We make holes in teeth!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Music By Terren


"I've been getting into the new Weezer album. You might have seen their new Pork and Beans video on youtube, since it's a sort of celebration of the last 5 years of youtube celebrity. Which is a brilliant idea for a video, if you think about it. Weezer is kind of like Queen, in that it's as much about theater as it is about rock. And like Queen, it's no substitute - they really do rock. Can't go wrong with Ween. Guess I like bands that start with Wee.

"I liked Sigur Ros's breakout album, but thought subsequent ones were too pretentious.. haven't given them much of a shot since. I think Beck peaked with Midnight Vultures but I don't think my opinion there is a common one. I like The Information though, which I think is the most recent one before the new one. Love Clinic. Portishead is interesting but have to be in the right mood for them. Both bands definitely occupy their own little corner of the music universe.

"You should overbake a chocolate cake so you can't tell right away it's burnt. Dress it up real nice with a doily and powdered sugar on top... don't let them off with icing. Slice it beforehand so nobody gets a clue by cutting it."

I'm glad you mentioned Weezer because I had fused Ween and Weezer into one band. It wouldn't really be funny if I took the WEE from Ween and the ZER from Weezer and made WEEZER. So let's call it WEEZEREEN. That's not funny either. I had lost the distinction between the bands, kinda like how Iron Maiden and Judas Priest will always occupy the same small corner of my mind because I listened to them at the same stage of life, back when people were spinning Ozzy records backwards and jumping out of buildings or eating rat poison or whatever they were doing after listening to Mister Crowley the wrong way.

I also started listening to Rush and Van Halen at the same time, a few years after Billy Joel and Air Supply, which was a few years after Captain Kangaroo and Big Bird. I think Dokken and Ratt occupy a shared corner as well. You know what blows my mind is that every time AMG releases the weekly letter of new releases one of those bands is on it, as if the world was eagerly awaiting Dokken's Greatest Japanese Hits. Another pair is Deep Purple and Bad Company.

I was thinking of Weezer and the Pork and Beans. That's what I wanted to buy. Did you buy that or steal it? Have you noticed that you can no longer get free music with the Google search I sent you a while ago? Seems like that Internet wormhole closed really fast. If you bought it, or stole it, can I have a copy?

The dessert idea loses steam rapidly. First of all it takes effort, which sucks. I really wish I could get an overbaked cake by blogging about hot Asian chicks on the train. But I'd actually have to make the stupid thing and then stand there while nobody pays me any mind as I giggle thinking how funny my blog is going to be the Monday after the town picnic.

Secondly, Nat probably won't let me live down the fact our house will smell like burnt cake for the next 6 months. Even though I love cake, that admittedly could be a bit much. I'm sure I'd also ruin a pan in the process. I know we sometimes errantly look back to times past and think things were better, but wasn't life a little easier when it didn't matter if you ruined a baking sheet or dropped mushrooms and took the magic markers to the kitchen?

Maybe I could just take a pound of nails and cover it with sugar water and dole it out like punch.

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Music, Signage, Bake Sales, and Cycle 42


I come and go with music. I'll get really hot and heavy with new music then tune out for long periods of time. This week I picked up again which will probably be of interest to Terren and Chris and few other people who read this. Well, Walter for sure since I'm generally not listening to anything that makes you want to pull out a weapon and destroy another human being, with the possible exception of a little Dr. Dre here and there.

Currently listening to Beck's Guero this morning on the way to work. I really liked this album at the time and as it blares in my iPod I find I'm still enjoying it. That's good considering I just ordered the new one. I jumped on last night and ordered the following CDs:

* PJ Harvey's latest, White Chalk. I so loved Stories... that I basically buy up anything she produces in the hopes that it hits the same level of excellence.

* Thom Yorke's The Eraser. Of course the 2 interested parties know that Yorke is the frontman for Radiohead. It happened to pop up in a search I did so I added it on there. No real expectations either way but just a flier.

* Sufjan Stevens' Illinoise. This has been on my radar for 2 years so I just finally said fuck it and bought it. The used price is finally less than $10.

* Beck, Modern Guilt. Read it was worth it so there ya go.

* Satelite Party, Ultra Payloaded. I'm always interested in what Perry Farrell is doing these days. I read AllMusic's review of the album and it wasn't exactly glowing so much as it suggested that Farrell is talented but confused on this one. We'll see.

Also have a list of potential future purchases including new stuff from Sigur Ros, Ween, Black Keys, Eric Avery (who is incidentally considering a reunion with JA), Clinic, and Portishead. If you have any opinions on that stuff comment away.

Signage and Bake Sales

Can someone explain to me when the words sign and its plural form signs morphed into the word signage? What was wrong with sign? I read this last night:

" he hit a monster shot 502 feet off the right field signage..."

No he hit the ball off a fucking sign, an advetisement, very possibly for a product which gives you a 4 hour boner. Not signage. I'll even accept that the word signage can be used instead of signs, as in, "That empty storefront didn't have any signage indicating it was for rent." It's still pretty pedantic, but a little easier on the soul. But a sign is a sign. You don't stop at a stop signage.

The word sign has now started to not make any sense to me because I've said it too much. Sign. Sine. Cosine. Cosignage. He hit a mammoth shot 502 feet off the arctangent of right field bleachers in Yankee Stadium. I'm all for word evolution but adding "-age" to an existing word is as intelligent as Homer's business suggestion of taking an existing product and adding a clock to it.

OK, 180 turn because it doesn't deserve it's own section. The Moms Club my wife is in is having a bake sale/competition during the town picnic this year and I asked if I could enter and started giggling. Naturally Nat said no. So here's my idea, it's brilliant. I'm going to bake some cookies, or a cake. Whatever, it can be a pie, let's not get caught up in the actual item, it doesn't matter. But I'm going to quadruple the baking time so it turns into a blob of charcoal and enter it into the competition.

So maybe it's not brilliant at all. But you ever have one of those moments when you say something slightly silly in an ordinary situation and it just kicks off this avalanche of silliness and you can't stop laughing? That happened to me last night when I said this to Nat. The idea just struck me as so preposterous and silly that I couldn't stop laughing about it. I remember one time Lou was over and the 3 of us were talking about Nat's coworker's wife and who knows what the situation was but I said something to the effect of, "What does she have big feet or something?" And this made Lou and I laugh for what had to be half an hour, just an avalanche laugh party. Good stuff, love when that happens.

So maybe it did deserve its own section.

Cycle 42

I may have the cycle wrong but whatever.

Victim: Murray Hill, woman, Asian, 30-39, not fat, not married, not regular though the conductor seemed to know her and I've seen her before. Not sure this "regular" metric makes any sense at all. Anyway, I'd put her as Chinese-Vietnamese. Looks a little of both and has the darker skin to match. She's actually pretty hot, though I'm not sure the white pants and white purse do her any justice. And the purse that literally looks like a big white bowling bag is a bit over the top. And her makeup is thick enough I can actually *smell* it. But then her tight, low-cut top helps the cause. That, and the fact she's hot. I'd venture a camera phone pic but she's all sorts of aware, not dozing off at all. Maybe I'll just take a picture of some random hot girl in the subway. Or just google "hot asian" and use your imagination. Ok, this has gotten off track because she's not hot, she's just kinda attractive in comparison to the average chubby 45 year old NYC commuter this train is full of.

Assessment: Good.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chicago Stuff

Chicago is so last week. Yet my world has gone into BC and AC to an extreme degree. Boston College and Air Conditioning. BC I was pretty limited on the amount of work I was doing on any given day. In general if I had 4 hours of work to do it was a lot. AC, I'm basically swamped from the time I get in to the time I leave. It's a good thing, as I'm able to contribute in a signifcant way now. There's a lot more work in this group than I thought at first. That's a good thing.

A few Chicago comments:


"WTF?! I was just in Chicago today. Quick out-n-back day trip. My flight out of Newark was taking off at about the time you were going thru security there. And I was already done with my biz and getting dropped off at the airport in Chicago to leave at the same time you were getting into your cab there. (Like I said, quick trip.) We were probably within shouting distance of each other twice today. Small world. Happy trails, Woody"

Small world bro. I guess if we both did that Twitter shit we would have known that and maybe I could have saved you a trip unless you were there to shit on I-90.


"Hey chief, looks like its Lake Michigan. 12:30 and beers, I bet Wednesday hurt. Glad to see things are productive for you out there."

Yeah I should have remembered that the only Great Lake entirely in the US is Michigan. I found the water fascinating on the way back, and learned that there are a few little islands on the western part of Lake Erie. I saw them and the fact that they were completely developed and was a little surprised. Check out Google Maps sometime and you'll see what I mean about it. It's called something like Pelee Island.

Anyway, gotta be honest that I'm looking forward to going back. Just not for 5 days.

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Change Tube

That's what is written on the top of the white board in the kitchen today. Change tube. No ride today, I'll let you guess why.

I'm not one to go by omens but I do let the world flow and I tend to go with it. I allow flat tires to tell me I need a break out of the saddle. When a meteor hits my car I opt not to go to work. That kind of thing. Today was a triple omen day so I went with it.

It started at 4:30, when the alarm went off. I was tired, and I don't mean in that way we're all tired when the alarm goes off every day. I mean tired to the point I considered mailing it in and going back to bed. I'm not usually one to give up easily in these early hours, so I stuck to it and laid around for 10 minutes before I got up. But I did get up.

I was also acutely aware that it wasn't remotely light out either. The last time I got up that early it started peeping light at 4:45, maybe even a hair earlier. I was able to get on the bike at 5:05 last time. Well today, in the whole cycle of the sun rising later and later as we plummet to the dreary cold winter days as evidenced by our heat actually kicking on this morning, it was still damn dark at 4:40. And 4:50. And 5:00. So looks like I'm taking the later train.

Third omen, and I use the word omen because I'm too lazy to go back and change it to sign or excuse, was the flat tire. It was already 5:30 and it wasn't even a mental discussion. If I'm programming this it goes like such:

if (tire.isFlat())

No brackets needed for the one-line if-statement. No additional logic. Just a one-to-one correllation going on there. Turned around, went back into the house, did bike laundry, took a shower, made breakfast, and wrote myself a note to change the tube.

