Saturday, June 17, 2006

Did You Ever?

I feel like Andy Rooney for writing this.

Have you ever done something completely stupid and you should have by rights paid a terribly price for your stupidity, but you some how managed to get away with it?

So I'm cycle commuting home on Friday night. I was first in line at a stop light. There were four maybe six vehicles behind me and I took my lane as there was no place to occupy. I'm kinda leaning over the handle bars. I'd already took a good drink off the water bottle hoping the light would change soon.

Meanwhile a vehicle makes a left turn and goes by. Its one of these suburban white boys all dressed up like Eminem. Complete with heater and headband made from a bandana. I'll bet he had a tragic childhood in New Brighton? Meanwhile the vehicle is an all black SUV with the gigantic 22 inch wheels that look so stupid. Especially when you mix them with the low profile tires that give no shock absorption what so ever. Now the best part was the wheels were gold plated. Gold? Does this vehicle have any practical value what-so-ever?

I mean really who much a pretender can this guy be? Has he a record contract? I'll bet not. Has he resettled here from Compton? I don't think so. Is there any point other than image? It is a vehicle that will never see snow. Maybe not even rain. It sure won't see the rough country that an all wheel drive vehicle is designed for. Yeah, but it has leather interior.

Only here comes where I'm stupid part. I laughed. Yeah that's it. I mean, just from who much this dick head has tied up in his vehicle, you know he's as brain dead as a end table. So I let out a nice loud imitation of Nelson from The Simpsons. You know what I'm talking about, just a loud "Haa! Ha!".

The dolt heard me. Oh, I forgot to mention he's got his windows open so everyone can hear his awesome sound system playing his dope hip hop. What? Did I hit some sort of pause in the sound? He slams on the brakes and starts yelling. First the four letter words. Somewhere in there, I hear, "You better not be laughing." Or maybe it was "laughed at" or "laugh at". I'm not sure, but I responded with, "I just did!" So I began to really laugh. Loud. Like play hoot and howl, and just be an ass. I could hear laughs from some of the other cars. I know he put the car in reverse, but other cars coming along the same way as well as the long line behind me may have made that difficult.

I hit him where it hurts. Hard. Just the same it was incredibly stupid. Yeah, I took peverse pleasure it it. And it was childish as hell. I mean, I already knew the guy was a complete ass wipe. He lives for his image, and its what I care least about. And playing with the mind of someone who doesn't have one, is very foolish. And I should know better.

More Music Reviews

Death By Sexy - Eagles of Death Metal is an okay album, some strong campy ideas at work. The "death by sexy" thing includes a photo of the two members in a semi-kung foo position inside. I can't judge if their sexiness will kill you or not. They have fun, they play their guitars knarly and loud and aren't taking themselves very seriously. I enjoyed it and people that like the White Stripes and other low-fi blues bands should enjoy this.

Flashback - J. Geils - Hey, its your classic "best of". Although gone for twenty years, anyone that's not heard of the Geils band with Peter Wolf at the vocals should. One of those recordings that gets played at hundreds of parties across the nation. And its an example of those bands where everyone in it thinks they are a big part of the success, and it turns out that they weren't. Yeah, the played their bit, but separately they just don't cut it on any level even close to what they achieved together. Peter Wolf has put out some fine disc, but not one song is as rocking as his stuff with J. Geils.

Showtunes - Stephin Merritt - Stephin is so hard to understand. This is really a bunch of showtunes. Not my cup of tea. I can't begin to enjoy this disc. It has some amusing bits, great vocal, rather elegant playing, and really quality stuff. Yet, its nothing like anything I'm familiar with. Maybe it will grow on me? For risk takers only.

Broken Toy Soldiers - the Raconteur - Every bit as good as I anticipated. I've enjoyed Jack White's work both in the White Stripes as well as things he did with Loretta Lynn. This is good fun with a variety of contributions from all the members. Good solid work and it will be great fun to see what else they do next and maybe they'll tour behind this?

