Monthly Archives: May 2005

Entitlement issus?

I can’t help but feel that cars are second class citizens (as it were) when it comes to their right to exist on shared roadways. Especially when they’re only carrying one passenger. I hope gas prices keep going up :)

Keeping that in mind, it should really come as no surprise that I’m really a jerk when I ride my bike sometimes. Or maybe I’ve a subconscious death wish.

To be fair, I was near the stop sign first, and I did slow down and almost stop way before it and wait for an opening (before little-black-car-boy showed up, anyway). And besides, he barely stopped. It’s not my fault it’s much easier to stop a 30 mph car than a 15 mph bike :)

Pittsburgh

I’m in Pittsburgh (probably my favorite city, though largely for the zombies) with Beth this weekend for her bridal shower, among other things.

Yesterday was the bridal shower. It’s the first time I’ve ever gone to one, though it wasn’t as scary and TV-land like as I feared it may be. Unsurprisingly, I was the only bridesmaid to show up in a Dr. Who t-shirt, but surprisingly, I wasn’t the only bridesmaid with funky hair! Since last I met Eve, she has dyed her hair a lovely shade of neon orange. We think we should have a rainbow theme for the wedding… we have six bridesmaids, and we already have red and orange – all we need is yellow, green, blue, and violet (we’re skipping indigo ‘cuz it’s not really visible anyway). The other bridesmaids are gonna work on that ;)

Today we had a late start, but ended up making it to the bridal store for Beth‘s 12:00 fitting by 12:30. While we were there, I also tried on my bridesmaids dress, which fit (and looked) much better than I could have ever suspected. All I need is a few inches hemmed, and one of the shoulder straps taken in (I’m lopsided :) ), so I left my dress there to get those alterations done. While I was there, I was mistaken for Eve (who was there trying on her dress yesterday) once by one of the staff.

After that, Beth and I went over to Pittsburgh proper to visit the Warhol Museum (one of Eve’s places of employment [== free admission, j0!]). Right now, they have a big John Waters hullabaloo gong on over there, and two whole floors were dedicated to… well, someting that has something to do with something. It was cool anyway. There were contributions by actors such as Steve Buscemi, Brad Pitt, and Ben Stiller (among others, of course), which I thought was pretty cool. The other floors were mostly full of Andy Warhol‘s stuff, of course, which I really enjoyed – especially the neon cow wallpaper, and the silver clouds (though the ‘Oxidation Painting’ [in which Warhol urinated on metallic paint] certainly deserves an honorable mention!). We wandered around there for a few hours, during which time I was mistaken for Eve at least once, then popped on over to the gift shop to acquire discounted swag (rockin’!) and collect Eve.

Since we were all hungry at this point we got some food at a local Mexican place, and after that (since we are, well… us) we went over to Eve’s other place of employment (a hip local video store) and rented a pile of movies. On the way over to Eve’s place we stopped a bit in the cemetary across the street from her house and hung out, checking out the elaborate mausoleums and monuments.

We ended our day by watching Project Grizzly (that guy has more issues than you can swing a tree at) and Return of the Living Dead (naked punk zombies, talking zombies, and zombies making zombie rockets to get space brains [okay, maybe not that last one] – factually incorrect, maybe, but with such a great soundtrack it was still worth watching!). Then Beth and I came back to her folk’s place, and here I am now- blogigng when I should be sleeping :)

Tomorrow – the long ride home.

BTW, I’m now the official Ithaca liason for the Pittsburgh Dept. of Zombie Disposal (‘cuz I asked Eve before Beth thought of it!), so all you hemp-wearing, patchouli-smelling Ithacan zombies had better watch out!

Bike stats

Here are this week’s bike stats. I was sick earlier ths week, which explains the large dip in speed. Also, today I was practicing biking about with no hands (not that I didn’t have any, of course, just that I tried not to ue them for stetches at a go).

I’m not putting the images in these posts anymore to avoid throwing certain aggregators out of whack with my overly large images :)

Movie: The Stepford Wives

I just watched The Stepford Wives (after I saw it mentioned in a certain über-geeky book Marty found for me, I had to add it to the queue).

$DEITY, that was the scariest movie I’ve ever seen.