I also wrote "Lights on bike." Now I need to make a note to sleep earlier and I won't have to worry about any omens, signs, or excuses at all. As I was going to my car to go to work, and thankfully it had not been hit by any space debris, I wondered if my big rides are taking more of a toll than I want to admit. Probably, as jumping from 90+ minute rides to 3 hour rides is a bit. I also don't think I really ever let myself rest up enough from the 11 days of life which included 6 bike rides, 240 miles, 5 days in Chicago, and 9 nights of at least a beer. Given all that I don't feel half bad really. Just a bit sleepy.

Cycle 41

Victim: Summit, Asian, woman, 30-39, regular, not fat, married. This woman has been riding the train as long as I can remember. She's always been a good cohabitant. Decent looks, wearing an odd pink/brown skirt. Reads the Wall Street Journal. She has bad breath.

Assessment: Good, since she doesn't openly breath on me so much.

I think the reality is that in the summer there are more people on vacation and thus fewer people who are forced to sit with other people. I'm noticing that more regulars are sitting with me or nobody is. This makes social dynamics less of an issue because the regulars know the game, so to speak.

I've had 2 cups of water and a coffee. I have to pee pretty badly and it looks like the train is on the slower side today. Maybe I'll just wet myself.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday Morning Cycle 41

Going to try and post this stuff directly from the train from now on so I don't continue to get this backlog of cycles and entries like I usually do. That means no html markup. Well, I could if I wanted to. But I have to do the tags instead of just hitting a button. I think I'm going to skip the pics from here on in just because I'm pressing my luck there.

Feeling like a waste this morning. Another 4 beers yesterday at a baby shower for one of the Mom's Club couples. That marks the 9th day out of the last 11 having at least a beer. Damn that's a bit too rich. Time to strap that shit down a little bit. Less than 3 weeks until the Darkhorse 40.

I'm not too sure how much longer I'm going to keep up the experiment. It was fun for a while but I think it may be getting old. I'll go to at least 50 cycles then see what the numbers look like and make a decision from there. Also not sure if I want to keep the 2 seater or not. I think going home the 3 seater is better. So maybe just keep a record of going in and write up the interesting ones. Most days this takes up too much time.

Cycle 41

Victim: Summit, male, white, 40-49, married, fat, regular. His buddy sits on the other side of the aisle so they want to talk the whole time. Always a black mark on the record. He's got a button down shirt. Who cares?

Assessment: Bad. Incessant talking, a bit too big.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Weekend Rides

Going to actually put up a training post this afternoon as a record for myself. Unless you have an interest in my training I'd suggest skipping it.

Was out in Chicago all week so I was 5 days off the bike. Didn't go nuts out there but came into Saturday at 193, feeling pretty tired and bloated and so on after a pretty rough Thursday night of eating and drinking and drinking. That was a +2 on the trip and +4 on my recent low of just over a week ago. For the record I'm just not concerned with weight at this point because I'm very happy with the results of my balanced protein intake and how much easier it is to keep eating stable.


Rode out to my parents house in PA. Motionbased link is here.

Started out pretty slowly as the off week certainly left me lethargic. Didn't really pick it up until after about the 2 hour mark when I started to get some more legs under me. That's when I was able to creep the average from 17 to 17.7 until the last few short climbs to my parents dropped me down to a still respectable 17.6 for the ride. At the 2:40 mark I started to really feel it, which makes sense roughly. That time is pressing my limit so it was expected. Was able to bang out the last 15 minutes though so hopefully I'll be able to knock out a 3 hour Gilligan tour next weekend.

The total vertical on the ride is respectable at 4570 over 51 miles. That clocks a 9k vertical over a century so I have to be content with that. I was hoping to pull the 18 average but didn't realize just how much I was climbing at the time. I didn't love the route from the 512/513 intersection to the base of Jugtown Mountain. I think next time I'll shoot a little north of Califon maybe through Long Valley and head south of Washington and miss route 173 entirely. Another option is to shoot south to Round Valley and then up through Pittstown to Holland and the back way up the Delaware.


The ascent of Warrenville Road, Motionbased link here.

Started really slowly Sunday and crept my way down towards 22 and decided to do Warrenville Rd, which is about as steep as it gets. Looking at the elevation chart this was just a series of ups and downs, and not knowing a whole lot about those roads I was not smashing the downs so much so I lost a lot of average there. After the climb itself I was at 15.1 for the ride and managed to bring it up to 16.3 over the last 40 minutes or so. Not terrible but not amazing either. Didn't feel fantastic though.

My official Warrenville numbers, using the lap button, are .57 miles in 5:48 with 338 feet of vertical. I guess my aim would be to get that under 5:00 by the end of the year but not doing it the day after my longest ride of the year would likely give me 20 seconds or more right there.

In all something like 80 miles in the 2 days. So even though I had a 5 day break I managed 6 rides in the last 11 days for a total of 240 miles and about 13.5 hours of saddle time.

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Accommodation in aviemore