Sunday, March 23, 2008

Borne back ceaselessly into the past

Lora and took a nice field trip to Chicago last Saturday where tattoos were had by all. A quick trip in and then we scurried back safely over the border back to cheese country, dreaming of Mountain Dew and Miller Lite all the way. I always wanted something old school on the rear of my calf, and have always liked sacred hearts. But sacred hearts are a bit ubiquitous, which isn't necessarily a problem. You don't see as many Immaculate Hearts, so now one more is out there. It is full of scabs right now but soon will look clean and bright. There is a bit too much blood on the photo above so a better picture will need to come soon. Addictive as ever, as soon as the inking was done I felt the need to plan the next tattoo. Alas, Kim is far away and therefore so is my sleeve.
I often feel I was born too late, and that the things I love are not nearly modern enough for these times -- a bit of a Luddite. Yet, I pay the bills happily writing Java and Struts websites. Alea iacta est.
I have recently found myself back on a kick of horror and crime old time radio. If this at all interests you, we are truly living in a golden age. The shows are all out of copyright and fit into 6MB mp3 files that are all over the net for free. It is such a wealth of free happiness if it's your bag. I've found the Whistler and The Witch's Tale to be a blast and well written, while The Unexpected is a bit of a constant dud. I am amazed at how often the horror tales are filled with gore and grim endings where the villain gets no comeuppance. The connection to early 50's EC horror comics is clear and sharp, and you can sense the upcoming codes that would limit the negativity and darkness of those shows. I am a little surprised by the fact that these shows have less of a moral compass that what is on tv today. Interesting.
Looking at my timesheets at work, I notice that I haven't had a weekend off since the new year, which is annoying to say the least. This project is a beast and our deadlines are completely unrealistic, yet we soldier on. Therefore, everyday of the week is pretty much locked into my work schedule so I end up getting up around 6:30 regardless of the day. This happened today despite my best efforts to sleep in, so I decided to head to the 7am Tridentine Easter Service. Beautiful and powerful, and it is always great to hear Latin -- I could feel much of it coming back to me.
Listening to old time radio and attending Latin mass. Sounds like the 1930's, yet with expensive bikes and Doom metal playing.
I'd write a bit about Gary Gygax passing, but Scott already nailed it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I have always been a huge fan of Mavic wheels. I'm not sure if this started from friendly recommendations or from how burly the Elites were on my Raleigh Prestige. Either way, I make an effort to keep buying these French wheels. The SL's were sweet, but the rear one developed cracks on the rim after about 10K miles, which is ok -- it still hurt as those wheels were very pricey. Late last summer I replaced it with the Elite above and man, did I get a bad penny. After about 300 miles I had to true the thing after every mellow 30 mile Paoli loop. What a dud. I had even marked the errant spoke with a sharpie because it was the chronic culprit. Today I received my wheel back from the Mavic warranty folks and they have completely rebuilt the wheel, with all new spokes nonetheless. Perfect. Those frogs are ok.

I ride my cross bike around town whenever possible and have found that my track bike never gets ridden. It has literally sat for about 6 months. Felt like a waste so I listed it on craigslist, a Milwaukee buyer arrived with some $, and off it went. It will get ridden now, which is the important thing, along with me owning slighter fewer things, which is always good. All bikes must get ridden otherwise they need to be candidates for homes where they will get ridden.

The new Vampire Count army is out and pictured above. Wonderful and better than ever. I really like that everything in the army is now undead. That will help the ghouls a great deal. New tactics....

Monday, March 03, 2008

Hills and Valleys

I really try and not become hooked on tv shows (“it steals my time and wastes what I’ve learned!”). The idea of structuring your week around tv is certainly true for many people and I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with it, but I guess the problem creeps in when it ends up driving your week rather than fitting into your week. At any given time I have 3 or so can’t miss shows, which isn’t too bad. I really should dump the cable and just watch dvd’s but I’m not that strong and I love TCM too much. I am proudly hooked on Lost these days, but also somewhat ashamed of being unable to miss LA Ink. The soap opera element of LA Ink annoys me endlessly, but seeing Hannah and Kim from Chicago just kill it every week artistically, while also appearing far more personally balanced than the walking train wreck and LA stereotype Kat is, makes it well worth watching. The dichotomy between the worth of both shows was never clearer than last week when LA Ink moved to 9pm on Thursdays. I watched a ridiculously stellar episode of Lost at 8pm that involved very challenging scientific concepts and plot threads to be juggled before dovetailing into a truly worthwhile emotional payoff, only to click over to LA Ink and begin getting annoyed at the Kat silliness while feeling sad that Kim is in LA and will not be able to sleeve me. It is sort of like watching football or hockey – I get to swear at the tv whenever something dumb happens, which is often and enjoyable. It’s a guilty pleasure that I allow myself, though having it right after Lost reveals just how guilty it is.


Wow! Jill finished the Iditarod Invitational. 350 snow covered Alaskan miles on a Pugsley. That must truly be a case of your clothing and equipment being worth far more $ than your bike.