Showing posts from August, 2004
If you're on broadband, here's a 10 meg Quicktime of our trip:

i've gotten ahead of myself, as usual, delving into the specific without giving my reader the outline. Our trip's framework:

Wednesday the 25th
We left Louisville in my MINI for our non-stop flight out of Indianapolis. Whitney's a bad flyer even under the best of circumstances, but her months of nightmares about our doom on our flight to Denver had her on a razor's edge the whole day. Two hops to Tampa earlier in the year had nearly undone her, so I found a non-stop flight to Denver on upstart Frontier airlines. A discount carrier like Southwest or JetBlue, Frontier has new Airbus A318/319 planes with only coach-class seats. I was only impressed with their service, professionalism, and price.

Anyway, our flight left out at 2:10 Indianapolis time. Indy doesn't follow Daylight Savings time, so we had an extra hour to kill. We had some lunch at the TGI Friday's on the concourse, then made it through security just in time for boarding.

We flew over …
Imagine a place with the best water you've ever tasted, not bottled, but flowing from every tap.

Imagine air, crisp and devoid of humditity. Imagine the most scenic vistas imaginable, of mountains and wildlife surrounding you in 360 degrees of God's creation.

Imagine all this, and you'll have Estes Park, Colorado, the place I've shared with elk, gray jay's, fat chipmunks, and my darling for the past few days.

Yes, folks, I've been on VACATION! Having done the sea-level thing just a few months ago, we decided to try the opposite: Where St. Petersburg is developed, hot, and sea-level, the Rockies are wild, chilly, and relatively untouched. If you like nature at ALL, then go there.

There's so much to say about the place! Each part--the land, the water, the air, the people, the animals, the weather--deserves its own blog entry. Hell, each of them deserve a treatise!

But just to begin...

The Altitude
Georgetown, Kentucky is at ~900 feet above sea level. …
Sour grapes, table for one?

fascinating summary of the liberals -v- conservative perspectives:

Red Brains vs. Blue Brains:

In my mind, the main difference between liberals and conservatives is a preference for nature or nurture. This ties in to your idea abou the loss of free will. Disclaimer: I consider myself a conservative, athough I think I have a good understanding of how liberals think because a lot of my friends are liberals and I like to talk about politics. I'd love to hear feedback on this idea to see how valid it is.

Conservatives tend to believe that people behave in the way they do as a result of something about them in particular - their nature. Some people are just good and some people are just bad. Nothing can be done to change or fix the situation- it's just how they are. Good people tend to obey the law, pay taxes, go to church and be good citizens. Bad people don't. When a bad person does something bad, it's because he's a bad person and therefore likely to do bad things.

I don't know if I just have something for women with techno-orange hair, but Run Lola, Run was an amazing movie. Shot in realtime, we experience a frenetic run through the streets of Germany, following the main character as she tries to save her boyfriend from his destiny.

go here and set your faces to stunned (SFW):

Mat e a Car
If my splitting headache this morning is any indication, it's going to rain today. Alot.

We had our monthly meeting of the Central Kentucky Region of SCCA yesterday, down at Jim Sawyer's Bar and Grille, downtown where the old Civic Center shops used to be. These days, it's mostly known as "That place at Main & Broadway where there's a Starbucks".

Sawyers is a great place, and the CKR members are great people. Mike Janssen is getting married to his sweetheart on Sept 3rd. There's an Autocross on Sepetember 5th, so the honeymoon will likely be short. He's trying to get his performance parts business off-the-ground, and he was trying to sell me some camber plates for my MINI, which would kick me out of stock and land me smack into STS or F Street Prepared, if I decided I still wanted to run on R-compound race tires.

I mean, let's peruse a site and see what kinda dough we're talking about:

Camber Plates: $600

Adjustable rear swaybar: $200

Just because what the world really needs is Caffeinated Soap:

For the historically inclined, there's a wonderful article in this Week's (8/23) "New Yorker" by Adam Gopnik entitled "The Big One" that gives a magnificent precis of the First World War, current views on its causes and results, and a bit of editorializing about the nihilism of history.

World War One was always a mystery to me, with no definite cause, no real "course of battle", nor any real finish except the British + French exhaustion, Germans suing for peace, and the Russian Revolution. It's like a three-million-death sideways step in human history, a transition between the Victorian to mechanized age, the time when mankind found-out how horrible war could really be. Americans had known this since the Civil War, of course, but Europe, as ususal, needed remedial classes.

After all, these were the same bafoons who charged straight at longbowmen at Agincourt; why not tangle with the Six-hundred sixty-six rounds-per minute of a Maxim machine g…
I'm reading Evan Thomas's eponymous biography of John Paul Jones ("Sailor, Hero, Father of the American Navy") and came across a passage that reminded me of the phrase in English that I hate most of all:

Elders and Betters

As in, "Respect your elders and betters," the corollary to the phrase "Children should be seen and not heard".

