October 2008 Archives

blowing edust off the blog

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well, it would appear i have been remiss in updating my blog. which would have bothered me greatly if it weren't for the fact that it really doesn't matter. but beyond that, i totally feel guilty for my lapse in blogging.

a couple of weeks ago i ordered a shirt from shirt woot. it was the bluebird of hopelessness. it's out of print now, so you can't buy one and try to be cool like me. i know you were totally thinking it.

at some point a week or two ago i watched high plains drifter. it's a clint eastwood film, sort of him keeping with the spaghetti western thing. but it's kind of surreal and/or existential. i'd seen bit and pieces of it a few times over the years, but i never had watched the entire thing. it makes more sense if you watch it from the start. but it's still sort of weird. i'm not sure if there is really anyone to root for in the film, except perhaps to root for justice and revenge.

last saturday was pretty eventful. i started off by going to the house of pies for a late lunch. from there i went to border's to use a coupon i had for 40% off on up to 3 cds. i also bought a couple of dvds that were on a sale, and three cheap books:

  • never mind the bullocks here's the sex pistols - sex pistols (warner)
  • greatest hits - social distortion (time bomb)
  • misfits - misfits (caroline)

it's a part my slow-going attempt to go and backfill some of the older punk/hardcore albums i never bought back in the day.

  • mirrormask - dave mckean and neil gaiman (sony)
  • strange brew - dave thomas and rick moranis (warner)

i really don't think mirrormask is all that great of a film, but it's got some pretty cool visuals at times and parts of it are pretty nice. i'm also interested in the extras that are available on the dvd. and as for strange brew...do i really need to justify that one, eh?

  • 50 philosophy ideas you really need to know - ben dupre (quercus)
  • 50 mathematical ideas you really need to know - tony crilly (quercus)
  • 50 physics ideas you really need to know - joanne baker (quercus)

i was perusing the cheap books area, and i noticed one of these. then i noticed the two others. most of the stuff in them is things i knew on some level at one point or another, so i figured it'd be kind of nice to have a few reference books that sort of provide synopses of the more major ideas in these fields as a kind of instant refresher. i noticed there was one other book in the series: 50 management ideas. you're probably surprised to learn i didn't hunt that one down.

once i was done at border's, i went home and then sue came by and picked me up and she and the kids went to discovery green park downtown. i hadn't been there yet, although i'd been close to going several times for different reasons. the park was recently built and finished a few months ago i guess. it's an attempt by houston to create a realistically interesting and enjoyable park in the downtown area. they have some places to eat, a number of pieces of playground equipment, several water features for playing in, lots of grassy areas, a place for concerts or movies, and a big pond area -- part of which has a place for you to bring or rent remote controlled boats. it's pretty nice. we spent a few hours there. ryan and sarah showed up, and when everyone left to eat i had sue drop me back off at my house.

not too long after that, brad texted me to see about riding with him and kelly. it'd been some time since i'd seen them. they'd just eaten, but they agreed to meet me at brasil so they could hang out and i could eat. while there, i presented kelly with the original braderfly in a nice black glossy frame with red and white etched versions of butterflies and scrolls. kelly loved it, brad was mixed. haha. we left there and started to ride around. while we were going down westheimer i said i didn't know where late nite pie had moved to, so brad said we could go there. we were a block away when i noticed a cop behind us. "great" i thought, "and my registration expired a couple of weeks ago because i'm waiting on my new plate." then his lights came on. *sigh* i started to slow down and pull over, but he passed me and went after brad and kelly.

i decided to pull into a parking lot and face my bike toward his vehicle so my plate wouldn't be staring him in the face. he got out and went and talked to brad and kelly. it turns out he stopped them because neither of them were wearing helmets. his claim -- which is incorrect -- was that you have to have taken a motorcycle safety class and have a helmet exemption sticker from it. in fact, you have to have that or at least $10k in personal injury protection. but he ended up not writing them up for that, since brad wasn't carrying his insurance card...and his registration and inspection were both about 3 years out of date. ha. i was going to question him about the law changing, but he ended up being nice (even though when he was first talking to them i walked up and he turned and said "go back beside your motorcycle."). i didn't really care to give him reason to start running my info. and i didn't want to get brad and kelly in more trouble.

once that was all taken care of, we went into late nite pie (which we were right in front of when we stopped) and got some beer and played a few rounds of pool. then we sat out back and talked for some time. the new late nite pie location is pretty big. i was surprised when i walked into the back -- they have a lot of space.

earlier in the week i watched the break up. it was somewhat funny, and there were some very accurate moments in it, but overall it was just okay. i was kind of annoyed when jon favreau's character -- who was always negative and suspicious of jennifer aniston's character -- suddenly defended her and gave this awesome little soapbox speech about how vince vaughn's character is always selfish and she never had a chance in the relationship with him. it just seemed to not be aligned with the perception of his character throughout the earlier parts of the film, where he was telling gary (vince vaughn) to do negative and vindictive things to her and claiming she was cheating on him. i did enjoy the fact that the ending was ambiguous though.

