Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Omaha's hellraiser

Stick it to the man, Ernie!

Friday, September 07, 2007

How to write (according to Dan)

  1. If a character puts a gun on the table in Act I, it's gotta go off in Act III.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


So I've been away for a while... a few things have happened...

  1. I'm dating a certain someone. She's an astronomer and pretty cool to boot! This makes me happy.

  2. The bike pump and saddle bag I always kept on Gertie got stolen. This pisses me off. Seriously, unless you've got a roadie as well, when in the world would you ever need the following items:

    1. Bike pump for a presta valve

    2. Spare road bike tire with a presta valve

    3. Road bike tire levers

    4. Metric Hex wrench

    5. CO2 cartridge with adapter for filling up tires with presta valves

    Notice how I kept emphasizing presta valves? 90% of the bikes out there (mostly mountain bikes) have schrader valves. Really, there's no conceivable use for these items unless you're riding a road bike. Most bums and college-age budding thieves that I know aren't really into the road-biking scene. Hell, you can't even sell this crap on the black market, that I'm aware of. But still, all that "crap" probably cost me ~$60. Whoever it is, I certainly hope you got some use out of it rather than just tossing it in the nearest dumpster once you realized what it was. Bastard.

  3. Said girlfriend's brother is coming to town in a few days... I'm supposed to take him mountain biking. I have a feeling he's going to show me up.

That's all for now...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Black Crowes

Amanda and I went to go see the Black Crowes tonight. I've now seen the Black Crowes three times. I now have ticket stubs for each of my 3 album cases!

It was at the Backyard, which if you've never been, I highly recommend. It's a pretty sweet outdoor venue. A bit pricey, but it allows you a pretty good, close-up view of the stage w/o getting too crowded. I was much closer this time than either of the other times I've seen them (once at Jazzfest, and once at ACL) The "lawn" where everyone was standing was kinda sloped down toward the stage. Not too steep, but enough of a slope where you could easily see over the people in front of you. Also a plus.

The show itself was pretty good. I own 3 CDs (a not-insignificant portion of their discography) but they played a lot of songs I did not know. They were good songs, I just didn't know them. Maybe I need to buy a new album... They did play a few crowd pleasers too, which was nice.

Overall, a good show. Glad I went.

.500 here we come!!

Wooo!! The Rangers won last night against the Royals! They're 9 for their past 11, which is amazing to me. What is even better, is that they are closer than they've been for a long while to .500. Yes folks, the number of games below .500 that they are is now in the single digits (9). Now, I know I'm just setting myself up for failure, but I'd really like to see them finish above .500 for the season.

Padilla had a pretty good start. Not sure why he's been so flaky this season. I hope he gets things straightened out for next year. I'm excited about next year.


Bucephalus is the latest addition to my menagerie of bikes. I bought him about a year ago at the UT bike auction. The UT bike auction is basically where the University tries to unload all the sundry bikes it has picked up in the past year. These bikes have been abandoned, impounded after being chained to a stairwell railing, or been recovered as stolen bikes by UPD.

My original motive for buying yet another bike was influenced by some of my domino friends earlier that year. A few of them are hard-core, dyed in the wool, paddlers. Their idea of a good time is a 3 man canoe, a few beers in the water jugs, and a good swift current. As the weather was fairly nice that summer, they had invited many of us domino people out to Town Lake and even to the San Marcos river to paddle with them. Paddling trips were quite a hit with the club, and spots in the canoe filled up rapidly each time the paddling call went out. After a while, I got a crazy idea into my head that I might be able to chaperone weekly or monthly mountain biking trips, much in the same way. The only problem was, if someone didn't have a bike, (s)he couldn't go. So, I decided that I needed to purchase a new bike for such a purpose.

Truthfully, I think I just wanted a new bike. Ever since my original Raleigh was stolen from my balcony, I'd been missing a real, quality mountain bike. Sure, Bruno is a beast and can take a beating, but his frame is just too heavy. He's not really a mountain bike. I think he could be, but it would require a frame transplant. I think once I get Bucephalus up and running, he'll be my primary mountain bike, and Bruno will play the Sammy Sosa to his Jason Botts.

