Expression of the day
OK, I know it's been a loooong time, but I'm A) sick, B) still totally working like a dog, and C) leaving town tomorrow. So cope for a week while I'm gone.

As if women alone weren't difficult enough, I think moms actually take the cake. Just got off the phone with mine, who was talking about how many things she has to do before we get together tonight, including, and I'm not making this up:

"I have to get my shoes stretched."


I laughed, told her, "Forget I asked", and got off the phone as quickly as possible. Oy.

 OK, I'll post...
So I decided during a meeting this morning to begin tallying what my
buddy says while we're in meetings together. See, he REALLY likes
words that end in "-ly". Our mutual friends may not notice it so much
spending time with him, but one at work stands out: "Feasibly". Often,
there's crossover between his work and home vocabulary, so I invite
those who know him to add their own counts to otherwise boring

Today's meeting tally:

  • Feasibly: 6.5*

  • Basically: 6

  • Technically: 2**

  • Literally: 2

I should explain that I tally the use of these words when they're not
quite the appropriate word choice. (eg. I don't count "Technically" if
he's, say, explaining what something is technically capable of.

* the .5 is because he started to say it at one point
in the meeting, but stopped himself.
** Nevermind, I explained this above.

This is quite possibly going to become a regular feature. Enjoy!

Note:I considered also tallying up his grammar errors ("him and me,"
etc.), but had to pay attention at least part of the meeting.

work to eat - eat to live - live to ride - ride to work!


Originally uploaded by MarkFitz.
Still wicked busy at work. Haven't even had a chance to check my usual sources today. Yikes!

There's just a helluvalotofshit to do before I can leave on vacation next week, and it all NEEDS to get done. I guess my slacking has finally paid off, work-wise, huh?

 Newest shit from google.

Originally uploaded by MarkFitz.
The only time you're likely to get one result from a google search? For whatever reason, I was tempted to search for "Pauly Shore" on the new Google Video search (Beta).

When will google stop getting so cool?

Read about it here.

 Mmmm. Frame-y.

Mmmm. Frame-y.
Originally uploaded by MarkFitz.
So I'm up early again, go figure - couldn't fall back asleep, and of course I get online and check all my pages. The first of which is the evil Chicago Craigslist bikes section. I want! I want! And, for once, it's my size. Mmm, Carbon. Too bad I just spent this money on the car. I might have actually gone for this. Maybe. Possibly. Probably not. But you never know!

Sorry. Due to actually working today, I kind of slacked blogging. So it goes. A man's gotta get responsible sometime! Besides, next week I'm going to be in Park City snowboarding like a fool, so I'm just weaning you off my incredibly timely and easily readable posts.

But I'll be back. Oh, I will be back.

While I don't believe many of us need cars (especially the city-dwellers among us), and I really don't think people need to drive them as much as they do (a block to get a cup of coffee, to work when public transport is available, etc..), they do have their strengths (convenience when carrying many heavy things long distances, etc).

Anyway, I dropped off Dana's car today at Joseph Auto Service at Pulaski and Fullerton. There's been a recurring THUMPy sound and a pull to the right with each rotation of the passenger-side front wheel. Concerning. So, we were going to bring it in saturday, but like a responsible guy I called first to see if they could take it, and they said they couldn't until today (Monday) at 7am. I get there at 7 sharp, and, of course, the place is dark. So I sit in the car for 20 minutes and a dude pulls in, so I pull in the garage behind him. I explain what the problem is (thinking it's drivetrain or alignment related), and he says it's probably just the tire.

Hopefully, it IS just the tire. What a relief that would be! I guess we'll see, though.

 The CycleScore - Engadget - (See what I'm talking about)
Can I hate them at the same time I like their idea? I'm so conflicted... The CycleScore - Engadget - "...what [the students at MIT have] done is attached a recumbent exercise bike to a PC, with controls in the handlebars. The game’s creators deliberately decided that the game should bear no resemblance to bike racing, and instead the game they were showing off at CES was like a Space Invaders type game"

 Strange fetish of the day. (See what I'm talking about)
This one is work-safe. Honest.

Some dude out there has a strange fetish - he collects and categorizes pictures of women in spacesuits. Very, very odd. And somehow, in a totally geeky way, very cool and a little exhilerating.

Seriously, it's not 72 here in June. Why does it have to be 72 in January? It just doesn't make sense to me...

 Oh, cyclists..
Got this in today's (yesterday's?) RBR Newsletter:

“I’m out of shape”
Translation: I ride 400 miles a week and haven’t missed a day since the Ford administration. I replace my 11-tooth cog more often than you wash your shorts. My bodyfat percentage is lower than your mortgage rate.