I have no problem with the 'respect your elders' piece, but 'betters' irks me. I hold, and always shall hold, that there is no one in this country intrinsically 'better' than anyone else--No lords, laidies, dukes, vicars, or kings, nor pope.

I will gladly salute those who've earned my respect, but will utterly rebel against any notion that anyone is my 'better'. Such feudal ideas died when we kicked the British out of this country (twice).
Why have I not heard about Idea Festival?

For goodness' sake! It's in my back yard and I had to see it on my A Word A Day (AWAD) email this morning..

Looks kinda cool.
Most useless food on the market:

Not filling.
High in calories.
Not healthy.

I mean, I ate four of the blasted things yesterday...that's like 600 calories! Ugh...they're tasty, but ultimately very empty.
The second day of olympics coverage and an interesting conversation with my beloved kept me up WAY past my bedtime, and caused me to be very tardy to work today--9:45.

The olympics coverage has been excellent, though for once, I wish I had cable (MSNBC, CNBC, and Bravo) so that I could watch some of the other events. I'd really like to see some of the equestrian stuff, and I've heard good things about fencing this year. Matt Fagenbush (sp?), one of my autocross buddies, is a competitive fencer, and after he explained the sport to me (3 blades--foil, epée, and saber), seems like it'd be amazing to watch.

* * *

So that had me up late, as did a conversation with Whitney that brings-up and excellent blog topic: Should we treat all people equally? I pose the question not so much for an answer, but so that each reader might examine his reaction to the question.

Let's look closer. "Should we treat all people equally?" will invoke one of two responses:

Slacking must be principled. If you have a pointless job and are going nowhere, ok, slack. On the other hand, if you have a white collar job that allows you to sit in a padded adjustible height chair and browse the internet, you are probably already better off than the vast majority of humanity. It means that some other chump has to pick up the slack because you decide to take out your ennui about the dismal nihilism of life in your workplace instead of confining such gestures to solitary binge drinking on weekends, like the rest of us schmoes do.

Stayed-up WAY too late last night watching the Olympics coverage. I'm having a very productive morning (after blowing-off my 8am VC with India)

* Went by the post office to return Whitney's too-small hat that I'd bought for her. Typical 15 minute wait.

* Went to the credit union to deposit a check from the Breathitt County Public library. Seeing a 5-car line in the drive-thru, I went inside, hoping it'd be faster. It wasn't.

* Shopped at Wal-Mart for some Blueberry pop-tarts and granola bars, that I might break my accursed addiction to our snack machine (Eighty cents for POP TARTS!)

Finally arrived by 8:45. Glorious :D

* * *

I fell off the cold-turkey no-coffee wagon this weekend. Hard. Two glorious days of home-brewed Starbucks. Nummy. I'm enjoying some fresh-ground french roast right now....mmmmmmmmmmm....

* * *

Looks to be a very busy week. Lots of things will probably hit the fan, but it's to be expected: Things were *way* too quiet last week.
Had a wonderful, restful weekend up in Louisville. Got more than 10 hours of sleep each night, played a little tennis on Saturday afternoon, and had some amazing food: Bourbon-flavored pork chops, some yummy pizza, and today a good meal with Whitney's parents over some lasagna.

Overall, it's just what I needed after all the recent craziness.
Okay, Pulp Fiction: What's the big hairy deal? I mean, it's okay, but why edify the movie?

Quentin Tarantino is Martin Scorsese on bad drugs. A true movie nerd, he packs more inside jokes, puns, and movie references into this profane, unintelligible pile of self-aggrandizement than any director has a right to do, save Francis Ford Coppola. Ballsy, but somewhat hollow.
Uma Thurman has never been more unattractive. I mean, we're supposed to believe this drugged-out waste of 6 feet of bone is sexy enough for a man to die (or, get thrown out a window) for?
It's the movie that saved John Travolta's career. And all the Scientologists said 'yay'. Personally, I *liked* Look Who's Talking Now
If Samuel L. Jackson weren't in this film, it would be a total waste. His delivery, character, and the change he undergoes from detached killer to pseudo-savior fascinate me.
Okay, okay, there are more quotable quotes in this film than all those from the 1980's pu…
This is how addicting autocross is:

I would like to modify my MINI. Specifically, I'd like to put a different wheel and tire combination on it (some 15x7 wheels with some WIDE Hoosiers) and a rear swaybar, and maybe some suspension work (a slight lowering)

If I do that, I'd be in FSP, the same class my friend Russell Long is in in his Morris Mini Cooper S, a 1967. It's kindof a ripe class for picking around here. No one who's nationally competitive seems ot be running in that class. I'd probably get beat alot if I went anywhere else, but...on the bright side, I'd be out of HS class for good. One rear swaybar and that's it.

It's insanity folks, really. Don't ever start autocrossing. It's addictive as heck, and more expensive than most other thrill sports, it lasts for like 5 whole minutes per event, and it keeps you out on Sundays. Bad all around...

