Thursday, March 12, 2009

KutiMan is a YouTube Genius

There is an entire album's worth of this stuff, each equally as good as the last, and different styles to boot. Check it!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Space Conservation

I look at the first picture and get a tiny headache. I look at the other two and feel very relaxed.

Found through Carfree USA

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ashes of American Flags

This premiered in Chicago tonight and I was able to make the second showing. Wilco is the best. The film was great. Brendan Canty (Fugazi) is one of the filmmakers and was in attendance to answer some questions afterwards.

Maybe it was just me, but I really wanted to clap and yell at the end of some of the songs. . . I felt like I was watching the band live. If you like Wilco, you hopefully already know that they always put on a satisfying show. This is a great document of 10 days on tour, stopping in some historical venues. Long live Wilco.

By they way, the film is worth watching to see the entirety of that bridge shot alone.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Yup, that sounds about right.

Boing Boing points to an article about the state of affairs in Detroit from the Financial Times. I thought the article sadly rang true. In his description at Boing Boing, however, Cory Doctorow touched on how the decay of Detroit holds a strange fascination:

From Boing Boing:
I was at Confusion, a science fiction convention in the Detroit area recently, and I got to thinking that Detroit may be the most science fictional city in the world -- if sf is about the way that technology changes society (and vice-versa), then Detroit, the first New World, world-class city built around a high-tech industry that collapsed, is about as science fictional as it gets.
For decades, scribes from America’s coasts and beyond have been parachuting into Detroit to marvel at its horrors. The city never fails to deliver colourful copy: the urban decay, the $1 houses that still go unsold, the tragicomic city politics. Jerry Herron, a writer and scholar at Detroit’s Wayne State University, likens journalists’ morbid delight at Detroit to that of Victorian travellers reaching Pompeii. “City of the dead, city of the dead,” Thackeray wrote. The words might as well apply here.

. . .

Detroit may be the archetypal down-and-out rust-belt city, but to call it “dying” masks a more complex reality. Greater Detroit still has three to four million residents, a world-class university next door in Ann Arbor and the bone structure of a great city, as a car-industry consultant with the ear of a poet put it over lunch one day. Why, then, the relentless focus on its failings? Nearly everyone you meet is either weary or angry at seeing their home town made the butt of jokes on late-night television and the subject of anguished political commentary. But no one denies that the region’s property market is abysmal, its finances a mess and its industrial base shrinking at an alarming rate.

Instead, Michiganders, despite being self-deprecating to a fault, make a point their countrymen won’t want to hear: Detroit is no longer the nation’s worst-case scenario, but on its leading edge, the proverbial canary in the coal mine. “It’s like the rest of the country is getting to where Detroit has been,” said Peter De Lorenzo, who writes the acerbic and very funny blog. That means that smug mock-horror is no longer the appropriate reaction to the frozen corpse. Instead, get ready for a shock of recognition.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

my first party

What was I doing 14 years ago? Making raver silhouettes in front of multibeam lasers.

Friday, March 06, 2009

My neighbor's alarm.

Just keeps going and going and going and going. It's up the street. Is it a car alarm, and house alarm? It sounds like there's a police siren up the block. For the past 18 hours. It's having a detrimental effect on the day. The first time this year the weather is nice enough to open a window, and you can't because that alarm every five minutes will steal your sanity.

UPDATE, 10:42am: I went out to the street, identified the vehicular source of the infernal racket (while resisting the nearly overpowering urge to grab a baseball bat and swing for the fences all over the grill) and called the city. They say they will send an officer out.

UPDATE, 1:14pm: On the way out on the bike to make an appointment, I was pleased to see a ticket on the windshield of the offending SUV. When I got around the block, I saw a squad car stopped in the middle of the street, so I approached and mentioned to the officer that I had called in the complaint about the noise and that it was driving us all crazy. He said that, yes, he had written the ticket, and it even he became highly annoyed as it stopped and started as he wrote the ticket. He told me that he had checked the address listed on the registration (which was on the next street over) and no one was home. He said that he would give them some time, and check back later. He promised to have it towed if it wasn't taken care of by tomorrow. He seemed like a nice guy, but tomorrow? I'm back home now and It's still going off like crazy. I wonder if anyone else has called this in. I hope so.