“I’m not into competition”
Translation: I will attack until you collapse in the gutter, babbling and whimpering as if you’ve been watching Celebrity Poker. I will win the town-line sprint if I have to hook you into an oncoming Peterbilt. I will crest this hill first if I have to grab your seatpost, spray energy drink in your eyes and ask you how to program my DVD player.

“I’m on my beater bike”
Translation: I had this baby custom-made in Tuscany using titanium blessed by the Pope. I took it to a wind tunnel and it disappeared. It weighs less than a popcorn fart and costs more than a divorce.

 Open UMD? Yes, please! (See what I'm talking about)
So my sources (OK, OK, PC World via engadget) have been very active lately, and I'm hearing a rumor that Sony is considering making the UMD (disk used in the new PSP portable gaming monster) format (for video and music, anyhoo) open for other companies to use in their systems.

Whether or not this means they'll allow people to produce drives that can WRITE to the format wasn't mentioned, but I imagine it would be pretty difficult to get content on there otherwise.

Please, please let this happen. And let it happen quickly.

 Newest addition to my family.
So I wasn't really sure if I should just flat-out post this picture or not, but decided to anyway. Maybe in the future I'll create a "rollover" class so that pictures like this are able to be seen if you roll over it with your mouse, but are otherwise obscured. That would be a neat idea. My little contribution to the inkernet.

Anyway, woke up at like 3:15 needing to pee, too hot, and with a little acid-reflux, so went to the bathroom to cure my woes and met this little guy. Luckily there was an empty TP tube sitting around, so I trapped him therein and got him in the toilet without TOO much trouble. Once in there decided to document the occasion. Not JUST for you folks (all three of my readers), but also in case the landlord would like to know about this little problem.

I feel like I've seen one of these buggers in the past, swiftly destroyed it, and forgot about it, but this is a BIG FREAKING ROACH. Hard to get an idea of size from the pic above, but to get an idea, he was tough to fit in the TP tube (his antennae were kind of sticking out, we'll say).

Nice quality photo though, huh?

 BikeWinter pics (See what I'm talking about)
Only three here, but come get 'em. I linked my favorite to this story, so only two that you haven't seen.

Better than nothing. Quit yer whining!

 How did YOU get to work today? (See what I'm talking about)
So, I wasn't going to do it, but I woke up with my roommate's alarm (again) this morning, and couldn't fall back asleep. (he typically gets up - rather, his alarm first goes off - about two hours before mine)

So after lying in bed for an hour, I decided to get up. The weather said it wasn't too bad out (20s-30s w/ chance of a light dusting), so I hopped in the shower and said "what the hell".

It's a good thing I didn't look outside before getting ready, or I never would have done it. It snowed the whole way, and I couldn't imagine having more fun getting to work if I tried. Today was Chicago's Annual "Winter Bike to Work Day", in honor of the coldest day recorded in Chicago's history. You can read about it here.

I got some pics I'll be posting later, and a guy from CBF was there taking pictures of me as well. I'll keep my eyes open for that too.

SO MUCH FUN! Why did I ever stop riding in to work? I felt just like a kid today.

 Picasa updated (See what I'm talking about)
Well what are you reading this for? Go download it!

I just hope this doesn't break all the work I just did in Picasa this weekend. I finally get all my images organized and they go and update the software. So it goes, I supposed.

Getting in early like this is great. I can blog as much as I want! :)

 Not green enuf!
Not green enuf!

This makes sense, of course. My transit card has lost all its value. See, I'm on one of those "tax-free transit" programs that automatically deducts a certain amount from my paycheck every month. Well, I built up quite the surplus when the weather was nice and I was commuting by bike so often, but since the weather has gone sour, I have gone "wimpy". My punishment is thus: I have now run out of money, and will have to buy one of those paper-with-magnetic-stripe cards the proles use. Sigh.

I also just had to put my credit card info in the transit site, so they can automatically reload the card for me. Convenient? Sure - if it wasn't getting filled up automatically in 15 days. The way it stands, though, I have no idea how much money they're going to pop on there for me (it was some configuration choice I made when I signed up for the program, probably a year ago).

Serves me right for not riding in more often!

 Oh Boy, Try 3
Oh Boy, Try 3

Two things:

  • one - I learned that I can just email a picture to Flickr to add it to my stuff. Wicked!
  • two - I ALSO learned that I can set up Flickr to automatically post this stuff to my blog, when I upload it. I love it!

