The R6 To-Do List

Since ridable days will be getting a bit more infrequent in the coming months and the weather lately hasn’t been cooperating, I’ve decided it’s time to get going on the improvements and maintenance to my 1999 Yamaha R6.  I traded my 2003 Suzuki VZ800 Marauder for it almost a year ago and only ever got around to de-lowering the rear suspension and front forks.  I couldn’t be happier with it, as it’s a supersport and I had just spent two years on a cruiser.  It’s almost 13 years old at this point, though, and at that age pretty much any bike will need some love.  I have a blog anyway, so why not chart my progress here?  Here’s what I have on my list so far: Continue reading

I Got Nothing. Seriously.

My laptop is six years old.  Its speakers don’t work, its battery holds a charge for about two hours if you turn the brightness all the way down, and it’s as fast as about half of the netbooks out there but twice the weight.  I still like it, though – it’s a Dell 700M with a 12-inch screen, which in 2005 was unthinkably small for a primary laptop.  People would come up to me in college and ask me what it was.  That would inevitably be followed by “can you deal with using something that small?”  Fast forward the better part of a decade and like half of the PC laptops people buy are even smaller.  The thing is positively voluptuous now.

Computers age very quickly, but they don’t actually age.  Aging suggests some sort of deterioration in appearance in functionality.  People age and part of that is getting wrinkly skin and not being as good at complex motor functions.  Computers don’t do this, they run the same speed for their entire life.  Cosmetically they can stay unchanged for their entire useful life with some occasional cleaning and proper handling.  They never get any worse than they are when you first unpack them.  They’re never any less computerry.  The only thing that changes is the way we look at them. Continue reading

I’m So Proud Of My Terrible First Video…

…that I’m posting a behind the scenes picture.  Those are two books I didn’t care for, they’re elevating the bottle on a pool table which is being lit by a standing lamp from Target and shot by a point-and-shoot camera that I don’t own.  The background is the top of a Dillard’s box.  How’d we hide the Dillard’s logo?  Movie magic!

Getting V-Blasted!

There are two 7-11 stores within walking distance of my office.  The closer one is the good 7-11.  They are a perennial Hot Food Award winner (it’s a thing) and, unlike many, the staff is always pretty cheerful and efficient.  If I haven’t brought lunch to work I’ll usually go in there and get a wrap, an apple if they’re fresh, and some sort of zero-cal flavored water.  I know it’s not good for me, but the only thing you can drink that isn’t bad for you in some way is water and even that can be used wrong.  Let me drink something that tastes vaguely like dragonfruit and green tea with my lunch, I’m not hurting anyone.

The other day my friend and I had to go to The Other 7-11.  The Other 7-11 is right next to a bus depot, has a homeless guy in front of it more often than not, has never to my knowledge won the Hot Food Award, and has a staff that (understandably) doesn’t really care about people skills.  I don’t care for The Other 7-11, but I was hungry and there we were.  When I went to pick out my drink I noticed an odd-looking bottle in the vitamin water fridge.  It was called V-Blast and had a cap that looked like one on a “sport” bottle that squirts out the top.  I like things that squirt and I have a hard time passing up a drink whose name is a double entendre, so I bought it.  I’m serious about that double entendre thing – if there was a hot chocolate brand called Cleveland Steamer I’d drink a box of it every day during the cold season. Continue reading

Dear Dear Prudence, Volume II

It’s been 11 days, you know what that means – another round of Dear Dear Prudence!

Every week Slate, an online magazine that’s a lot like if Gawker was written by the editors of The New Yorker, runs an advice column called Dear Prudence.  Written by D.C.-based Emily Yoffe, the column is similar in format to Dear Abby (ask your parents) and covers a range of topics such as manners, etiquette, familial relations, and of course how to deal with the weird sexual kinks of our loved ones.  At least one of those makes it into the column a week.  Drink when you hit it.

This week Prudence counsels a mother whose child may have a rare genetic disorder passed on from her mother-in-law…and we throw out her perfectly good advice for my horrible rambling tangents  Sweet sassy molassy let’s get on with it! Continue reading

Vertical Integration and Why You Can’t Call Everyone “Dude”

Earlier today I was reading the Wall Street Journal online.  That’s not atypical, as I generally give it a look when it’s raining and I’m bored enough to want to know what sort of informational roofies Rupert Murdoch is slipping into my parents’ generation’s drinks.  No matter how brutal the sodomy, they never feel the rectal tearing because they’ve been fed a drug dissolved into the appletini of respectability and grown-upness that is “The Journal.”  Between editorials, op-eds, and news items arranged to function as editorials about how Obama is destroying the banks I found a curious item about sunglasses.

Apparently designer sunglasses are bullshit.  My faith in the fashion accessories industry is shaken to its core. Continue reading

Solved! – Soccer In America

If you’re a trendy American you’ve probably been pretending to like soccer since a few months after everyone forgot that France won the World Cup in 98.  Good for you!  You obviously have a lot of culture and do other smart people things like dislike Garfield and use the metric system.  Here’s the problem – there are a LOT of people out there who aren’t into it.  They’re still eating non-organic vegetables, they think Rick Perry has a lot of fresh ideas that are worth trying, and they don’t like soccer.  They may find the time to watch the three World Cup matches the US plays in before the team gets bored and goes sightseeing but that’s it.  Soccer is so unpopular in America that it makes women’s soccer seem popular.

So how do we get them on board?  They already sell beer at MLS games, the only safety equipment in the game protects exactly one of the players’ bones, and they don’t even stop the damn clock for penalties.  There’s one thing ye olde football is missing – scoring.  The players run up and down the field, offense strikes, defense defends, and after 90 minutes and change if you’re lucky enough not to end up with a tie you might see a team slug their way to the god-like sum of 3 goals.  Why the perpetual stalemate?  One asshole with a special shirt who gets to use his hands.  Every time the defense gets beaten and the ball is sailing into the goal there he is, catching it in midair, drop-kicking it to midfield, and bringing half the wristwatches in the audience up to eye level.

America demands that the goalie be destroyed.

America hates defense.  Its boring – they’re barely ever trying to score.  The gold standard of NFL football teams, the New England Patriots, only fields a defense because the league rules say  they have to.  The goalie tips the balance too far in the defense’s favor.  Even if they completely fail he can salvage the situation with all four limbs and bring the game to a standstill until he decides it’s time to foot-hurl the ball down the field.  Take him out and the game is pure offense versus defense.  “But what if they just put a guy in front of the goal?”  Well unlike the disposed-of Goal Warden, that planted defenseman can’t use his hands.  While you may feel like placing a pseudo-goalie at the end of the field, the other team may just put that body on offense, and he’s coming at your handless goalie.

But don’t despair!  If your offense gets past their defense their goal is wide open – open enough for America’s Favorite Sports Thing, the long bomb. We’re talking scores from midfield.  Every game.  Precision long-distance strikes.  Every major sport needs a long bomb.  Baseball as the homerun, basketball has the three-point shot, and football he the…er…long bomb pass.

“Well this isn’t the futbol I know and love, guv’na,” I hear you exclaim because you’re some sort of European or South American.  Well, you’re right, Gunter.

It’s not futbol.  It’s soccer.  Pledge allegiance.