Saturday, November 08, 2008

Facebook is going to be the end of me.

Holy moly.

Facebook is a trip.

People I haven't seen or heard or talked to or even thought of in almost 20 years are out there. It's crazy. And cool as hell.

Thanks be the almighty that my work network blocks it.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Well, DUH!!

This is better than the Pepsi Challenge:

Bacon Rules, of course.

Thanks to John Scalzi's Whatever blog for this one.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Lines? What lines?

A few things about voting today.

It's 70-something degrees and sunny. I rode my bike the 1/2 mile to the polling place in a t-shirt and jeans. Odd weather for November.

There were lots of people at the polling place, but no lines. Very well organized operation. The only 'glitch' was that I went to a voting machine on the wrong side of the room and my access code didn't work. Going to a machine on the correct side of the room makes a difference.

I like the voting machines we use. They are electronic and use a scroll wheel to move through the ballot to make selections. And after validating the picks, the selections print on a roll of paper to the side so that they is a hard copy of the selections as fall back. After about three times of "are you sure? really?" checks, the ballot is cast and it feels pretty secure.

From leaving home to coming home, it took maybe twenty minutes.

Also, my dear sweet wife rode her bike to the poll with the kids in the trailer. Very cool way to spend a beautiful Fall day.

It's really simple, people.

That is all.

Monday, November 03, 2008

10 Songs That Start With "G"

Strange day. A weird sense of dread and melancholy has been knocking around my head for most of it. Maybe it's work. Maybe the impending election has got me preoccupied or something. Maybe it’s knowing it’s going to be pitch black when I walk out the door to head home.

I was working later than usual on some dull number/paper pushing that just has to get done, so I popped the mp3 on and the list below somehow started to lift the veil of whatever it is. Here's what came out.... 10 songs starting with the letter G.

1. Phish – “Ghost” (live Halloween 1998) – Short at 8 minutes, but was a cool ending to eerie Vegas third set. Yeah, I was at the show.
2. Sugar – “Gift” – Amps to 11. Crunchy power chords from Bob Mould. Rapid fire drum fills from Malcolm Travis. Saw Sugar for a second time when this song came out back in 1994. Loud and fast.
3. Husker Du – “The Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill” (live version, yeah) More Bob Mould power chords, but this song is Grant Hart’s. Man, I’d have loved to have seen these guys when they were still around.
4. Matthew Sweet – “Girlfriend” See below.
5. Beastie Boys – “Girls” Is this song misogynistic? Maybe. But it’s fun as hell.
6. Dave Edmunds – “Girls Talk” (live). Elvis Costello wrote this one, but Edmunds’ version is ten times better.
7. Todd Thibaud – “Give Back My Heart” – A duet with Kathrine Wilhite.
8. Tracy Chapman – “Give Me One Reason” – Tracey’s blues.
9. Sleater-Kinney – “God is a Number” – Rock. And. Roll. Corin Tucker’s shrill tremulous voice is a wonder on this track.
10. Elizabeth Mitchell – “Going Down The Road Feelin’ Bad” And we’re back to melancholy. This track is truly heartbreaking.

By the way, if you ever wondered why “Girlfriend” is such a great song, it’s not the stalker creepy lyrics. The secret ingredient is the maniacal lead guitar of the late great Robert Quine. He’s all over the place in that song stretching and pulling and bending. He plays on much of the rest of the album, as well as on the follow up Altered Beast. Quine just owns the show when he’s playing.

Oh yeah, it’s worth noting that the “Girlfriend” video is so classic. We used to stay up hoping MTV’s 120 Minutes would play it late on Sunday nights back in 1991.

P.S. -- Go Vote tomorrow.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Mileage? November > October

It's a sad fact when I rode more miles in November than in October. Especially when it's only November 1st.

Even sadder fact: the ride was just a touch over 28 miles.

In any case, it was good to ride again after a long layoff. The weather was 50 degrees and almost no wind, so it was bearable. A good ride out of St Charles out to the west and back with four others, all of whom are in better riding shape than me. Fortunately they were taking it easy before a 'cross race (or in one case, a 10K run) tomorrow, so I was able to hold on.

Plus, there were coffee and pancakes at a local diner afterwards, which made the morning complete. I love it when they just leave the pot of coffee at the table. My apologies to Psimet if I drank most of it before he even refilled his cup.

Speaking of running, it appears a challenge has been laid down by Skinny Bing. Signing up and paying for the humiliation of running 6+ miles? C'mon now. That sounds nuts.

An observation from today's ride. Wearing amber lenses makes fall colors look really cool.

And a follow up to the tree post from a while back, here's how red the silver maples get around here before they all drop their leaves: