Saturday, June 23, 2007

New Bike

Today was the long awaited (by some) maiden voyage of the Bleriot. An example is above, but its not mine. I'll post photos later. I just finished assembly last night and haven't even shellacked the bar tape yet. I rode it down to work, meeting pal Bill along the way. We rode together for the Hiawatha Cyclery ride. There I'm guessing we put on about 14 miles or so. Add to that the 18 miles to the shop from home and back, I'm guessing I put on 50 miles. Maybe more, but 50 will be close enough. I didn't have the cyclometer installed yet. I need to change out the shifters got get better rear and front shifting. Tally for the day:

50 miles
1 flat tire, which made no sense (the hole was on the inside (rim side) of the tube)
Two lost bolts - I had not tightened the clips to the pedals and two fell off before I realized. I got two replacement from Jim at HC
One scratch obtained while leaning it against a light post near Al's Breakfast in Dinkytown
One fall over, where I didn't pay attention and Mark Stonich made a right and I hadn't slowed enough and panic braked without pulling my feet out of the clips and fell over.
Annoyed everyone in hearing distance from my braking, I didn't toe in the Dia Compe center pulls and they squeal outrageously
One altercation observed - maybe I'll right about this later, its begun to really bug me (my behavior or specifically lack there of)
Wonderful conversation with Bill - just one of those great riding partners

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Last night the Twins played the Mets in New York. The pitcher for the Twins was Santana. At some point in the pre-game warm up and visit by the broadcasting staff, a conversation occurred between Santana and Bert Blyleven, former Twins pitcher and now broadcaster for the Twins. Here is the gist as reported in this morning's New York Times:

Santana may be involved in a more entertaining event today. Bert Blyleven, a former Twins pitcher who is now a broadcaster, told Santana before the game that if he pitched a complete-game shutout, Blyleven would allow his head to be shaved.

“Believe me, it’s going to happen,” Santana said of Blyleven’s haircut. “I will definitely look for him. Hopefully, by game time, he’ll be bald."

Me, I'll be looking for that new hair style on Bert and it will be interesting if he can find a way to motivate the next pitcher to throw a full game shut-out.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day To All You Dad's

I heard a neat idea on Weekend Edition this morning on public radio. At the end of the program they always mention the people you don't hear and give their positions in thanks for their efforts. Somewhat like the credits at the end of the movie. This morning they listed them as Eliza Grace our sound engineer, daughter of Albert Grace. Or out sound engineer was the the daughter of Albert Grace, Eliza Grace. I'm sure its been done before and some would think it trite, but I thought it was a nice way of recognizing we all have fathers we should be thankful for. Even if they were horrible parents, left you penniless, showed no support, or whatever you wouldn't exist without them and unless you'd rather be dead, you ought to be grateful, at least a little. On the other hand, I think it is another useless made up holiday, so the greeting card industry won't go out of business.

Here's a joke for this father's day, which I'd bet is apocryphal. In theory this is supposed to have been a chart entry made by a doctor while seeing a patient.

"The patient admitted to having four children, but appears to have no other abnormalities."

Only a dad will admit to having children is an abnormality.


So someone wrote and asked, database? You mention a database? What chu talking 'bout Willis?

Years ago, while injured I was playing around with databases on my computer and decided to organize my music collection onto a database on my computer. Later I started to put the things into the database as owned or want so I could print out a small "desired" list.

Then years ago, I bought my first PDA and discovered I could put a database onto it. What a concept! I'd got it so I could have my mobile schedule as I wandered work and it would remind me, be here there or whatever. This was a bonus. I could have a listing of recordings I wanted, and those I owned whenever I carried it. It took a lot of learning to translate the database I'd created in one program to convert to the Palm, but it worked.