Original Blog entry idea: I'm in big trouble now. As if it's not
difficult enough dealing with the temptation to buy used bike stuff on
craigslist, now I set up the RSS feed so I can constantly monitor
what's for sale.

Note: this is try three. First try, wrong email address. Second try,
forgot attachment. Third try's a charm?


Originally uploaded by MarkFitz.
OK, so, I'm bad. I just agreed to buy this wheelset from a dude not far from here (I need it! Really!) for my Black Flag project (see pic of bike frame from Monday's sole entry).

Besides, even if I didn't need it (which I DO!), I don't have any spare 26" MTB rims. Now, I do! And the rear already has a flip/flop hub! With two cogs! Can't be beat!

 Redeeming Ohio? (See what I'm talking about)
So I just got an email from a Fraternity brother of mine (Jeff Lazarus), saying "check out this article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer" about a case he's working on as a third-year law student at Case Western (he works for the Public Defender's office).

I started to read the article and was a bit taken aback, only to realize that what they're doing - essentially - is exposing a MAJOR flaw with the "Issue 1" Amendment (otherwise known as the gay marriage amendment) that just passed in the last election cycle. Read the article (linked below) for details. You may have to fill out a short questionairre to get access to the article.

Claim: Unwed abuse victims left unprotected under Issue 1: "'Hopefully, instead of the [domestic-violence] statute, it will blow out the constitutional amendment,'" Archives - vbbegin_databases archive (See what I'm talking about)

Here I am, up WAY too late, googling people I went to school with to see what they've been up to. Lo and behold, I decide to google myself.

The first actual link to ME is here. How sad is that? 19 google pages deep. A boring technical question that got NO responses. Awesome.

Sigh. I couldn't be here (there is a Mark Fitzgerald there, you just have to dig for him)? Oh well.

I guess I have a new goal, then. And Jesus. What am I doing awake? I was ready for bed two hours ago.....

 MLK Day
Sorry no updates all weekend. After work on friday went up north to the parents' abode - my sister just graduated from college and (gasp) moved home. I went up to help celebrate, stayed the night, and ended up stuck there all weekend.

Updated my profile tonight. Time for sleep. Watched 24, worked on my newest acquisition (from BEFORE Christmas), tearing it apart. I'm left with the image on the right. The seatpost is a challenge that I'm willing to undertake, considering the relative ease with which everything else came apart - I was able to remove the bottom bracket almost exclusively without using tools (there was a bit where I needed my bottom bracket tool, but even that I could wield by hand).

Work should be pretty busy in the coming days, but never TOO busy for blogging. Keep coming, I'll keep posting.

 Evilpartment Part 2
Honest, I was going to start working, but I realized I had ten minutes
until a meeting so decided to get this last entry in before REALLY
starting my day.

Actually, nevermind. Have to figure out some finances. But I PROMISE
I'll try to get to the second part of Evilpartment today. Too much has
gone on.

 Tinfoil hat time! (See what I'm talking about)
Umm.. OK, this is effed up, but I'm sure there's a totally reasonable explanation for this.


Who is killing off the microbiologists? | Metafilter: "Why was Joeng Im of the University of Missouri, a 72 year old protein chemist, stabbed to death, stuffed in the trunk of his car, and burned? Was it a random act of violence? Was it a former student bent on revenge? Or is this biologist merely following in the footsteps of 40 other microbiologists and other scientists who have mysteriously died in the past 4 years?"

 Green Willie (See what I'm talking about)
Willie Nelson, marketing Biodiesel? Why not? If anyone can reach the population of truckers (other than, say, the WWE), it's Willie Nelson and his ilk. I say go for it! Wicked!

 Roboshark (See what I'm talking about)
Oh, wonderful. Let's teach a robotic shark to hunt humans. I can't wait until they build a couple more robotic sharks that can reproduce. As if real sharks aren't enough to worry about...

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Roboshark to hunt tourists: "The world's only robotic shark is going to make some electronic friends... Roboshark's inventor, Andrew Sneath, has designed a giant aquarium, which will house an impressive panoply of robotic fish in a seven-metre-deep tank. Visitors will be invited to explore the aquatic world of robots from the safety of little submarine pods.
Indeed, tourists will be very glad of their bite-proof pods, because Roboshark is programmed to enjoy a spot of human hunting." (emphasis added) (idea of robots trained to hunt people being BAD stolen from, learned from watching too many sci-fi movies.)

 Phidgets! (See what I'm talking about)
In the midst of my own budgetary crisis... Well, OK. Not crisis so much as "normal situation".. Anyway, just ordered this today. MMmmmmm. DIY electrical engineering.

