Friday, June 26, 2009

Gen X grows up

Yesterday, two of the iconic personalities of my youth died. First, Farah Fawcett, whose poster formed the image of the All-American girl for millions of fans in the 70's. Then late yesterday afternoon, Michael Jackson, the King of Pop. Admittedly, I wasn't a huge fan of Jackson, the man...Wacko Jacko, but his influence on his generation and on generations to come cannot be ignored or denied. His music is wonderful and fun, his dancing was incredible, the sadness of his strange life, unimaginable. And Farah's last few years fighting a terrible disease were inspiring.

I saw a quote yesterday on MSNBC, attributed to a fan whose name I cannot remember, "these people were on our lunchboxes." It's true. They were part of our everyday lives growing up. And I think their deaths, especially Michael's, will come as a shock to a lot of us. We won't live forever, not even our kings, but they will always live on...

R.I.P. Michael, and Farah.

In related news, the breaking news of Michael's death apparently crippled parts of the Internet...I hope the IT world is paying attention, what would happen in a real emergency?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Overheard at work...

In the break room just now checking my personal e-mail (since I'm blocked at my desk) when a woman, who is much closer to my age than I think she'd admit, came in talking loudly on her cell saying..."just get me some wine coolers. Some wine coolers. No, you won't get arrested. I don't know, peach flavored..."

Seriously, did I just time-warp back to 1984?

Another day, another puncture

Walked out to the garage this morning for my commute to work, opened the door, pulled down the Allez and once again had a flat on the rear tire. I have no f'ing idea what's going on. There tire's rated to 115-120 psi, I had it at about 100. I've felt around in the rim so many times and so thoroughly (I thought) that I feel like we're in high school dating. This is somewhere around the 6th to 8th rear flat I've had on this bike in the past month or two. Seriously ridiculous. Luckily for me, but adding no less to the mystery, I've never had one while actually on the bike. Excuse me while I find some actual wood around my office here to knock on...

Okay, back. I thought that maybe it was over inflation, but I don't think that's it any more. I thought maybe the Hutchinson tires I had on all winter had a flaw, but I've switched back to the Specialized and it's happened again. I put some rim tape in, still punctures. At least the last two or three haven't been complete blow-of-the-rim punctures like I was getting.

This is getting frustrating.

It's time for new wheels, I think. But considering I paid $200 for the bike (it was an absolute steal) I'm loath to now have to spend more than that for wheels. Neuvation has some, I think I can get a set for less than $250. Nothing too fancy, it's not like I'm racing, but I don't want to add a ton of weight to the bike, either.

Maybe I should just try to parlay this into a whole new bike purchase? I could be so lucky.

Oh well. I switched back to the Look pedals on the Miyata (I just two days ago put on the flats with toe clips) since I had on my bike shoes and road it in instead. Speaking of which, the seat's too low, I think it's slipped 1/2 or so...

Looks like bike maintenance will be a part of my weekend.

Hmm, just thought of something. I wonder if maybe Deliah or George is pissed off at me? You know, a poltergeist kind of thing. I mean, the rear wheel of the bike is right up against the wall on the other side of which I found their gravestone... interesting thought.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Allāhu Akbar

You don't have to understand what she is saying to be moved by this video. You don't see much of anything, but listen to her voice. This is from Tehran, where the reform candidate called for people to shout "Allāhu Akbar" from their rooftops.

A rough translation from HuffingtonPost:
She is saying that they can take our phones, our internet, all our communication away, but we are showing that by saying "allaho akbar" we can find each other. She ends it my saying that tonight they are crying out to god for help.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Conflicting emotions

There's nothing quite like out-sprinting the traffic from the stoplight at State St and 3900 South and cranking it up to 30-35 mph in the two blocks before work. It's better than coffee in the morning (well, almost.) Inevitably, someone in a truck or car in the next lane will gun their motor when they see me start to pass them. Quite fun.

On the other hand, a Mo mom cranking Snoop Dogg in her minivan at 6:30 AM is a little disconcerting.

Interesting commute.

Speaking of conflicts. This is interesting. In case the link doesn't work or is no good, as often happens in my experience with the NY Times site, it's their story about the State Dept asking Twitter to delay some scheduled maintenance to keep their service available for Iranians to continue using to communicate. It's fascinating the amount of information still flowing out of the country about the protest and demonstrations even though the Iranian government has, for all intents and purposes, tried to shut down the media. Anyone who says that Facebook and Twitter are only toys or amusements should read this. This "new media" is a potentially powerful tool. There is some amazingly brave people in this world. And Iran is changing before our eyes. Fascinating to watch...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Off to a great start

Woke up feeling good this morning. Had a nice weekend, got a lot done despite the rain and got to hang out with good friends. But then, Monday happened.

  • My bike had yet another rear puncture when I went out to ride to work, forcing me to drive in this morning rather than ride.
  • I'm out of good coffee, and am forced to drink the office sewage or risk falling asleep at my desk.
  • They've again cut off access to Facebook and my personal e-mail from here at the office. And before you say anything about productivity, I probably got more done happily with access the last two days here than I did in the two weeks previous.
  • The headphones that I brought from home, thinking they'd be inconspicuous enough to not be as obvious and therefore wouldn't draw attention to our asinine no headphones at work rule, well, they're too short to reach from my computer to my head.
  • The old speakers that I brought from home to listen to music at my desk and possibly annoy everyone I work with. Yup, they don't work either.
Mondays suck.