Yet another good reason to never get married, and to never have children (they only hold you back, especially when you should be doing more selfish things [like escaping]).

I’m gonna go have the least nutritious dinner I can find now, and then maybe I’ll run away to the city, where it’s safe.

Towel Day!

I’m observing Towel Day today, are you?

(In fact, it’s the main reason I’m going to work today, on account of me being a bit sick and not liking the prospects of making myself sicker…)

It seems that the volume of my towel is equal to the volume of the inside of my bike trunk. :/

Ethics, boycotts, and Bush, oh my!

I’ve you’ve looked at my site updates recently, you’ll notice that I just added three links to three sites I found today which I think are relatively important, KarmaBanque, ethiscore.org, and boycotbush.net.

I found ethiscore.org first, via the futurismic blog. I really liked the idea, but the site seems overly UK-centric so it’s not as much use to me as it could be (I haven’t even heard of most of the products mentioned), and it doesn’t have many of the features that I would really want from such a site. For instance, I think it would be much more useful to have some search functionality, wherein one can enter in a product or company name and see its score, without having to search through the various categories hoping you find that product, or something else made by the same company. Of course, you get what you pay for (hint: though most of the content seems to require a pay subscription, if you don’t complete the registration process [which I couldn’t, as the USA doesn’t seem to be in their country list (?!)] you can stil log in and see all the subscriber-only content). The ability to customize the scoring criteria to match the issues you feel are important is incredibly cool though, and I did get all sorts of cool dirt on some of the companies they list which I am familiar with (e.g., Altria [formerly Phillip Morris, who makes Toblerone candy, among other things], M&M Mars, Coke, and Pepsi, note that these links may not work without logging in).

After the disillusionment from that site, I searched around a bit and found boycotbush.net, which still isn’t quite what I’m looking for, but is another really good idea. They also seem to be a bit UK-centric, unfortunately, as their list of alternitives to Bush-humping companies seem to only have UK companies. Despite that, this site is still really cool, and I think I may actually cancel my LinuxFund credit card after seeing how much MBNA donated to the Republican party. Of course, the US system is so corrupt that you get into a bit of a Catch-22 when all viable competing companies seem to be nearly equally bad.

Anyway, that site linked to KarmaBanque, which is an interactive boycott site. I don’t think this site will accomplish much (it’s basically like an online petition) if anything the small number of people boycotting any one thing will encourage those companies, but I still find some of the information there useful. Of course, out of the three sites this one offers the least information on why exactly one should bother boycotting a company- at most there will be a few links to other sites devoted soley to that boycott, but most descriptions don’t even have that. But even that gave me a bit of insight into Coca Cola, which (if a tenth of what is said is true [which it probably isn’t]) seems to be pretty evil even as far as evil corporations go.

Anyway, since the only big, evil, corporation I regularly support is Kellogg anyway, I don’t kow how much any of this will affect me. If nothing else, it may let me in on which of the products being sold at my local co-op aren’t as benign as a quick glance may lead one to suspect…

Movie: Revenge of the Sith

I just got back from seeing Episode III, finally.

I tried really hard to go into this movie with an open mind, trying to ignore the travesties that were the previous two movies. I didn’t really have high hopes, but I also tried to keep my misgivings to a minimum. I’m happy to say that this installment is significantly better than the other two, though it’s probably no surprise to most of my readers that I don’t think it’s all that good, either.

I think my main gripe with the prequels is that Lucas tried to cram in way too much fluff story, which really only serves to obfuscate the important plot. Take this movie for instance- the general plot is mad good, but the whole General Grievous subplot was completely unnecessary. Even worse, the entire backstory of exactly who Grievous is is never explained- if you aren’t familiar with the animated series, you have absolutely no idea who he is, or even that he’s more than just some droid with a head cold. Contrast this with the original trilogy, where all the big players were introduced in the first installment, leaving the following installments for plot and character development. I think that if one were to trim the new movies to get rid of all the Grievouses (as it were), they’d be left with a much better product, in the end.