Also picked up a couple of these and these, and this for shits and giggles. I have a concrete idea(s) what I want to do with this stuff, but if I accidentally step on a $2.50 part, I figured better to be redundant.

I'll just be more careful around the $80 bit.

Science! Fun! Science Fun!

 Treehugger (See what I'm talking about)
Please, [insert name of city I will move to eventually], put these everywhere.

Treehugger: "bike stations are facilities where people can park their bikes, stow their riding clothes, clean up, and emerge ready for work, all in a city that will have cleaner air and easier mobility due to them."

 How to Probe a moon (See what I'm talking about)
Space exploration is fun. I'm glad that at least part of my "quarter-of-your-salary-federal-tax-dollars" go to NASA. I wish I could allocate less to the War and Religion departments and more to the Exploration department. And the Love department. We need to have some exploratory love probes, methinks. Scientists of the world: get working!


(also at): IndiaDaily - Probe to land on Saturn moon: "If all goes well, the saucer-shaped Huygens will enter the thick atmosphere of Titan Friday at about 5:13 a.m. (ET). The data should start trickling in about five hours later."

(Thanks Pablo for the heads-up on this one.)

UPDATE from 11:35 a.m. EST: It's confirmed! Huygens has successfully returned science data from Titan's surface. The probe's landing is the farthest touchdown for any human-built object to set land on another world.

 Aliens Of The Deep (See what I'm talking about)
Must. Go. See.

Sometimes I really hate James Cameron. But then I remember The Abyss.

Damn you, James Cameron! DAMN YOU!!!!

 "The Extortionist" (See what I'm talking about)
I'd love to believe him. This sounds weird.

From "On August 25th Urs Frueler, the General Manager of Phonak, received a text message saying something like – Hamilton is positive. Urs didn’t recognize the number and the message wasn’t signed so he ignored it – chalking it up to sour grapes. He also knew that if this were true – he’d be getting phone calls from names and numbers he did recognize.

When the announcement was made, that in fact, I had tested positive in Athens, Urs got another message saying something like – “see I told you so”. "

 Apple - Mac mini (See what I'm talking about)
OK, you lucky devils finally get my take on the new Mac Mini.

Marky likey. I want one, but to make it do what I would want it for, I would need to add signifigantly to the $499 price point, even beyond the point that is now available. My biggest beef: 256MB RAM standard. Please, Apple. That's a pretty transparent way to charge crazy amounts for you to put in extra RAM so it's USABLE.

That and the 32MB, 4-year-old video card (that, as far as I know, can't be upgraded) are my big beefs. Of course, in such a small enclosed space, heat would be an issue, so it makes sense they're not putting a GeForce4 in there, but still... COME ON!

What I'd really like to see is a Firewire input for DVR functions.

My additions to make this a nice mac: max out the RAM (I think 1GB is the most they're allowing. Sigh). Upgrade the HDD (only 40 and 80GB options? Blah). Bluetooth. WiFi (Airport express, or whateverthefuck you call it over there). Superdrive.

Dream upgrades: NICER VIDEO CARD. FireWire 800. MORE RAM. Bigger HDD.

OK, OK, I know it's meant to be entry level, and I'm asking for something it's not supposed to be. Conceeded. I guess I just described my ultimate Mac Mini.

UPDATE: I priced "my" Mac Mini with WiFi/Bluetooth, bigger HDD and faster processor, 1GB RAM, wireless KB and Mouse, and the SuperDrive. It came to a little under $1400. FORGET IT! I'll buy a new bike and paint one of my PCs white.

 GMail security
Forwarded from another loyal GMail "customer":


Thank you for your message. Today, Google was alerted to a security vulnerability affecting Gmail, and our engineers quickly resolved the issue. A very small number of Gmail users were affected, and all Gmail accounts are now protected from this vulnerability.

Google has the highest regard for the security of our users' information and we apologize for any concern this issue may have caused. Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

The Gmail Team"

I guess all I have to worry about now is T-Mobile giving away my information. Whew!

 I promise... (See what I'm talking about)
Next time I see a backlog of Critical Mass emails that will lead to a number of articles like this in a row, I'll let you know.

Until then, read away about why I sold my car a few months ago:

Chicago Tribune | In search of creative solutions: "But even with the CTA's Brown Line, Red Line and numerous bus lines serving the neighborhoods, there is increased concern about congestion. Traffic jams and a scarcity of parking are problems; the intersection where Fullerton and Lincoln Avenues and Halsted Street meet sees an average of 55,000 cars a day, according to Chicago Department of Transportation figures."

