Monday, June 25, 2007

Worst Super Power Evar

Sorry kids, I know my scorched nuts report is way overdue. If it's any consolation, it's going to be long and have lots of pictures for you non-read heavy folx.

For today, however, my office mate Kate and I have a question for you. I'll even give you my answer, which sparked this whole thing, to get you started.

What would be the worst super power to have, like, ever? For the sake of this discussion, assume it can't be turned off, whatever it is.

Mine would be understanding all the subtexts in everything everyone says.

So, say your girlfriend says "I'm tired tonight." You don't get "I'm tired tonight." You get "I'm so sick of having sex with you, I could throw up. Maybe if you cleaned the apartment, say, once a month, bathed and shaved yourself on a semi-regular basis and NEVER passed gas in my presence, you'd have a shot, MAYBE."

What would you imagine the worst super power ever would be?

Friday, June 15, 2007


Well, if today and this weekend prove to be anything like this's going to be quite a ride.

My excitement about Ohio's first Regional Burn has been building to a fever pitch. But, after getting to work on time for the first time in some time...I read the news back in Austin via the Statesman and the Chronicle while eating my pop tarts...and my excitement turned to melancholy.

I've missed Austin for some time. I hated it by the time I left. Mainly out of frustration with the job market. I made some mistakes in that area and it cost me a LOT. More than it probably would have somewhere less competitive. Mainly mad at myself...but you know how that goes.

But, after coming back to the mid west, something I SWORE I wouldn't do and didn't want to, I really, really missed the trappings of urban life and I really missed the hippie-dippie-slacker vibe of Austin.

But, today, for the first time, I am truly, truly homesick.

Ironically, I think it's going to the burn that's the cause.

I mean, in Austin there were opportunities and spots to hang out with all kinds of people all the time. Flipside, Texas's regional burn attracts a couple thousand people...Ohio's first is slated to maybe crack 200.

I mean, it's really simple to say I don't fit in here. Any jackass can see that. "Get out there and find something." Yeah, you come try. I've been trying for two years. I've been called "Fag!" for wearing cowboy boots, jeans and a nice button up (not kidding), had girls say "Why are you buying a motorcycle? No one rides a motorcycle here," and "Aren't you kind of old to be working at beedubs?" These are merly the first three that popped into my head and don't mention the countless racist and ignorant things I've heard people say.

I mean, none of that stuff would raise an eyebrow in Austin and even if you found the one douche that it would bother, you'd have any number of nice, comfy holes to climb into with a group of like minded folk to tell you what a douche they were.

I've made it two years with almost no respit and certainly no shelter from the pervasive homogeneous, lame, narrow-minded, white, rich culture here. The maintenance of that homogeny is so brutal that I've actually given in and let go of some of the more flamboyant, expressive clothes I own and toned down my outward appearance. Getting gawked at gets old. Fast.

I read about Emo's fifteenth anniversary and Lovejoys and Casino El Camino and Manu Chao playing at Stubb's (that one hurt...BAD). If there were shows like that, bars like that, even a fraction as many, I could make it. But the hour trip to Cinci or Dayton is just brutal on my schedule and means. It was so easy in Austin. Having fun or blowing off steam was SO EASY. It is HARD here.

It's an ironic time for this little melancholic bit of brooding and self-reflection, too. I've been feeling more "me" lately than I have in some time. Getting out and traveling, having new experiences, etc has really brought my mojo back. But, that may be part of what's stirred the pot and helped once again show quite a contrast between ME and HERE.

I guess I head into the weekend not as hopeful as before. I had hoped to have a ton of neo-hippie friends by the end of the weekend to salve my soul as all of my varied friends and acquaintances did back home. But, now, I just want to go and have fun and see what's up. I'm more curious than hopeful.

This might be a defense mechanism kicking in, my way of avoiding potentially brutal disappointment. But, we shall see.

