Monday, August 27, 2007

To quote The Ogre...


Why? Because only a nerd would calculate a formula to explain why Jessica Alba has the perfect wiggle.


The invention...clearly not the people writing in the questions. But it's nice that someone has finally invented the self-adhesive sunroof so you can look like you've got a sun roof without actually allowing any sun in through the roof.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ah, the old seat belt 'Heimlich'

Please do as Sgt. Mozan asks and pull over next time you're trying to eat an eggamuffin on the way to work.

Seat belt 'Heimlich' saves choking man - Yahoo! News

Friday, August 10, 2007

A clear sign I'm now in mid life...

I read this story and instead of thinking "oh my god that's nuts" I thought "wow, that would be cool..."

So, is it mid-life crisis? Am I not willing to admit that I'm 40 and probably shouldn't be thinking about entering an 8-day mountain bike race that, according to the web site, covers "a distance of roughly 600 km (385 miles) and a vertical gain of 19,5000 m (65,000 ft.)"?

Well, looking at the pictures there are definitely a few riders older than me...I mentioned it to the wife and her first response was "Yuck!", followed by "that sounds expensive". Well,'s 600 Euros to enter, which at this second works out to about $825. That basically covers food and transportation of your stuff each day of the race. And maybe a floor to sleep on, but that doesn't sound too comfortable.

So you'd have to add airfare - figure, what, $1,000 for that, maybe? Then train transportation to the start and back to the airport, maybe another $200 - 500 depending on where you flew in. Then if you want to sleep in comfort and eat real food rather than the pasta and tomato sauce the race provides, throw in a couple more hundred a night during the ride, figure $2,000 total. Then you'd want a week in a villa somewhere in Italy, preferably a villa staffed with professional massage therapists, so add another $2,000 for that, plus an extra week's food and tourist stuff at, oh, $1,000. So that adds up to, um, around $7,500.

Yeah, that is kind of expensive...especially when the CNN guy who did the ride has a photo of his bike, a $2,000 Specialized Stumpjumper, that he refers to as "one of the least expensive bikes in the race". Hmm...maybe my $750 Marin won't cut it. So we'd better throw in another $2,500 for a new bike, taking it to a nice $10,000 vacation.

And that's not counting getting the wife and kids over there too, so yeah...too expensive.

A guy can dream, though. And while dreaming, he can look at photos of this year's race. Fine photos like these:

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Angels. Blue ones.

Man I've been crappy about the posting! You'd think I could manage to find something to stick on the ol' Blog once a month, but apparently not. At least, nothing interesting and worth instead, here are some pictures.

I've lived in Seattle for what, 37 summers or so (three summers away during college...), but I've never actually gone to the hydro races. Nor have I gone down to see the Blue Angels air show. Both of these were big events in the 70s when I was growing up, but I was too young to drink and didn't have a boat. And my dad wasn't really a "go sit in a crowd of drunks with my kid" kind of guy.

Well, I figured that now that I'm 40 and have kids of my own I might as well submit them to the expected joys of standing on a bridge with a bunch of other people while really sweet jets fly overhead. So we packed the bikes on the car, headed down to I-90, rode through the tunnel, and found ourselves surrounded by a teeming mass of humanity. Not a steaming mass, because it was still kind of cloudy, but definitely teeming.

When we got there the Patriots aerobatics team was doing their thing in, um, whatever kind of plane it is that they fly. I'm not a plane geek, so I don't know, but they looked like this:

I like the headlights they have on the wings...very sexy.

So anyway, after the Patriots finished we moved out on to the actual bridge - closed to traffic, thanks for asking - and waited for the Angels to show up. First on the scene was their big prop plane, Fat Albert (I think...). This is the plane that hauls all their crap around. It's like their tour bus, only instead of riding in it the stunt pilots fly around in their sweet jets and let the roadies (Marines, in this case...) fly the slow bus. Poor marines. It's still a cool looking plane, and can climb pretty damn steeply as the second photo shows.

Well, after Albert had left the scene the main show started. Well, not immediately...the planes take a rather circuitous approach, heading north from Boeing Field past downtown, around the top of Lake Washington, then down over Bellevue and finally coming back west across the lake, where they hit the smoke. And you need the smoke, 'cause they're kind of small and you can't hear them until they're on top of you...

And after that the show was on. If you've never seen the Blue Angels, the show consists of four planes working together - the Diamond - and two "solo" planes who do individual stunts and stunts together. The impressive part of the Diamond act is that they're so dang close together pretty much all the time:

Whereas the solo pilots fly apart, but at much higher speed. And they do crazy stuff like play chicken and then miss each other by what looks like three feet but is probably a very safe 5 or 10...

Anyhoo, there are more links in the album in case you're interested!