 Burn your SUV! (See what I'm talking about)
Seriously. Retire the bastard.

Do SUVs Make You Stupid? / Pointless, dangerous and vain as ever, land tanks still sell millions. Only one explanation possible: "overall there's been a whopping 56 percent jump in sales of the beasts in a mere eight years across the country, totaling nearly 25 million of the ugly tanks now lumbering across the American landscape and hogging all the parking and burning up most of the oil and sneering in the face of air quality and all rational thought and flipping over and bursting into flame after hitting a pinecone at 80 mph." news and analysis (See what I'm talking about)
Lance (Armstrong, duh) about his plans for the year. Also, check out the sweet new Team Discovery ride. news and analysis: "(The Hour Record) has become a serious consideration and I actually have in my possession the very first version of the track that I've been trying to do some testing on. (The Hour) is something that fascinates me; Johan and I have not really sat down and talked a lot about it, you know, what it takes to do it, where it fits in in the year, which I think is one of the trickiest things. I spent a lot of time talking to Chris Carmichael and his team (at CTS) about it and the proper approach."

 Oh boy.
Between this and this, I may be in big trouble.

If people are reading my GMail (oh, the horrors! They know the inanity with which Hutch interrupts my day hourly) I'd be in big trouble (not really anything interesting in there, go ahead). The login/password thing is a bit troublesome, however.

And as for T-Mobile? Well, I expect pretty much *everything* will be hacked to the point where some info of mine will be exposed, at some point. I imagine if you have a credit card or a cell phone this will happen to you too, if it hasn't already.

I rest still in the knowledge that my debt and poor credit rating is not an attractive target for identity thieves.

Also, let me give thanks for the blatant theft of a Slashdot image. Some day, I'll get my own. Note: actually, they're smart enough to not let me hijack their image. Bastard smart geeks. Instead, I stole it from here.

 Dr. Marathon (See what I'm talking about)
I'm so proud. Dana called me last night wanting to spruce up her blog. She added like three or four entries yesterday and today, it looks like. Good for her!

Go check them out!

Note: I have been in a meeting all morning, and have another one early this afternoon, in addition to ACTUAL work I have to do today. I really want to write about the new apple products and my Evil apartment installation 2. We'll see if I have a chance to get around to those, but I'll try. For now? LUNCH!

 Best TV filter ever (See what I'm talking about)
Treehugger: The Fox Blocker: Keeping You Free From Bad TV: "the Fox Blocker, an $8.95-Fox News Channel blocker that acts pretty much like a porn blocker for your TV, except that it blocks rightist commentators instead of naughty nudies."

My children will have this until they're old enough to think for themselves. Don't want those nasties brainwashing them!

Not that I have children NOW, of course.

The thing is, I would probably never buy a product like this (except, as stated, for the protection of my children). I mean, think about who it is that dislikes FoxNews. Wouldn't that demographic possibly be aligned with people who also don't like censorship? Just a thought. Discuss.

 PSP Lust
Some tasty bits on the PSP over the last day. Is Sony leaking this stuff to keep people's eyes off of Apple's impending announcements? (New Flash iPod? New $500 Mac? New software?)

In a short time, we'll all know.

Thanks to Engadget and for the info.

 Side projects
Yes, dear, I AM working on the wedding site. But that's hard to do at work when the only thing I have to do right now is translate what's on our Save-the-Date card and put it on our wedding website.

Since I can't hide that kind of work while at work, I have decided instead to find another way to enhance our website, and make it more of a destination for our friends. So I decided to see how I could change the default templates for Picasa so they are more accessible (and customizable), better fitting my needs. I found that by doing it with XML. See, instead of using one of their default templates (which are, admittedly, pretty lame when compared with the awesome pictures we take), I can create my own updatable template by learning how the hell to parse an XML document and display the info hidden therein.

I'll upload my progress so far when I get home (remember, I can't FTP from work).

The examples will be here (first effort) and here (second effort).

Note: these are not yet up, and are just technology "proofs of concept". Criticism will be dealt with swiftly and harshly.

 Deluxe accommodations! Privacy! No transportation! (See what I'm talking about)
What a cool idea!

10th Tenth Mountain Division Hut Association, Colorado, Home Page: "10th Mountain manages a system of 29 backcountry huts in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, connected by 350 miles of suggested routes.

We provide a unique opportunity for backcountry skiing, mountain biking, or hiking while staying in safe, comfortable shelter."

