Sunday, June 28, 2009

It's eighties life, But it all looks good on you

On Thursday I went on my first longish road ride in a while, and while it was threatening rain the whole time, it never materialized, and it just stayed muggy and humid. It was a nice ride though, about 60 miles, most of which was just the same route I always used when I was living in Brookline.

On Friday I was given a ticket to see a show at Club Passim in Cambridge. I had never been there, but I had nothing else to do between 8 and 10, so I went. There, I saw Robbie Fulks, who I had previously not been familiar with, and he put on a great show of excellent twangy music. He even did a special rendition of Billie Jean.

Thom's getting married, so Greg "The Leg" Montello organized a pub crawl on bicycle all over Cambridge and Boston. We started at Redbones, where I had a great big messy pulled chicken sandwich. It was quite good, especially after I was urged to close the open faced sandwich by someone who had noticed my confusion with the arragement. After that, we rode to all manners of watering hole and, had all manner of refreshment on the way, including a cocktail whos name escapes me and something that tasted just like Fresca. We finished the night at the Blue Diner, where we had breakfast food at 3am. It was a lot of fun, lots of people rode on the back of the Africabike (pictures were taken, but I'm not sure by who exactly), and even Bryan was there!

I know it's been covered, but I'm still taken aback by the number of celebrities that have been dying all over the place. Especially in the cases of Michael Jackson and Billy Mays, who strangely enough were both 50 when they went, their presences seemed like they should have just continued forever in one way or another. Arguably, given that MJ's significant work came about over 15 years ago, the full extent of his influence and significance was already out there, and his demise marks just one of the possible endings to his "whatever happened to..." story, but what of Billy Mays, who seemed like he was just hitting the prime of his career?

In honor of those simpler times, here's an ad for L.A. Gear, starring Mr. Jackson.

Given the company's affinity for almost surreally 80's ads, is it any wonder they collapsed in the 90s?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

When it comes, you'll feel the weight of it

Sorry about the lateness of this update, but I've not had enough time of late to give y'alls a proper update, and after last time's somewhat half-assed effort, I wanted to give more smiles per mile this week.

Earlier this week I ordered the parts that will go into the next evolution of Africabike (see this post for the last evolution), and to start, it will include one of these, a new fork, and hopefully, room for a big honkin 2.5" slick. With luck, the thing will float around the 50lb mark, and will therefore be capable of splitting or crushing any road hazard it may come across. Bryan suggested a snare for errant marmots off the barend-mirrors. Progress updates coming soon.

Also, a big reason I have been short on time, I've finally finished moving into my new apartment, and everything's all wired up. I'm very proud of how well i've been able to hide speaker wire, and the rear channels themselves are neatly integrated into some BENNOs, with two comfy POÄNGs and a LACK. Skål!

Since last time, I also got a chance to represent the shop at a bicycle advocacy event at WGBH's studios. It was nice enough, though I was up against stacks of Solo cups, and suffice to say, I lost that battle.

Recently, I've been engaged in another battle, with AT&T and Sony Ericsson. Which is to say, apart from making unreliable devices (which, I'll say it again, makes it sexier for the same reason as an Italian car), S-E has been quite good, apart from their expectation for me to be ok without phone for 10 days (no go). AT&T just sends me through many loops and from call center to call center. Tomorrow, I'm going to one of their "authorized handset exchange and repair centers" near the Pru, and supposedly, they'll be able to tell me whether or not I should send in my phone for warranty replacement. This is important, as in the AT&T universe, the way one finds out about a denial of warranty replacement is an automated charge for a new device. Not at subsidized value, or even market value, but new replacement value, which means I would pay $160+ for my Z750a, which can be found new on eBay for south of $50. Sigh.

I saw a midnight showing of the new Transformers movie with some people from work, and I was severely disappointed with how quickly my beloved R8 was split in half (not a spoiler, it's in the ads). Otherwise, an appropriately absurd Michael Bay explosionfest. Not very much plot, some excellent robot battles, bittersweet product placement, and as much "so bad it's good" acting as one would expect from Shia the Beef, Meghan Fox, and most glaringly, Tyrese. John Turturro was good though. He's up there with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Steve Buscemi and Harry Dean Stanton in an ability to make most roles work.

Also, apologies for the non-sequitur, but I just saw a Blockbuster ad on TV. Granted it's at 00:45, but really? Blockbuster? I thought they were dead.

The weather's been miserable of late, but tomorrow, which is my day off, is finally expected to be dry, so hopefully I can get a nice long ride in between other whatnots I have to get done.

For this week's video, some remarkably familiar scenes, courtesy of Nintendo of America

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Good morning lethargy (drink Pepsi, good for energy)

Not a whole lot to talk about this week, but I am past due for an update.

I'm pretty much moved into the new place, though I still haven't solved my speaker wire routing issue.

There's also some sort of surge and hiss being created when I connect my laptop's port replicator to my receiver, and the DVI-HDMI connection is scaling all wrong, so there's still fettling to be done. On the plus side, I didn't realize how well the silver R8 from my desk fits in with all the Panasonic silver. Sadly in all this setup time, I didn't get to take any new pictures of Bryan (so I'm using one of Jason's).

I had some pain from my lower right abdomen a few mornings ago, so I decided to go on an XC ride on my full-rigid singlespeed. It did not go well. I went to the hospital the next day and they did a whole bunch of tests, though the findings were somewhat inconclusive. I'll keep people posted...

As something of a follow-up to last week's late-night TV talk, I've been very impressed with The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien (which still feels weird to say). As a taste of that (and my first Hulu embed-yay!), today's video is a bit from the show, where Conan goes to a Foley stage at Universal Studios. Thanks to Jason for pointing me toward this one.

Sorry about the short post, my head hurts.