Anyway, I bought Bucephalus at the Bike Auction for $70. He was originally just half a bike. Missing a rear wheel and needing a new chain, deraileur, grips, and possibly even brakes, he wasn't much. However, he had potential. The Trek frame was more than enough to keep me interested. Bidding started at $5, I think. There was a dude who was hovering like a buzzard and kept overbidding everyone who placed a bid. I watched the bids climb from $5 to $20, and eventually to $55. Finally, with 5 minutes left in the bidding, I calmly walked over, and placed my bid of $75, and walked away. $75 was all I was willing to bid, and if the other guy wanted it that bad, he could have it.

Once the dust settled, it became apparent that I'd gone over the buzzard's price limit. I kinda felt bad about it, because he mentioned in passing to another guy that this was the only one that would fit him. I kinda doubt that, b/c he was a really big guy, and the frame isn't ALL that big. I took the bike downstairs and paid for it, $75 poorer and one bike richer. Well, half a bike richer.

In the year that I've had him, I've yet to actually ride him. Well, that's not true anymore. Last weekend, I made one of my projects to tune him up. I replaced the chain, added a rear wheel (which Mom gave me for Christmas), replaced the handlebar grips, replaced the rear deraileur, added a seatpost, and even a seat. Even so, the chain is too long, and I still don't have brakes, but at least he can roll. I took a "spin" on him after tightening everything down. By a spin, I mean I took him out the front door and coasted down the slight incline to the bottom of the cul-de-sac, using my sandaled foot on the rear wheel as a brake.

I'm taking him to Yellowbike soon to get a professional opinion as to how to fix the chain. Amanda's brother comes into town in a week or so, and I promised to take him mountain biking, so I guess I've got a timeline now...

I'm back!!

after a really long time, I've decided to start posting here again. Not for your benefit, dear reader, mine. See, I suck at writing. So much so, that I'm desperate for any practice I can get. So, I'll be posting something here (hopefully) quasi regularly.

Don't expect anything uber-interesting, ok? This is just to get me practice.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Louis CK 911 video #2

oh man... I nearly lost it at the end...

Friday, July 13, 2007

BIBLE GAMES - review by the Angry Video Game Nerd

this guys is pretty funny...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Weird Dream

I had the oddest dream last night...

I think it was insprired by this news story... I dreamt that I had inadvertently(?) killed someone, and needed to run away. I don't exactly remember a lot about it, but I think I broke into someone's house trying to get through it, but every room I went into didn't have a window I could break through to the outside. The lady who owned the house was just looking at me in this sad, disapproving way. I think she recognized me from the news reports, but she didn't do anything... maybe she called the cops after I left...

If this recollection of my dream seems to be sparse on the details, I'm sorry. I usually don't even remember my dreams...

Back in Austin tomorrow!

Observing Trip, Part II

So, I'm officially on a night schedule. It's 5:45 am, and I'm not dog tired. I spent my night and a half observing HRC 270, a young star in the Ophiuchus star forming cloud. Hopefully, I'll be able to use the high resolution spectroscopy to measure the surface gravity and hence the age of the star.

Last night, Jeremy, Scott, and I observed the M57, the ring nebula in 3 bands, (V)isible, (R)ed, and (I)nfrared. I spent today and most of tonight reducing the data, and these images are the fruits of my labor.

If you look hard enough in the second one, you can see a galaxy. I did some research, and the galaxy is named IC 1296. If you want to see a better picture than the one we made, go to APoD.

If we have extra time tomorrow, I'm going to see if I can grab a shot of either Saturn, Jupiter, or Mars.

West Texas is beautiful. There's been an unusual amount of rainfall lately, so looking out of the TQ (Transient's Quarters), it's hard not to think I'm in Ireland.

We've had so-so luck with weather. We lost about a night to storms and clouds. I managed to take some fun pictures of lightining and the Hobby-Eberly Telescope.

Next post, I'll put up some pics of me using the telescope.

Back in Austin on Tuesday. I'll be glad to get back...