 The best show you've never seen. (See what I'm talking about)

WHAT: "Peep Show"
WHERE: BBC America
WHEN: Late night, Late-late night. (Check BBCA link above)
WHY: After getting enough of The Office, my roommate and I were treated to our first ever GOOD TiVo recommendation (when TiVo automatically records shows it thinks you might be interested in). Of course, my curiousity was piqued with the name alone (I thought it must have been some HBO special), but I was pleasantly surprised that it's a (very, very funny) serial comedy (otherwise known as: sitcom).

Basically, it follows around these two roommates, Jeremy (unemployed stoner "musician") and Mark (uptight office drone who is chronically obsessed with uninterested workmate Sophie), and is shot almost entirely from someone's point of view (Mark's, Jeremy's, or other character's - so we "see" what they see, sometimes hearing what they're thinking).

It's impossible to give it the credit it deserves here, so my recommendation is to give two episodes a try. I say two because you have to get to know the characters a little and the style of the show, before you can really appreciate just how freaking funny it really is. Mark and Jeremy are so horribly pathetic it almost hurts to watch sometimes.

My favorite quote from the first episode we saw (just on TiVo again, and even better now that we "know" the characters): Mark and Jeremy decide to go "Strangers on a Train" and "get" each other's enemies. While Jeremy is crank-calling Sophie (I can tell already this isn't half as funny in the telling as it is in the watching), for Mark, as an aside he notes:

"It's payback time. And she's paying back in fear dollars." Trying to sound tough and cool, managing only to sound just pathetic enough to make you laugh at him.

I love this show. Seriously, put it on your TiVo subscription. I can almost guarantee it won't conflict with anything. I checked and the next showtimes are at 9:30pm, 2:30am, and 4:30am. No wonder it doesn't have the following of The Office.

 Shamrock Shuffle (See what I'm talking about)
Just registered myself.

I ran this two years ago and had a blast, and was registered last year but A) was injured and B) got engaged the night before. Hopefully neither of those happen again this year. :)

(I encourage everyone to sign up).

 Cool pics! (See what I'm talking about)
Wicked cool pictures of underground Tokyo photography (or so the site I'm stealing all these cool links from says).

How did I link to this? Oh yeah, some comment the dude made at engadget, I think.

 A softer world. (See what I'm talking about)
A "comic" about boobs. I like it. The rest are pretty good, too. Check them out. Just kind of came across this while surfing around (instead of doing chores or making coffee).

Wait, I haven't made coffee yet? Shit. I'll be right back.

 iFridge? (See what I'm talking about)
As far as time-wasters go, I totally WIN. This couldn't be more fun for like thirty seconds.

Just Letters: "'Someone keeps stealing my letters...'"

 Worst. Invention. Ever. (See what I'm talking about)

The Patented Arm and Leg powered cycle solution: Body Bike - Arm and Leg powered bicycle: "Body Bike: a patented bicycle that is selectively powered;
it may be leg powered or arm and leg powered! "

Eeeeww.. I think if I could see the video (can't at work for some reason), I would vomit. Everywhere.

First of all, the bike frame was never intended to be stressed in that way. Second of all, control must BLOW. Third of all, with the extra weight, forget it. Fourth, you probably look like a complete moron. And Fifith? Try putting a nice, lightweight handlebar on there. I bet it lasts a month of serious riding. Blech.

Thanks to Pablo for the link.

Update: I saw the video, which they had trouble embedding in the page (don't pay cousin Billy Bob for the website, budddy!), and I did vomit. Everywhere.

 really big iTrip (See what I'm talking about)
Cool link - home radio broadcasting!

OK, off to my meeting again. Boo.

 All-day meeting
No updates to speak of today - stuck in a meeting from 830am - 430pm.
Might get to some tonight between many many loads of laundry...

 Robosapien V2 and Dino (See what I'm talking about)
If there's one thing cooler than robots, it's robots that can THROW THINGS. Awesome.

Apparently, the dinosaur one (not pictured here, follow link) can chase things around. Finally, a use for cats!

Wowee Robosapien V2 and Robosapien Dinosaur - Engadget - "Wowee has made their hit robot bigger and badder with the Robosapien V2, ten inches taller than the original, and more mobile: now it can sit, lie down, and pick up and throw objects."

 God Bless Jon Stewart. (See what I'm talking about)
CNN is firing Tucker "Bowtie" Carlson. Arts & Entertainment | CNN dumps "Crossfire" host Carlson: "'I guess I come down more firmly in the Jon Stewart camp,' [Chief Exec of CNN US, Jonathan] Klein told The Associated Press.

