Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Today I dropped off my car to have the stereo installed.  The store had required additional approval due to wire damage from the theft.

After installation I got a call telling me about the dashboard light issue.  things had gotten shorted out from the loose wires, and when I would turn on the headlights, the dash would go dark.

So, he called for an additional authorization, and luckily the body shop had made the note when I told them about it, so now we’re just waiting on the part.

And I get to drive with a car that has music again.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Myth Confirmed

Back during my time in Sacramento, I had gotten to the point of biking from 10 to 15 miles a day.  And back then I had a portable cassette player.  At this point is was probably an Aiwa.  And the best music In had found for a good constant pace was the soundtrack called “Songs from the Cool World”.  It became the soundtrack of my rides.  Now when I hear music from that album I immediately go to my time on the American River trail.

The only time I regretted having my music on was once when two cyclists coming toward me shouted something, that I couldn’t understand because of the music and headphones.  then I came around a curve and there across the pavement was a snake.

That’s when your brain goes into overdrive.  I quickly assessed which end was the head and which the tail (I saw a small rattle), and steered myself to pass behind it.  As I went passed it, the snake turned and actually struck at me.  I see it all in slow motion as my foot comes down on the stroke and the head is coming towards it.  I see the fangs, and I pump that much harder to get by unscathed.  And I did, but I had quite the clip going at that point.

Looking back I still can’t really understand the people coming at me, but while I thought they might have been shouting, “Pig!” (where was my mind?) they were surely shouting, “Snake!”

I was pretty shook up the rest of the day.  I had to work that day as a teller at Wells Fargo, and told everyone at the branch my story.  One guy said from the size and length (maybe 4 feet long), and the way it acted, it was probably a young rattler.

So for some reason this was all with me today as I went for a ride today.  No snakes today, and all dogs and children encountered were well behaved and under control.  But today I was testing something.

A few months ago I came across this on the internet:


So today, my music of choice was the soundtrack to “Tron: Legacy” by Daft Punk.

Now, unfortunately the whole soundtrack isn’t fast paced, but when the right stuff comes on, the above graphic is definitely true.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Various Repairs and Maintenance

So a few things have gotten accomplished this week.

Wednesday, the guy from the fireplace company came out and installed the replacement receiver/controller for the gas fireplace.  He got it installed (nice fire and heat; truly a source of infrared radiation), and then I asked him about getting the heat upstairs.  He said that was an optional attachment.  I said that it was the installation of that blower that had caused the problem in the first place.  In talking on speakerphone with the property manager, we found that there is supposed to be a switch somewhere that turns on the fan to pump the air upstairs.  I told him I know where all of the switches are and what they do.  So we'll see what the future holds with that.

Today, I went for an eye exam.  I found out that my eyes haven't changed since the last time I had them checked.  it sure is nice to have some contacts again.  Plus maybe I can get some new glasses.  I'm very careful with the ones I have, but I think these are closing in on 8 years old, so even with great care, there are scratches showing up.

Now my appointment was at 5:30 in Richmond.  Today was also the day for my replacement stereo for my car to arrive via UPS.  Usually they come between 5:00 and 6:00, but on Friday's with traffic and other circumstances they're usually after 6:00.  I got out of the eye appointment right at 6:00, and checked the iPhone app, and saw there hadn't been a delivery attempt yet, so I kept saying all the way home that I wanted him to arrive at 6:30.  Even allowing for the traffic (I used the wonderful frontage road along the Emeryville Mudflats) I got home in 15 minutes.  Then I raced upstairs hoping he wouldn't arrive while I was en route.  And right at 6:30 the doorbell rang.

So tomorrow, I'll go by SoundSource in Oakland, and see if they can do the work, or if they'll have to talk to the insurance company about full compensation.  And if they have to talk to the insurance company, I'll have to wait for them to do the work on Monday.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

So, yeah…

I’ve had a few thoughts that have seem inspired lately, but when I’ve sat down to write about them, they’ve seemed kind of blah.

I’ve done some biking.  Monday, Jennifer had a meeting with a client, so I went on a bike ride.  I did the ride all the way to Richmond that we had done together.  This time I did it alone with my iPod.  It was fun, and I did it all in about an hour and a half. 

Then Tuesday we biked to Café Gratitude in Berkeley, and I had an amazing vegan chocolate mousse.

Wednesday, I made a quick trip tot eh bank and on the way back became preoccupied with the concept of how the spokes in my bike wheel worked.  The subtle ballet of tension and compression.  I was determined when I got back to count the spokes and try to work out some sort of calculation on how much force was on each spoke.  Then I got home and really didn’t care anymore.

It’s just been that kind of week, I guess.

Today, I am grateful for not being in Kentucky.  Tornadoes suck.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sword Fighting

I saw this video, and it’s really quite the pastiche of Hollywood sword fights.  The only notable ones I didn’t see were the old black and white Zorro movies.

And then there’s the whole meta-ness of it by having the sword fight from “The Princess Bride” which is a tribute in and of itself to the old Ho

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Saturday, June 11, 2011


And the first new thing to come in on the feed reader? This hilarious video:

Feed Me

A few weeks ago, I was talking with a friend about the things we read on the internet, and we got on the comics we read online. Once again someone with not a lot of comics in common. At least not anymore.

She asked me how I kept track of which ones to read on which day. This is because other than those that are also published in newspapers, few webcomics are published every day.

I said that all of my links to them have a not in the shortcut, so I know which ones to go to each day. Tags like: M-F, MWF, M-Th, WSa, TThSu. She asked why I didn’t use an RSS reader. I said I just had never tried it.

Last night, I thought I would experiment with the RSS feeds of the comics and other sites I go to regularly (see the respective boxes in my sidebars). I’ve just finished all the organizing, and I’ll see how things work out this week.

Now, I’m using the Google RSS reader. It was already populated with blogs that I “Follow”, but there were so many more pages out there that I visit. And the advantage will be that I can access that list from any computer that I can get to with my Google account.

The downside is that there are still about 1/8 of the comics and a handful of blogs that I read do not have an RSS feed. So those I’ll have to check on manually. But at least I won’t be dealing with the frustration of sites that update late or irregularly. Now I won’t miss them.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Yesterday I went out to the car while Jennifer and I were on a bike ride, and I discovered that one of the windows had been broken, and my stereo had been stolen. This morning I also realized that my sunglasses had been taken, but that’s not too big of a deal.

It looks like this is all going to eat up the deductible for the car as there is the window to repair, the stereo, and some pry marks on the door and dashboard from the theft.

The glass repair people are on their way today, and should do the work around lunchtime. This will be followed by a claims adjuster visit on Tuesday for the physical damage, and then stereo replacement following that.

I quote Bill Murray from “Stripes”: And then, depression set in.

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