Where's the Rectifier when you need him?

UPDATE, 11:16 pm: Just home from work, and the SUV has (been?) moved. No more audible disturbance, thank goodness. I wonder what happened to it? Did it get towed? :) I would have taken a distinct satisfaction in seeing that.

Fixie Blues

I bought a fixed gear bike this week. A track bike, to be more specific. I thought I could use one as an around-town beater and keep my regular bike nice and clean for longer rides. The lack of derailleurs and stuff is appealing as far as simplicity and less maintenance goes, and it's said that riding a fixed gear will improve bike handling skills generally.

Well, all that may be true, but the problem is when you try to stop. You see, my bike has no brake. Brakes on track bikes are kinda against the point. But most Bianchi Pistas are drilled for a front brake, and I thought to myself that I'd put on one after I bought it. The unfortunate thing, which I didn't realize until I had already gotten the bike (bought second hand on CL) home is that is has an aftermarket fork with no brake mount.

Without a brake, the only means of stopping is resistance on the pedals, which are fixed in relation to the rear wheel. This means that today, after just a few trips on the thing, I've almost been thrown off of it more than once, I've probably looked like an idiot trying to stop a dozen times, and my knees are hurting.

I'm not sure this bike is a good idea. Even this guy has (way) more skills than me right now.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Clues in the case of the mystery stench

What I saw in my entryway this morning:

Sentra For Sale

I just offered to sell my car to someone. It's officially for sale. What follows is my e-mail to one interested party. Feel free to make me an offer!


How much? well. . .

Its an SE with the Performance package - bigger wheels, better handling, suspension etc. I googled that and found this:

"On winding roads, it offers sporty handling that makes it fun to drive. Stiff suspension tuning and big 16-inch wheels with Firestone Firehawk GTA tires give the SE with the Performance Package the abilities of a European sedan." (

I can vouch. It's a fun ride to drive, especially on the windy roads.

In recent years we've seen new starter, serpentine belt and battery, (12/07) new front and rear pads and rotors (7/06) fresh tires at 62427 miles (11/04) (I have the records). Clutch has never been replaced, but still passes clutch test last I checked. (stalls in first when clutch let out).

6 disk changer and 7 speaker sound (all stock). Interior is clean, intact.

On the minus side. . .

She's got a dented front passenger bumper - might be able to pop it out easily, but I've never really tried. It's the result of a minor fender bender. Also a fingertip's worth of rust on corner of hood where just barely tweaked from same ax. It's a subtle dent and easy to overlook You can see it (barely) in the wide shot below. The car has been in no serious accidents. I can supply a CARFAX report. There are some smallish dents and widespread shallow surface scratches across the car from when a tree fell on her last summer. There are two photos below from when the tree fell. Hard to see the paint scratches in wide shot. Radio antena bent too. Of course the windshield and side view have been replaced. The parking brake can get sticky in the winter (I'm guessing there's moisture in there that freezes), and the check engine light is on, due to what I think is a bad O2 sensor, but unsure.

With that in mind. . .

Kelly Blue Book at "Fair" condition is $4360 (cut and paste link below for full info)

I'm imagining a number like $4500.

Carfax is clean, and I can supply you with a copy. Not sure if it's a good idea to give the VIN out, so I will hold off for now.

I'll admit that she's got some age lines, but she still knows how to get a fella excited.


Monday, March 02, 2009

Did something die in here?

There is a horrible smell in the entryway of my apartment. It hit me like a brick wall when I returned home from work. I can still catch a nose of it from my apartment 2 floors directly above. What is it? I've never had the occasion to take a whiff of a flaming bag of human scat, but I think I've just come close enough. I have no idea what it is or where it's coming from, I just want it to go away.