at 0700 this morning to do my civic duty to tell the local Repubs to fuck off (essentially). I checked in, then wandered into my little touch-screen voting station. I say to the middle aged woman working the election "Do I get to vote against using untracable electronic voting machines in this election?". Strangely enough, she did not laugh.

So I'm screen-poking along, totally party-line voting:

Governor: Dem
Lt Governor: Dem
Attorney General: Dem
Member, House of Delegates: Dem
Sure, spend money on schools, what do I care. It's only a couple of hundred million.

Easy cheese, right? A monkey could cast a vote (I still don't know what the problem with all those Florida mongoloids was a few years back, but I digress). Anyway, poke, poke, poke, poke, Next.

On the following "review your choices" screen, I see that I have (evidently) managed to select a Repub for the House of Delegates job. Hrm. Not a chance. Ok, there's maybe .01% chance that I fat-fingered it and managed to hit the Repub's little box on the ballot screen. But I seriously doubt it. And if .1% of my finger accidentally wandered over to the Repub's box, that leaves 99.9% of my finger hitting the Dem's box. How the hell did that machine think I voted Repub?

It was easy enough to hit the "Back" button, then slowly hit the Dem box for House of Whatchamacallets, then hit "Next" again. But had I not been paying attention, I totally believe that my vote would have been incorrect.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Google Sightseeing

Pretty cool. Taking the 4-8-15-16-23-42 sequence from the TV show Lost and seeing what it gets you geographically...

(also has a couple of interesting links)

Now that I've finally caught up on the past episodes/season, I'm not as concerned about avoiding all references to the show. I still don't want to read any speculation or yammerings by net dorks. Thankfully, this site doesn't seem to have anything like that.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Fuck You, Senate

Senate endorses oil drilling in Alaska wildlife refuge

I hope 51 of you (and you know who you are) get rectal cancer, and have to have large, cold, uncomfortable things with sharp edges shoved up your asses. I hate you.

"Increasing our domestic energy supply will help lower gasoline prices and utility bills", says He-of-the-38%-Approval-Ratings George Bush.

Mark my fucking words, the odds of seeing $3/gallon gasoline prices are a hell of a lot better than the odds of seeing $2/gallon prices. Especially in urban areas like my home town (DC). You want to "lower gasoline prices and utility bills"? How about reigning in those huge fucking oil company profits?

"Conoco Phillips profits were up 89 percent, or $3.8 billion; Exxon's profits were up 75 percent, or almost $10 billion; and BP was up 34 percent, for a profit of $6.4 billion".

The only way supporters of this measure could get it past the opponent's filibuster was to tack it on to another budget measure that is immune to filibuster. You fucks.

Here's a silly idea...Why not spend the next 20 years (while you're waiting for ANWR to get up to speed*) trying to break America's reliance on oil? 20 fucking years. I bet if we taxed the shit out of the oil profits, and used that money to study alternative 20 years, what does, and does not, come out of ANWR wouldn't matter for shit anyway!

* "no oil is likely to flow from ANWR for 10 years and peak production of about 1 million barrels a day isn't expected until about 2025, according to the Energy Department. Currently, the United States used about 20 million barrels of oil a day."
Work in Progress

I'm working on a longer post about my adventures (not really) last weekend, but until that is done, allow me to say...

The girl and I are completely up-to-date with Lost episodes.

The girl and I started a few weeks back with the DVDs of the first season. Neither of us had seen it while it was being aired, but I had heard so much good stuff about it that I bought the DVDs blind.

We got through the first season watching a couple episodes per night, then resorted to watching the first 5 episodes of season 2 on the computer (with massive 17" monitor!). God bless Apple for making the episodes available on iTunes for $2 each. I had started looking for places I could illegally download them a few weeks back, but was happy to see Apple had officially released them, making me less of a crook than normal. anyway.

Anyway, it's a very cool show. I only hope it can keep up the coolness without moving off into corny or trying-too-hard-to-be-weird. I was thinking yesterday that it will be strange to watch a TV series with commercials. I watch almost no broadcast TV. The shows I do watch regularly are all HBO shows (Sopranos, Six Feet Under (RIP), Deadwood, Rome). And most of broadcast shows I've seen in the last couple of years have been seen after-the-fact on DVD. Undeclared, Freaks and Geeks, Northern Exposure, Scrubs, Firefly, Lost (season 1). I think the last time I made a point to watch a broadcast TV show on a regular basis, it was 90210. Oops, did I say that out loud?

One downside of biking to work is getting stuck behind a Metro bus...

which comes to a full stop...

on an climb...

and then a school bus...

which also comes to a full stop...

on the same climb...

which totally breaks the momentum of your climb...twice

and coats you with diesel fumes when they take off again.

Ahh, suburban life.