Eventually it died.
It got carried everywhere. And like my issues with getting food into my mouth instead of on my clothing, it got dropped. Not damaged, but it began to behave peculiarly. So I found someone with a used one that was color! Oh, man, and the software available was even better. But the database I'd been using wasn't available for this language. Grrr, stupid Microshaft.
So once again I set about converting.
This was a little trickier as I had to translate to a third mutual language, and then back to something this little bugger could read. I used this one so much I wore out rechargeable batteries. I created a vast shopping list system, so I could create a list based on what I liked to buy in groceries, by aisle, in order of their location, so it was an easy way to shop and you didn't look for things. Having a list is good, being able to skip aisles you shouldn't be on (like cookies) is even better. I found I stuck to budget. Finally the display on this one began to go wacky. I'd just used the sucker to death. Got my money's worth you might say. Yay me. So I began to look for another. I found one that I liked, would take my database language, no conversion, and eliminated my cell phone. One thing instead of two. Yippee! Its smaller in some ways (width) and has its own keyboard so I didn't have to write using a stylus although I can if I want. Its thicker, but it fits into a shirt pocket. Now, I was really relying on the bugger. How to prevent dropping it? A lanyard around my neck? Surgically implant a hoop for my hip and connect it to that? Piercings? Nope, my solution was to buy an aluminum padded case to take the abuse.

So far so good. I've had my accidents in the six months I've owned it and it seems to have
taken the punishment.
Back to this geekness database. So I have a listing of my recordings in it. As long as I update the thing every time I buy something, all is well. Sometimes I procrastinate (always!) and forget to put it in the day I discover something at a garage sale. Or a sale at the Minneapolis Library, which sometimes has great sales of eclectic music and books. So I bought a copy of "Blue" by
The Jayhawks and didn't put it in. By the looks of the box and disc, it was a garage sale as the disc appears completely unused. Now I bought a second copy, but a later version that has extra songs and came in the easily damaged cardboard box thing. I'll keep that although he cardboard is more beaten, but the extra songs are the big plus. The database is easily searchable, buy artist, title, year released, producer, label, if its on my Sony cheap imitation iPod, if I own it, or if I was at least at one time interested in owning it. I have written screens so that it will show me only those I want, and only those I own.

Like everything else, garbage in, garbage out. If I don't put it in, I won't know I own it. Yeah, technology saves you only when you use it consistently. You moron. And yes, Sony no longer produces my little device and in fact there hasn't been a software update since the year made. Can you say, "ass kicked by Apple, iTunes, and the iPod?" I knew you could. Even big companies don't always figure it out. Note, this is the fifth generation of a device to compete with the iPod. So its not like they failed once; they failed five times with a target to shoot at. And trust me, I'm not laying the blame on the engineers and designers. This is all about timing and management.

So I've got a copy of "Blue" to drop off at either Cheapo or Electric Fetus for sale as used. I'm a little broke now, so it will wait. I'm not quite capable of going in with less money than I come out with.

So, Sew What?

The Friday before the Richard Thompson Band show, I went to the Electric Fetus and picked up a few recordings. Like the new Richard Thompson disc and few others. Total purchase was this:

Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy by Brain Eno
untitled by Grinderman (Nick Cave)
Blue Earth by the Jayhawks
twelve by Patti Smith
two more by Patti Smith (vinyl only!)
Sweet Warrior by Richard Thompson
Saltbreakers by Laura Veirs
Carbon Glacier by Laura Veirs
Release the Stars by Rufus Wainwright

The Eno is 20+ years old and I have it on vinyl. I've been slowly getting the disc version of Eno's best. Just have had a hankering for the last year. The Grinderman is the lastest incarnation of a Nick Cave band. Oh is it delicious on the first listens. Its raw and loud and features a guitar sound that is just like the band name, like grinding or other loud metal work in a foundry. What I wouldn't do to see him live on this tour. The Jayhawks was a fuck up. I had a copy, but neglected to put it in my database. D'Oh! I hate when that happens. Anyway it was a used copy, in better shape then the one I have, so I'll bring my first copy in for sale. The Patti Smith I like, but not as much as I hoped. I'm hoping it will grow on me. The RT is very solid. Some great songs to start itoff and more memorable after seeing them done in concert. The two Laura Veirs are solid. She is on quite the roll. She's quirky good pop fun. Rufus is a secret guilty pleasure. I love his voice and like to sing along. I'm sure my neighbors hate Rufus already. He's so funny at times too. Mojo makes it sound like he might be developing a gigantic ego besides. Lets hope not.