Saturday, January 24, 2009

On the western front

Drove back out to western mass, as classes start on Monday. I'll do my best to keep up on new posts, but it will be a busy semester..

I'm all moved back into my house, "Crapshack DeLuxe," and so far (that's to say, in the few days I've been back), it has been fully operational.

When I tell people it shares a wall with an auto body shop, this is what I mean. That's us on the right, and Norm's Auto Body on the left. The noise really isn't as bad as one might expect, but the paint fumes are pretty bad in the middle of the day.

Our super (5th story down) finally replaced a crucial broken part in our furnace, and we now not only have consistent heat, but we lose the "ambiance smog" in the house to boot. Double score!

He did steal my wire stripper though. Hmm.

It would be hard to fully convey the feel of the place, but I'll do my best with some highlights.

First, this is out range. It's a GE unit from the 70s, in a most 70s of greens. I honestly think it quite fetching.

The house is full of electrical outlets, RJ45 jacks, and coaxial connection points, most of which are non-functional detritus of the building's many repurposings.

Lore says it was a dentist's office, an administrative office, an Indian burial ground, and a set used in D3: The Mighty Ducks. Goldberg!

Speaking of electrical outlets, this is the functional set in my room. Note that wire (pointed to in green). I've deduced that what I have here is basically a half-assed three prong grounding adapter, as that's the ground wire, just hanging out on the carpet. Safety first.

It's not all bad though, as the place did come with a free bald tire in the laundry room. As a 205/75R14, it can make for challenging games of "put the tire on a chair and throw a football through it."

This is our display case (nothing on display...yet), this is our recessed TV area (that almost fits my TV), these are our lockers, and check it out, the bikes get their own room. Neat.

My roommate Dan got a new car, and we all went out to have it inspected, but as it's a VW, some bitz were on the fritz and it needs some parts ordered.

We stopped by the Hadley Wal-Mart for notebooks and Goldfish, general existence essentials, and got some sandwiches.

I know it was in a Wal-Mart, but thanks to this poster at the Subway, I really felt like I was in Manhaπan.

For this post's clip, this is a crash test conducted by Dekra in the early 90s (possibly late 80s), that I feel is entirely unnecessary.

Just saying, the outcome seems kind of predictable.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Get Up and Get Out

Hey all,

Stalwart buckeye Wes F. and I went by to see The Rosebuds live last night at the Middle East downstairs. The trip (aboard BBSTPS MkIII Evo) was very successful, with no major weaknesses discovered. As far as the concert goes and it was one of the best shows I've been to in a while. The songs sounded great, and were different enough from album versions to keep things interesting. The rest of my pictures from the show are here.

Also cool was the audience interaction, including sing-alongs, and Kelly Crisp (pictured, on keyboards) going into the audience with a tambourine. Altogether very cool. (Thanks to Adam Z. for introducing their music to me)

Seth went out there too, and after the concert, we got some Pizza at Hi-Fi, which despite what Wes says, was not good, it was just "drunk good."

In other news, I got my new trainer from Cycle-Ops, the SuperMagneto PRO, which is awesome. I had their Fluid2 model, which I was happy with, but their new Pro Series really is a big enough improvement to justify the purchase.

I'm not the only one with new stuff, as Bryan got his new fork too. Yay! In celebration, I ran down to the Kay-Bee going out of business down the street and picked up a bunch of poorly-made army men for about a dollar. To save money, it seems the factory used the same fitment on everything, which we quickly took advatage of.

Finally, testing showed that while the Africabike (another one of its many names) is a surprisingly adept snowmobile, it can not carry more than 2 people. I guess it snows down in Africa.

That's for you Erich. Happy Birthday.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I am with photo taking ability!

So the day after I wrote my last post, I got my new camera in the mail and I'm really enjoying it. First I played with the macro mode for a while, because macro makes everything cool

Here's some salad and a bicycle

Then, as I promised I would, I took a picture of the newest evolution of my mongrel dinosaur commuter bike.

