Oct 032011
 

Not a lot to say here. I’ll real update soon, including last month’s food. For now, I just wanted to share the pictures and some of the videos we took yesterday at the 2011 Port Townsend Kinetic Sculpture Race. This is apparently the 29th annual such “race”, which is really a showcase of crackpot engineering. Which is awesome.

The challenge: Create an entirely human-powered mechanism to travel six miles (altogether) of land, sea, sand, and mud.

My coworker the mad viking created a monster named Beauties and the Beast, powered by his wife and a friend, working 20-24 hours a weekend all summer long under the agreement, “If you build it, I’ll pedal it.” It might be the coolest homemade contraption I have EVER SEEN.

It was not fast. It was, however, inexorable. Nothing could slow it down, because slowing it down would mean stopping it, which appears to be impossible. Components include two Geo Metro front ends. I was told it weighs 1500 pounds, and has a top speed of 2.1 mph on land (it might be faster in the water).

Many pictures here. A few videos below.

Nov 042007
 

Well, I have some pictures for you today, which will be linked below as I discuss the contents. For one thing, I forgot to mention last time that we had a little trip to the Fremont Oktoberfest. There were, of course, many tasty brews, which we got to sample in tiny, tiny little mugs. Check out some of the pictures. Afterward, we went out to Feierabend, where I got involved in a bar fight. Two guys at another table, apparently co-workers, were out together, even though they appeared to have little in common (one was preppy looking, the other bedecked in metal piercings and tattoos). Prep was apparently making disparaging remarks about Punk’s girlfriend, which resulted in a fistfight, and the two of them rolled out the door. Then our waitress (who probably weighed about 120 lbs) went out to try and break them up, and she just kept getting knocked on her ass. I went out (stupidly) to try and help, grabbed one guy and pulled while a cook grabbed the other guy a pulled. Cook gave up quickly, and I was left hugging a stranger who was still quite actively fighting the other guy. E-Dubs recommended I go inside, so I did, where I discovered I was covered in a stranger’s blood. I went to wash up, and shortly after I got back, the cops showed up, so I’m glad I wasn’t still out in the fight. So that was that.

We went to a couple meetings with the house builder people to pick things like colors, doors, windows, carpets, flooring, etc. These people all suck. I don’t like them and they suck at their jobs. I don’t really feel like bitching about them in great detail. The worst part of it was that it took KrisDi two hours to drive the 20 miles to one of these meetings, and then she backed into a retaining wall and made a big scratch on her bumper. But, here’s a bunch more pictures of our house in the building process.

John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers came to Jazz Alley, where KrisDi, E-Dubs and I went to see them. It was fun, it was a good show, and the guitarist (Buddy Whittington) was amazingly nimble with his sausage-fingers. Sometime recently we also saw Nels Cline Singers and the Scott Amendola Band at the Triple Door. It was weirder than the type of music I normally listen to (avant garde), but I enjoyed some of it.

Halloween has come and gone, and we didn’t do anything special besides make jack o’ lanterns. Of course, I spent a ridiculous amount of time on mine (at least on the second try). I modeled mine after the Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale label this year. The first attempt was a complete failure, but I had enough room on my pumpkin to try it a second time, which worked much better.

We had some visitors recently: Weesh showed up, and we took her around a little bit. We spent most of our time eating desserts. Jerry came up for work and stopped by the night he arrived and stayed with us the night before he flew out. We didn’t do a great deal besides go out to eat with him and talk about houses, since he just bought one down in California. Most recently we had Chris come up for work and visit us a couple times (once with Art’s girlfriend Sharona). That was fun. Again, we didn’t do much — we took them to see our house, we took them downtown to Pike’s Place, where we ate piroshkies.

Mom got a visit from us. Isn’t she lucky? We went to see the Cody Rivers Show, which was fast paced and occasionally very funny. Some of their bits were very impressive. They had one skit where they were saying all the words in each of their lines in alphabetical order instead of in speaking order, which was terrible to hear, but pretty cool.

Oh, and the Phoenix recommended XKCD to me, and I recommend it to you, as it is now on my daily comics list.

One last thing: I think I’ve had these pictures from Japan up on the website for a couple years, without ever linking to them. So, if you’re interested, check them out. Let me know if you’ve seen them before, because I’m not sure I never linked them, but I couldn’t find them quickly.

———- Books and movies and whatnot ———-

I finally finished the Dark Tower series by Stephen King (Wolves of the Calla, Song of Susannah, The Dark Tower). I have to admit, I started to consider it a chore. I’m glad it’s over. Stephen King writing himself in as a character was just too annoying. I liked the first three. I’d stop there.

Wasp by Eric Frank Russell. A co-worker in his sixties recommended it to me, and I read it on breaks at work. The idea is that a single wasp in a car can kill some humans and destroy a vehicle just by buzzing around and creating a disproportionate panic, why can’t a single human do the same to a whole planet? So, the government recruits likelies, trains them, and drops them off on other planets, where they terrorize the population and cause disproportionate panic, making them more susceptible to attack. It was pretty neat, but nothing too special.

Planet Terror. In KrisDi’s description to her little brother, I think she said something along the lines of, “You might be interested in the first few minutes when Rose McGowan is shimmying about as a go-go dancer.” I was not terribly impressed.