He said all of the cable networks, including CNN, have overdosed on programming devoted to arguing over issues. Klein said he wants more substantive programming that is still compelling.

'I doubt that when the president sits down with his advisers they scream at him to bring him up to date on all of the issues,' he said. 'I don't know why we don't treat the audience with the same respect.'"

 Bill Gates: Free Culture advocates = Commies (See what I'm talking about)

Oh, Bill Gates. When will you learn?
Boing Boing: Bill Gates: Free Culture advocates = Commies: "There are some new modern-day sort of communists who want to get rid of the incentive for musicians and moviemakers and software makers under various guises. They don't think that those incentives should exist."

 Apartment of EVIL, Pt. 1
OK, so I have been trying to avoid this because it's so long and drawn out, but can't any longer. I guess I'll write about it in installments (but since I got into work so early this morning, this installment might be the longest. Not many people are in yet).

My apartment is Evil. I won't go as far as saying the same of my landlords (I won't mention their name as we're kind of in a lawsuit with them right now - even though the law says we're allowed to talk to whomever we like about it, I'm going to keep that to myself), despite how much I'd like to express how I feel about them... Anyway.

Our apartment is Evil. I can't say for sure when it started. I'm not sure if there's an evil spirit lurking there, if it's Evil by design, or what, but it is most definitely out to get us.

I guess we'll go chronologically.

My roommate and I moved in the fist of September, 2003. We had been looking for the "perfect" apartment, and after many, many places, thought we'd found it (the only problem was that it didn't have a deck, so my grill had to find temporary arrangments elsewhere). It's one of those old converted warehouse loft buildings - exposed brick and ducting, nice big windows, hardwood floors, and an open floorplan.

Sure, there was some adjustment. The place is right next to the El (it literally passes probably 10 feet from my bedroom), and since our walls don't go all the way to the ceiling (and because of all the wood), sound bounces everywhere. No big deal. It took some adjustment, but we were able to handle it.

Last winter - in February, I believe - we encountered our first problem. See, my roommate and I can't agree on heat or coolness levels. It's nobody's fault, really - as it turns out there are 2 large vents in my room and one itsy-bitsy one in his, so naturally I'm colder when the air is on and hotter when the heat is on. We figured out last year that if I just closed my vents, the heat was a little more evenly distributed.

Well apparently this led to problems, as the heat backed up in the ductwork (becuase it couldn't get out fast enough - we have some industrial heater or something rated for a space 10x as large as our apartment), and tripped some sensor which would then turn off the heating coils. The problem was, the unit was smart enough to turn off the heating coils (supposedly), but not the fan - so it continued to blow air on us, it just ceased to be HOT air. So the thermostat would tell the heater "Whoa! Cold down here - let's get some HEAT!", the heater would keep the fan on (though the coils would still be off - once off they remain off, it seems), and the apartment would get colder still. Rinse, repeat.

We figured out that turning the heat OFF and then ON would solve this problem temporarily, but when the apartment is 50 degrees and we want it 15-20 degrees warmer, the whole cycle just repeats itself, and the damn place never gets above 53.

So, naturally, we tell our (lovely, wonderfully helpful) landlords about this.

Now the fun starts.

(to be continued...)

PS: I have a picture to go along with this, but FTP is blocked at work, so I'll have to email it home and add it when I get there. Patience is a virtue.

 Treehugger: Safe Turn Indicator (See what I'm talking about)
While this sounds like a good idea for the bike-commuter, I'm not convinced it would work as designed. Maybe I'll have to get some to check it out. (from via

Treehugger: Safe Turn Indicator"just raise your hand to indicate a turn and it begins flashing — like the indicators on a car. The internal ‘tilt’ switch automatically sense the arms change of position and sets off 3 blinking LEDs in an amber housing. It stays blinking while your arm is raised."

 Time for a new PS2 game? (See what I'm talking about)
OK, I think it might be time for me to buy a new PS2 game. Thanks to brother-blog contributor buhny for pointing it out. I remember reading about this game a while ago, and finding the idea intriguing. Based on the rec, though, I think I might just have to go pick it up.

Basically, you start out as a ball of lint or something, and roll around picking up more crap. As you get bigger and bigger, you can pick up more and more crap, and grow, blob-like, until you can pick up buildings and stuff.