Steady State of Confusion

Ride a lot. Don't ride a lot. Hot weather. Dang near frigid weather. Its been a crazy two weeks in my hovel. Work has been rather insane with a demanding customer that buys very little in volume, but when they discover what they perceive is a problem, look out. Not only did they come for a visit with a failed system, they brought a couple of their customer reps along with. What a dog and pony show.

I'm lucky in that the intense autopsy of the device wasn't my job. I've got great colleagues that take care of that. Then the data analysis comes along. How many like this in history? Out of how many? Any like this? After they went back home, some days I got five-seven calls from these folks. Sometimes they'd be on a squawk box and the questions and stuff came so fast I couldn't write it down, so I'd have to do the, "let me see if I got this all straight" before we could end the telecon. I'd have missed something every time. Three weeks later we still aren't done. Normal customers we figure out what is wrong and fix the system and return it in a month. Enough about that noise. Its a good thing I have great people to work with (really, not BS in case they read this).

I am just about to finish up a bike for a friend. He ordered wheels from Chuck's a great clearance house. I've bought stuff from him for years. Okay, so I don't really know if there is a Chuck. They have been good to me. I ended up doing more to the bike then planned like rebuilding the headset. I've just got to put the chain on, lube it, and then install the cycle computer for which I located a battery.

Last weekend I wiped the drive of a computer for my son, Thing 3. It was just lousy with junk. He's used stuff to download music and who knows what else. It wouldn't boot without a pop up saying windows needed to evaluate all the system files for something. I split the drive into two virtual drives and put all his music data onto the second drive. I've also been loading songs onto his iPod. I've now loaded about 140 days worth of songs. He could listen 24 hours a day, and not run out of music before he has to return to school. I hope he enjoys that. I had real trouble loading the copy of Norton Systemworks that I had bought for it. I never did get it to load. I tried using the "safe mode" and other tricks, but no go. I couldn't uninstall either. I had to use a special uninstaller from the Symantec site to get it uninstalled. It then appeared to have hosed up iTunes as I couldn't load any more music. After I reloaded that, all seemed to be okay.

Now, next I've got another bike to work on. I'm going to try to take photos as I build it. Still learning my camera. I've had a vintage Cannondale frame for years. Its absolutely in cherry shape, as in built up, but never street ridden. No dents, no bends, nothing. I'm building it up into a light fast training/race bike for a nephew. He wants to try his hand at riding in a triathlon. Fun!

A reader (Doug) commented that in Idaho it is okay to do a rolling stop. I think that is okay, but in some cases I wouldn't. By that I mean, I wouldn't flaunt it when a car is in view. I don't like to piss them off, and since most cagers are so very ignorant of bike versus motor vehicle rules, why open the question. Here in Minnesota, a vehicle can't pass unless it can yield at least three feet. Very few drivers know this and they love to buzz you when annoyed with you. On hills, around corners, with oncoming traffic. Like its my fault they chose to pass. Thanks a lot, put my life in danger, you morons.

A fellow at work has a very nice Cannondale he bought from a shop I used to work in. Now as he has aged he learns that the classic road bike has the bars too bloody low for a normal person. Uncomfortable. So he spoke to me about it and I showed him the Nitto Technomic in the Rivendell catalog and how it has a double length quill to bring his bars up higher and make him more comfortable. So he calls a few shops locally and they either have no idea what he's speaking of, or quote a wacky price (double!) to order it from Quality (QBP) which happens to be in Bloomington. I started thinking I'd do it for him, but then thought, Duh! and have him call Jim at Hiawatha. Sure enough, Jim has the stem. It didn't take me long enough to make the leap from buying the stem and doing the installation, to sending him down and let Jim do the work. More money in Jim's pocket is a good thing. And it worked great. Jim suggested a very fair price and was a pleasure to deal with. My pal suggested it was a great experience and he likes putting dough down when its someone like Jim across the bench to pick it up. Saved me from another project I'd just procrastinate on!