Gone with the Wind. This is the first time I’ve ever seen it. I thought it was pretty good, which surprised me quite a bit. Boy is Scarlett a cold-hearted bitch, though. I liked Mammy.

Barton Fink. Another Coen brothers flick that shares much of its cast with The Big Lebowski. Boy, this was a weird movie, with little to no explanation or resolution. Just a bunch of weird, confusing stuff, with some hilarity thrown in for good measure. Not my favorite Coen brothers exploit, but orders of magnitude better than Planet Terror.

Aug 242006
 

Here are some more pictures from the lake. Here are some pictures of the world’s largest Holstein Cow. Here’s some pictures of Andi, Wilmbo, Northwood, Apple Bear, and myself at Wilmbo’s.

In the realm of news, here’s the Trap Jaw Ant. Vicious looking jaws on that guy. I wish my mandibles were powerful enough to propel myself 13 meters into the air. KrisDi claims her womandibles can do that.

And here’s the story of my horrifying back pain: I went waterskiing. My back hurt a little, but not too bad. Then I took a nap. When I woke up, my back was providing me a limitless supply of excruciating pain. It lasted for about three days. Then I took some of Dad’s flexeril, and it went away. I was still sore for several days, but I was able to move my back. Andi, Wilmbo, and KrisDi can probably tell you a lot more about my mobility. They kept laughing at me, because I was moving around like a very old man.

On on!

Jul 052006
 

Mr. and Mrs. Morphic Phoenix came to visit month, which was lots of fun. We did a whole bunch of stuff (including Phoenix and I being drunk in the same place at the same time — a first — a couple times). It took forever to post this because I waited until KrisDi came home with her camera, and then we went to Vegas, and now’s the first chance I’ve had to do it. I’m not sure I can remember everywhere we went and everything we did, but here’s a synopsis:

I picked them up at LAX on June 21, we took the Pacific Coast Highway back to my place, and stopped by the big rock and saw a couple dolphins, which was neat. We went bowling (I won one, Phoenix won one), then we went back home and drank beer until early in the morning.

The next day, we drove up to Santa Barbara for lunch, and then on up to Solvang for wine tasting. Now, you might think that wine tasting sounds stuffy, and I’m sure it’s intended to be. But it’s also a remarkably effective way to inebriate oneself. We stopped at the first place we saw (Gainey Vineyards). They gave us eight tastings — remember, wine is typically in the 15% ABV area. Then Mrs. Phoenix talked the dude (not the Dude, the wine server dude) into giving us three more samples by pretending to be interested in the wine club. It was hilarious. I was okay to drive at this point, but I knew I wouldn’t be after the next one. So we pulled into a parking lot and hit four more (Lucas & Lewellen, Royal Oaks, Stolpman, and Presidio; all within one block of where we parked). Drunk would describe what we were. It was lots of fun. So, we went to a little diner for dinner and to sober up, and then drove to Chumash Casino to see Dennis Miller‘s stand up show. So that was a busy day. We returned and barely had the energy to have a beer before bed.

So we got up the next day and drove to San Diego, which you’ve probably heard of. We didn’t do much that first night (Friday), just went out for dinner in Old Town (where we were staying). Mrs. Phoenix was still suffering from our wine excursion, and she went to bed early. Phoenix, KrisDi, and I went out for yards of beer and had a grand old time.

Saturday we went to Sea World and saw Shamu (I think there might have been some other sea creatures there, too. Including Clydesdales, who evidently will bite you if you’re not careful, and polar bears). Afterward, we went back to the hotel and took a trolley downtown, where we had dinner and drinks at the Yardhouse. Then we went to see a Padres game (they lost to the Mariners).

Sunday, we decided to go kayaking through some caves (guided), saw garibaldi, a kelp forest, and a sea lion. Then it was time to go. I drove them back up to LAX, where they flew away. Phone conversations seem to indicate that they made it back all right.

These are all the pictures KrisDi and I had, but I think the Phoenixes (Phoenices?) have more that they didn’t want to share with me.

Apr 062006
 

Okay, so I just found this. That’s almost as frightening as this. Wow. That’s all I have to say.

So let’s see, last night I think I had a dream that I thought was about Scientoligists or something. Or at least it was about some weird cult/religion thing. The cool thing about this cult is that they were based in a playground, not unlike the one near my old home (all wood, with little pea gravel all around, like this but without the weirdo). Everyone had weird arrowhead type amulets, and there were broken amulets laid out on cloths dispersed around the Holy Playgroundish thing. It was very strange, and more than twelve hours ago, so I don’t remember a whole lot more than that. I’m pretty sure I pissed that religion off, though, just I would probably piss most religions off were their founders/leaders ever to meet me.

Concerning my less than pleasant house-hunting, I am constantly reminded: I hate house-hunting. Four people, with four different ideals, trying to find one place. *sigh* It’ll be over sooner or later. Hopefully sooner, so KrisDi doesn’t have to move herself.

On the bright side, I got to physically restrain my little Chinese roommate so Oleo could take a picture of her foot (for some reason she was quite violently opposed to this). Once I have it, I’ll post the picture up on my faithful website.