It was born on a sunny day in 1983 somewhere in Taiwan, not knowing then what would become of it in its international travels. Currently known as Boda-Boda spéciale presented by the Thom Parsons project, I rescued it from dumpsterdoom and equipped it to take all hell than could be thrown its way.

The first thing I put on was a pair of Bontrager Hank 2.25 slicks, which necessitated cutting off the spare spoke holder on the chainstay. No worries, where we're going, we don't need spokes. Or something.

The next step was a rack capable of general immensness, and I found this Axiom Journey which is officially rated to hold 154lbs, by which I assume they mean 200lbs. A couple of eBayed white Odyssey frame standers later, I had a dead serious bike on my hands. It just needed one more thing... Booya!

That's right, eagle-eyed reader, it's the seat from a 1984 Tomos 50cc motorbike.

While it already fit surprisingly well, a means of attachment had to be devised to prevent seat theft, or passenger ejection.

Working with Thom, I hobbled together a bracket using training wheel parts, an old tire, and a whole lot of love.

On the whole, I am very pleased with how BBSTPS MkIII Evo came out, and to celebrate its revision, Thom picked it up. Sadly, at this point the bike at this weighed over 400 pounds and Thom was crushed.

In other news, a serendipidous combination of Finnmeister's charming rendition of Danzig's Mother and a video from Highland Mountain Bike Park that Bryan was watching inspired me to make this, Enjoy:

This is for you, Bryan!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Another entry

To show my commitment to this blogging thing, I finally replaced my lovely, but dysfunctional Canon Powershot A80 with a much slimmer, lighter, and altogether more neat Powershot SD770 IS. Though it does have more MPs (10 v. 4), a bigger screen, and a longer name to boot, it does lose one of the endearing features of the A80, the folding screen which enables exotic gymnastic maneuvers like the around the corner shot, the extended-arm height shot, and the "check it out, I have a flippy screen" shot. Oh well.

Barring the occasional off-brand peripheral or cable (more on that later), I buy my stuff on, because they're helpful, cheap, fast and have everything, so I went there for my new Elph, and got a good deal to boot. Yesterday I got the standard "your Amazon order has shipped" email, but when I looked at my order...
Boo! Why Amazon? I'm sure there's a good reason the camera didn't ship at the same time as another thing I added on there (taking advantage of the super-saver shipping), but it's such a tease..

FYI, the other thing I got was a Ratatouille Little Golden Book. I'm sure you've seen these books, they're sold at supermarkets and drugstores generally, but spurned by some posts by Jerry at Cartoon Brew, I took a closer look at a couple of titles while food-shopping, and ended up buying LGBs of Bolt and the Pixar short Presto. These really are charming books, aptly described by some as "mini art-of" books, and they only cost 3.99!

Here's the comment on cables: Maybe it's because I'm used to eBay prices from Hong Kong on A/V cables, but the brick and mortar store prices I've seen are simply ridiculous. I went to Radio Shack yesterday for a 6 foot S-Video cable (around $4 on eBay) and it was over $25 (!-not to mention a lot of attitude, I don't know how they stay in business). Best Buy wasn't much better at $19. I ultimately got it for $12 at Staples. The situation's even worse with DVI/HDMI cables. Come on, guys.

Hopefully the next post will have a while bunch of cool and interesting pictures taken with my new camera, including my current bike projects...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Hey y'all

I'm portrayed as something of a moderate early adopter, and I have the audacity to start one of these now?.

I suppose it could be credited to new year's resolutions and all that, but really, it's just that stuff comes to mind sometimes that I feel should go on a page for people to read, enjoy, and maybe obsess over Misery style, but let's hope not, I'm no James Caan.

Oh, and starting a blog this late is totally retro, and as such, it's intentional in an ironic way.

Don't expect uniformity in topics, but I will try to update with some regularity.