on wednesday a cold front came through and it rained like crazy between 7:00pm and 7:30pm. i left the house about 7:45pm in the pickup to do the radio show. most of alabama was flooded, as was most of montrose up to westheimer, and side streets. there were lots of cars stalled or stopped and waiting. i drove through everything, probably annoying some people with the wake. but i needed to get to the station. eventually my engine started dieing. i got it restarted each time, but it didn't sound good. once i got to the station i couldn't start it. i did the show, hoping it would dry out or whatever during the interim, but after the show it still wouldn't start. i was pretty sure i didn't get water in the engine, but i didn't know what the problem was. jay suggested the distributor might be wet, but we popped the hood in the dark (i don't know where my flashlight is/was that i usually carry under the seat) and the compartment looked dry. jay gave me a ride home.

the next morning i got up and went back to the station. fortunately, they hadn't towed my vehicle or anything. i tried starting it...no luck. i jumped it with my car to keep the battery up, but it wouldn't turn over. finally i decided i'd probably need to just call aaa, but i decided to put some oil in it first so the shop wouldn't complain about the oil being low in it. (it burns/leaks oil.) i went to autozone and got a couple of quarts, then came back and put them in. i'd talked to a co-worker at some point, and he'd also mentioned the distributor. "what the heck" i decided, "as long as i'm under the hood i'll just pop the distributor and look at it." i took the air filter off and popped the distributor and flipped it over...condensation and droplets on about half of it. i went in the station and got some paper towels, then came out and wiped the distributor real good. i reseated it, clamped it down, put the air filter back on, and hopped in the cabin. it started on the first try. yea!

while i was taking care of the pickup on thursday morning, i also went by the tax office downtown and picked up my new motorcycle plate. so all three of my vehicles are official now. "what did i get?" you ask. H4XR. that's right. the online system said my old plate was available, so i got it. i figure i'll call the police in a day or two and see if it's still listed as a stolen plate. if it is, i'll contact the Texas plate office and see if they can cut me something new at no charge (since i don't really wanted to be stopped, dropped to the ground, and cuffed, because i'm driving with a plate listed as stolen).

related to that, today i went by home depot and bought some allen wrench bolts, nylon lock nuts, and finishing washers, to use to put my plate on my bike instead of the standard bolt with reflector and wing nut. i don't really want it to be easily stolen again.

in the last few days i watched the world's fastest indian. it was enjoyable. the guy it is based on seems like quite a character. i'm not really sure how accurate the movie is to the reality of what happened, but i'd assume a fair bit of it is true. it's almost more interesting to see the documentary extra on the dvd with the real guy. what a unique and interesting fellow.

i finally took the plunge over the last week or so and moved my email for leifeste.net from my own (flaky) server to google mail (google apps). the transition went pretty well i think, but i really only had to deal with about three users. i'm now gearing up to move failure.net over, but that may be a little more painful since i've got five or six mailbox users (the handful of forwards shouldn't be an issue).

whew! glad to have gotten mostly caught up on my blog. i'm sure that lets all of y'all breath a sigh of relief as well.

luling, camping, etc.

i took this past monday off from work and went with sue and the potts kids to city market in luling. if you've never been, you're doing yourself a disservice. their brisket and sausage are both top notch (i don't like ribs much so i never eat them). seriously, you should go there. i mean, like right now.

saturday i took the pickup and got it inspected. i had to get new wiper blades, but beyond that it all went well. that leaves my motorcycle as the lone lawbreaker. i'm just waiting for my new plate to arrive at the tax office. (i called thursday, but it hadn't arrived yet.)

even though it was the only vehicle not legit, saturday afternoon i hopped on the bike and took 290 up to jellystone park (yes, they apparently licensed it) and lone star camping (near waller and prairie view). it was for jackson's birthday. jack and the kids had gone up friday, but sue was picking up jackson's friends and arriving on saturday, so i went up saturday afternoon as well. plus i had to buy things on friday...like a tent and a sleeping bag.

friday after work i went by academy and bought a one person tent and a mummy style sleeping bag. the tent is basically about big enough for one person laying down. the sleeping bag is a thermolite lined bag, so it is rated at 32 degrees but only weighs about 2 pounds and squeezes down to the size of somewhere between a football and a one gallon can of paint. then on saturday i went by rei and picked up a sleeping mat. i was originally thinking i'd get a blanket or bedroll, but it appears they've pretty well been replaced by self-inflating mats.

i was able to strap the mat and tent across the handlebars of the bike. which meant i only took a day bag, no saddle bags or backpack or anything. the camping was...interesting. i'd never used a mummy bag or a one person tent. i've never really thought of myself as particularly claustrophobic, but the combination of the sleeping bag and the tent kind of messed with me. i knew the feet were tight on a mummy bag, but it was actually the tight knees where it bothered me. i unzipped it and just sort of had it around me, then eventually i ended up using it as a blanket. (fortunately it wasn't actually cold or anything.) beyond that, laying in the tent i felt like i couldn't move even though i knew i could. i even had the rain fly pulled back, which meant i could see the sky and stars through the netting above most of me. but i still felt squeezed, so a few times i had to open the top netting (it has a zipper) and sit up and look around. i know it was purely psychological, but i felt like i could breathe better and easier. it was kind of weird knowing how i felt didn't really make sense, but feeling that way anyway. i think i'm also used to sleeping in positions that don't work well when camping. and being overweight exacerbates it. but once i got tired enough, i did eventually get a fair amount of sleep. i think i may be looking for a regular rectangular sleeping bag and a two person tent for the future though.