Not really sure what the point is. Not really sure if there IS a point. But sounds like loads of fun! :)


 Ask the pilot (See what I'm talking about)
One of my favorite features each week at is the "Ask the Pilot" segment, where a former airline pilot-cum-columnist talks about different subjects aeronautical. Lately, as others have picked up, he's been focused on the "terrorist plot" to down planes using lasers. Thankfully, in looking for a link to that story, I found a number that are updating their otherwise scaremongering stories to say that local yokels are being charged with doing this. Some prank.

Anyway, below are some quotes from the most recent "Ask the Pilot" article about the lasers.. Technology | Ask the pilot: "Listen to Michael, an Airbus A320 pilot for a major U.S. airline (who asks to be kept otherwise anonymous): 'Here we have cleaners and caterers able to board and roam through aircraft with no security screening whatsoever, yet people are worried about laser beams? Our priorities are insane.'

'In the hierarchy of threats,' adds a 747 first officer at a different carrier, 'this one is pretty far down the list.'"

 TimeTrax turns iPod into a satellite radio time shifter - Engadget - (See what I'm talking about)
All of a sudden, my roommate's Sirius radio became much more appealing..
TimeTrax turns iPod into a satellite radio time shifter - Engadget - "TimeTrax allows one to schedule recordings ahead of time and record them directly to their iPod. It also grabs the artist and song info available from satellite and embeds it as metadata in the song files."

 Reel Reviews - Mulholland Drive (See what I'm talking about)
OK. For those of you who have seen this movie (watch it again before listening to this to have it fresh in your mind), I feel that this analysis really holds together. Friends and I literally sat for hours after watching it one night trying to deconstruct it, and this is the best explanation (for lack of a better term) I've come across.

MWGblog � Blog Archive � Reel Reviews - Cinephile Series #2: "we examine some of the key elements of the film including a rundown what I think is really going on. Remember, the Cinephile Series assumes you have already seen the film. Put your thinking cap on and enjoy."

 TiVo ,#401 troubles over! (See what I'm talking about)
I won't go into all the detail here, but basically I had to reset the system in a roundabout way and start over with my older USB adapter to get Guided Setup to work. After that, it was all in the bag.

Here's an excerpt (and linkage) to the thread at where I posted the step-by-setp of how to get it done.

Another ,#401 thread - TiVo Community Forum: "To recap: after trying with the Linksys USB200M (on a switch - could that have contributed to the problem?), tried on a router. Still no joy. Then tried with USB200M at my home (to eliminate the network/router as a problem source). Still not working. Then attempted with the adapter that has always worked on my TiVo, the Belkin F5D5050. Still did not work.

Rebooted as mentioned in above post, tried again (with Belkin F5D5050), and is connected and downloading successfully."

 BBC NEWS (See what I'm talking about)
BBC NEWS | Technology | Blog reading explodes in America: "Americans are becoming avid blog readers, with 32 million getting hooked in 2004, according to new research."

I'd just like to thank my education for making me such an inspiring writer. Thanks to all of you for making this happen - the US couldn't have done it without me.

 NYC "creatives" out of hand

astor place duct tape bike
Originally uploaded by droolcup.
Local man quoted as saying, "If they could only get it to work, I would ride the freaky thing all over town."

 I hate my roommate.
He is a big jerk.

He also just told me that he is a regular reader. I guess putting the
link at the bottom of my emails pays off.

 Happy New Year!
Well, this past weekend a handful of us headed up to lovely and scenic Wausau Wisconsin to ring in the new year and go to Granite Peak, formerly known as Rib Mountain (and actually ON Rib Mountain national park). Anyway, not as horribly icy as one would expect. The second day was far from terriffic, to be sure, but the groomers were out all night, I guess, and chopped up the layer of ice over everything else quite sufficiently.

As I was hoping, the weekend also helped put in focus for me just how out of shape I am (those damn holidays), and how before I head to Park City, UT early next month, I have to get in some good conditioning. So today, I dropped $50 I don't have on this program, which will not only help with cycling but I think with areas much used in snowboarding as well.

Now I have to talk to the gym across the street from work about a payment plan (please, please let me use a payment plan) so I can pack a lunch (saves money!) and swim/lift/whatever during lunch instead of sitting around reading magazines.

And tonight, I get on the trainer for the first time since last year. It's overdue, to be sure.

We'll see how I do. If this blog becomes more of a workout journal than it has been recently, don't be too surprised. But I will try to keep it interesting otherwise as well.

 TiVoToGo Finally! (See what I'm talking about)
I love you, TiVo.
Yahoo! News - TiVo Unveils Portable Transfer Service: "No longer confined to TiVo digital video recorders in the living room or bedroom, subscribers will be able to transfer their recorded shows to PCs or laptops and take them on the road..."