As for more specific (and trivial ) gripes:

  • The battle droids seemed to have too much personality – they were more human than your typical stormtrooper. Comic relief gets tiresome when it makes no sense.
  • The action scenes, specifically at the beginning, seemed rather mindless. They just kind of meandered about from one kewl effect to the next, with no real regard to overall progression of the plot.
  • The Anakin-Padme scenes were still bad, though not as torturous as they were in the last movie.
  • There were about a zillion nearly identical and equally boring panoramic shots of the same 3 locales.
  • All the Jedi wore light, natural colors under their cloaks, save for Anakin, who wore black. It really made it look like he went through less of an alignment switch than a mood swing.
  • The mention of Qui-Gon at the end only served to remind me of the further sacrilege that is planned for the original trilogy.
  • Bouncing Yoda. At least not quite as bouncy as last time…
  • Darth Vadar yelling “NooooOOOOoooooOOOO!!!” was the silliest thing I’ve seen in at least ten years. It really reminded me of Captain Kirk’s “Khhhhhhaaaaan!!!”

And the especially good bits:

  • Ewan McGregor played a really superb Alec Guinness. I really can’t get over what an amazingly good job he did.
  • The Wookie planet was really quite cool (even the Holiday Special-esque tree houses), and I can’t help but think this is what Return of the Jedi would have been like with less muppets.
  • The lizard Obi-Wan rides on Utapau really rocked. I hope it can swim!
  • The event that Palpatine and Anakin attended looked an awful lot like a blitzball game.

All that sounds really rather negative (especially the part where I say it’s not that good!), so I want to make it clear that despite all that, I liked this movie. Anyone who knows me should know by now that I don’t have to think a movie is particularly good to like it, afterall, and I did have a really fun time watching it. Even (but not especially) the unintentionally funny/awkward bits that I laughed at :)

Bike stats, and in NJ

I just got to NJ a few minutes ago, and thought now was as good a time as any to update my bike stats for this week. I got a new top average speed on my way to work on Friday (thought I still think it was pretty slow, given how fast those I bike with can usually go).

2005.05.21 Biketosity

Unfortunately, my Nashbar order still hasn’t come in, so I wasn’t able to bring my bike to NJ with me like I had originally planned :(

Mainstream geekiness

I just read this article linked from Wil Wheaton’s blog, and I found it a bit disheartening, though not for the intended reasons.

First there was the neglecting of new über-geeky cool shite, such as Firefly (IMHO, the best SF franchise in about 20 years; which also has it’s own movie coming out in September) and Spaced (which is currently off the air but still new to most Americans). So what if there’s no new Star Trek? Star Trek hasn’t been good (at least not the way it used to be) for years. Ditto for Star Wars. A culture that only relies on reinventing the old isn’t a culture much worth keeping, IMHO. Don’t get me wrong- the classics are great, but without new classics we are lost.

Then, there was the following quote (From Sir Wil himself)

“There are so many geek poseurs. Putting on Weezer glasses does not make you a geek”

I find it really sad that the real man who made glasses like that cool seems to be completely forgotten in favor of new (still talented) musicians who’s first big hit was named after him! Of course, I’m talking about Buddy Holly. People forget so quickly… (so what if he died 20 years before I was born?)

Having vented that, it’s not that I don’t agree with the gist of the article, because I do. Anyone who’s lived through a few widespread fads should be able to tell that the whole “being a geek is cool” thing is just another sort of fad. But even when everyone was agreed that being a geek was a bad thing (most of the past century), we got plenty of new (and generally better quality) media, so I wouldn’t worry about any of that. Things tend to cycle, and this too shall pass.

And when that time comes I’m just glad that I’m too old now to get a dodgeball in the side of the head walking home after elementary school these days. Hey, at least it wasn’t in the face (though it did kind of cause a double-whammy when the other side of my head hit the wall of the school…) :)

How much of a computer geek are you?

I’m really disappointed this stupid quiz only had 7 questions. WTF? Anyway, I can’t imagine how it would be possible to get a less than stellar score.

Also, where do these people get off saying who’s a computer expdert- have you seen the code that these uiz results generate? It’s always such a pain to modify them to validate :) (From Samantha Blackmon)

How much of a computer geek are you?

Desktop divinity

You do, in fact, know everything there is to know about computers. The odd thing is, you don’t flaunt it, you help out the newbs from time to time and people quietly are in awe. You like to amuse yourself by watching people debate issues in forums and newsgroups that seem horribly simple to you. You’re such a geek that you’re cool… weird

Personality Test Results

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