also on friday, i went by border's and i picked up downtown owl by chuck klosterman. it's a fictional story about small town life and was compared to the last picture show and friday night lights, plus the very small blurb i read about it sounded intriguing.

tonight i watched million dollar baby. the gravity of the plot twist is kind of unexpected. (yes, i'd managed to keep from finding out what happens in the movie all this time. i'm glad i had.) i was kind of annoyed by the two-dimensional nature of a few characters and setups -- particularly her trashy family, which felt like pretty much a toss-away excuse to feel for her i thought -- but overall i liked the movie quite a bit. swank and eastwood and freemen were good.

5th affair anniversary (yesterday)

i would be remiss if i didn't mention that yesterday was the 5th anniversary of the day tamara told me she was having an affair with alistair isaac. i didn't actually think of it yesterday, but i was occupied with other things. i'd thought about it a few days ago, and remembered after i was at home today. still, i guess it's good to know it isn't so consuming that i can't be distracted by my current life.

5 years. in some ways it feels like a long time ago. in other ways, it doesn't. i wish she hadn't made the choices she did. i wish she hadn't gone on to treat me like she did. i don't think i deserved it. fortunately, mutual friends who knew both of us well agree with me, so i don't think it's just a skewed perspective on my part. she really did a number on me. i think it's a number between 1 and 3. ; ) to be honest, the passing of time is the thing that's done the most to help me deal with what happened.

i've still got some things i need to clean up. i need to give some stuff to jack and sue so i can wash my hands of it. and i've got some stuff i need to burn in a ceremonial fire. it's still sad having to see and deal with all of that stuff, five years later.

but the pain doesn't cut as deep as it used to. hopefully things will continue in that direction. it'd be nice to know i've managed to pretty much fully right myself, even if i have to permanently change course.

31337 entry

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last sunday (sept 28th) i went and ate at tacos a go go, then i headed over to soundwaves and bought some cds:

  • original soundtrack recording - the blues brothers (atlantic)
  • post live - bjork (one little indian)
  • original fire - meat beat manifesto (nothing/interscope)
  • concrete dunes - grandaddy (lakeshore)

all of them except the grandaddy album were used. the mbm album is really nice. it's like a good mixture of styles from the years of mbm i liked.

regarding live bjork tunes, one of the most awesome covers i ever heard was a cover of bjork's "army of me" from post. i only heard it once, back in the late 90's. it was a cover by helmet. i even called the station to ask what album it was from. he said it was some import (maybe even a bootleg), so i never found it. perhaps i should do some p2p/torrent searches. i'd love to have a copy of that.

also on that sunday, i went and got gas for my motorcycle. i always leave it on the trip a odometer (so i can see how many miles i've gone on the current tank) and then reset it when i fill up, but for some reason i decided to flip over to see how many miles i had on my bike. what did i see staring back at me?

31337-odometer.jpg

what a stroke of luck! i pulled out the iphone and took a pic of it. and now it's my latest header pic for my weblog.

at some point last week i watched microcosmos. it's a documentary about all kinds of bugs and insects and such, shot with a lot of special cameras for very vivid, very close up views and motion control and the like. i also got to watch snails and ladybugs having sex. the snails were kind of disturbing -- i almost felt like turning away because i was seeing something inappropriate. the ladybugs, on the other hand, were kind of funny. but overall it was pretty cool visuals throughout -- ants, spiders, worms, bees, beetles, etc.

a few days ago i got these in the mail:

  • live - devo (rhino handmade)
  • recombo dna - devo (rhino handmade)

both are limited edition releases (limited to 5000 copies), although both have been available for several years. i got copies 3545 (live) and 3571 (recombo dna). i found out about these after learning that the old devo live album had been re-released in japan recently. but as an import it costs like $50. i was about ready to buy it when i found that rhino handmade had made a limited edition run with exactly the same track listing a few years ago, and it was amazingly enough still available...and much cheaper. looking it up also led me to read about recombo dna, which is demos, alternate takes, live versions, etc. from the devo archives (basically lots of tapes from years past). now if i can score copies of the out of print rhino devo hardcore cds, i'll be a happy guy.

saturday i managed to get the tire on the bel air fixed. they replaced the valve stem and said it was leaking around the rim. that taken care of, i was able to get it inspected. so now one of my three vehicles is legit. the pickup needs inspection, and the registration on the bike expired oct 1. but i got a new plate, so i'm waiting on that to come in before i pay my registration. otherwise it'd be a pain to pay now on the old plate, then transfer/repay on the new one. better to take care of it all at once when i go to the tax office to pick up the new plate. i applied for the new plate on sunday before i saw the 31337 odometer, so it feels like everything magically fell into place.

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