But I do love it so.
This is just INSANE:

Watched Stargate last night. I've seen it before, of course, but it seemed like a neat addition to my Netflix queue.

I watched the 'Ultimate Edition', and it should've been called "They didn't edit anything" edition. Scenes dragged on and on, but overall a very worthy movie to watch if you happen to come across it on basic cable.

Side note: You can see the wires they used to "fly" the model flying machines around during the blue screen scenes at the end.
From the horrible names file...

You know, I've never met a girl named "Chastity" or "Chasity" that was chaste. Not in the slightest.

During my cool-down from my evening jog, I happened to see front license plate like I used to have on Little Green (but in an even more gaudy gold/bronze finish), and the thought struck me.
The Big Mo'

I don't know why I think this, but I believe John Kerry's Presidential campaign is gathering steam. Bush is static, while Kerry and Edwards (particularly Edwards) seem dynamic and vibrant.

Kerry has done well to include Edwards on the campaign. Vigorous, engaging, and personable, Edwards softens Kerry enough to make the ticket appealing in the heartland. Combine that with Americans worried their jobs are going overseas, and we may have a repeat of 1992: People voting their pocketbooks.

In all honesty, aside from abortion, taxation, and the "welfare state", I find Kerry and Edwards appealing, too. Bush is an absolute dullard; strong and moral, yes, but he's not a natural leader, he's poorly spoken, and he makes America look bad. Cheney *is* a strong Alpha-male type, but he's ever-tainted as a corporate shill.

Make no mistake: I'm still voting Republican. I just don't think we'll win this time.
This is day 3 of me quitting coffee. I have splitting headaches and irritability. The smell of coffee itself is both arousing and sickening to me, because I can't have any.

Why do this to myself? Really, it comes out of my reading of The Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs, who publishes Simple Living magazine.

A dense, wordy tome, the book talks about all sorts of way to simplify your life, live better, have lower stress, feel more fulfilled, be more "in the moment". It's about 100 pages worth of advice slopped into 400 pages of dull prose and hippy "case histories" about people who've applied these techniques. There are some gems there, but it's work finding them.

Anyway, several sections on the book talk about purging your system and drinking more water. Since my daily liquid diet is usually coffee and diet sodas, I took this to heart. By coincidence, I got a good night's sleep up at Carrollton on Saturday, and so didn't need coffee…
And now some gloss to go with the illustrations.

My weekend in Sparta. Two days of autocross, or "How burnt-out can you be?"

I've autocrossed for the last 6 weeks. I haven't been to my home church for a regular Sunday service since May 9th. >>sigh<< It's something I love, but it's really taking over my life.

...and I didn't do so hot at the races, either. Not being whiney, just realizing that I feel like I'm driving the wheels off my MINI, but I'm still not catching Scott. Beating him requires consistent excellence and a bit of luck, and I've only done it once. With the condition of my Victoracers, that's probably not happening again, at least not this year.

So, looks like I'll be campaigning only with CKR for the rest of the year. I'll probably be on withdrawl the first few weeks, but I'm tired, my car's tired, and my tires are shot. It's time to limp on in, I guess.
Pics from early August

The other day, I was an honest-to-goodness spy photographer

That's a lightly disguised 2005 Ford Mustang.
She's got huuuuge.....tracts of land
It's been a very...uneven...week here in the Bluegrass.

First, a comment on the weather (yes, it's going to be one of *those* blogs): Though the week began with sweltering temps in the high 80's with lots of humidity, it was chilly this morning. I'm talking 60 degrees F, in AUGUST. It feels like late September out there.

The cool weather has been a boon to my exercise. I've jogged 2.5 miles each of the past two days, and I've drunk plenty of water, and I feel marvelous.

* * *

Work has been, well, not so good this week. I've figured-out what gets me about my co-workers in India: Complete lack of initiative. They see a problem, they identify it, they study it, but they don't FIX it. Basically, on my side of the project, I run on a very simple rule: No broken windows. If you see a problem in our server, don't jot a note down, don't waste 2 weeks trying to explain to some poor schmuck in America (i.e. ME!) how to fix it or why to fix it. Ju…
In the past 3 days, I've driven roughly 500 miles.

Saturday, Susan needed me to come down and fix their wireless router so that it would interoperate with their library card catalog server. Basically, the way I had it set-up, there was a D-link 614 4-port switch that sat between their DSL modem and their network, doing Network Address Translation (NAT) and defining a private network with a netmask of On THAT network, I had their wireless router sitting on, also doing NAT and defining its own private network for wireless clients, netmask

Basically, the issue came down to editing two .ini files on two laptops, and making sure the stuff was installed. No big shakes, so I didn't bother billing 'em for the time.

Sunday was autocross down in sunny Richmond, Kentucky. Yes, another slick, tight EKU course, and it was SO MUCH FUN! I arrived with Whitney and the Green Dragon in train and parked with my normal c…