For what it's worth, to all my friends and family (not much of a difference there to me) back home. I miss you dearly and appreciate you more than ever. I know I strain you sometimes with my phone calls and e-mails bitching about this place. I know you probably groaned out loud when I got accepted to grad school and signed on for three more years.

I just want you all to know that I love you, I'm going to visit as much as I can and I'll be home as soon as I can be. I just have to make something of this exile in hell before I come home. It's a moral imperative. I hope you understand.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Goddess help me...

After two weekends getting progressively better...

(yes, I owe you a report on the 2007 Chain Gang Hoot in the's coming. Sorry)

Scorched Nuts starts TODAY...I can't focus on my work or anything else. I'm literally counting down the seconds until I head out tomorrow noon for the burn. I'm a MESS!!!

If I could find focus in a bottle, I'd swig it right now...the whole thing. Sheesh.

Cigarettes aren't helping, caffeine either.

Maybe a nice fat bag of the charlatan scumbag soul-sucker Denis Leary said "I'd never smoke crack. I'd never do a drug named after a part of my own ass."

Hope you're all working away happily with focus, vim and vigor. I'm over here struggling to no end, but this weekend's gonna be A-MA-ZING.

Much love.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Okay, WTF is going on over at Honda?

I kept my mouth shut when they released the ridiculously priced Accord Hybrid that didn't even get gas mileage that was all that impressive.

I kept my mouth shut when the released a monster truck that got $#!tty gas mileage.

NOW they're canceling the accord hybrid they introduced just three years ago.

They've made great cars for years. Good gas mileage. Reliable. It was a simple equation. What is the PROBLEM?

EDIT:Thank you Raf, for reminding me. Is ANYONE, I mean ANYONE going to make a hybrid compact pick up? Do you KNOW how many of those would sell in the US alone?

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I want to impregnate Sarah Silverman

See my post below on why she's probably the worst mate for me ever. But, Bryan just sent me a link to her MTV Movie Awards monologue.

She has bigger balls than four of me, and I'm not dangling grapes.

NOT even CLOSE to worksafe. No outright curse words, but several bleeped ones and RAW content...which is why it's awesome and she's so hot she could melt stone.


EDIT(because I can't help myself):AND she's Jewish...bestill my beating heart. If she had tattoos and dreadlocks I'd have her name branded on my ass.

Monday, June 04, 2007

750 miles

So, a couple of weeks ago I suddenly got the urge to Google the stars of my favorite sci fi show Farscape and see what they were up to. Cyberstalking these celebs had an interesting result. I found out that the very cute and fun Gigi Edgley and the also cool Wayne Pygram would be in Knoxville, TN for a sci fi/comic book/collector convention in two weeks.

I thought "Hmm...that's about five or six hours by car on 75. I bet it's totally doable by bike. I've never been to a sci fi con....kind of curious and I'd love to meet Gigi...lot's of pretty country in KY and TN"...and off to the races I went, booked a cheap campsite, bought tickets for the convention, got all my gear ready and planned my route. How easy it would be, I could take US 27 the whole way there. It was 100 miles longer than the route via 75, but it was two lane highway most of the way instead of superslab.

Friday I got off work and went to meet some ex-coworkers for lunch in Cinci @ 12:30. I was on the road from Cinci about 2. Realizing I was running L-A-T-E, I couldn't stop for pictures. But, I plan to make this ride again only slightly different (more on that later) as it is gorgeous.

The farm country of northern Kentucky was beautiful to start. Rolling hills and plains with lots of old farmhouses, cattle and a few houses. Then, quite suddenly, a few miles from Lexington, 27 becomes 27/68 through Bourbon County, KY. Holy smokes. This is the home of the sprawling horse estates where so many famous Derby winners come from. I must have passed a half a billion dollars in rolling, gorgeous estates on this fifteen miles.

Mortarless stone walls, like the ones that line the farms of Ireland ran the length of the road on both sides and sometimes down the middle of the median. Beautiful thoroughbred horses ran and played. HUGE homes lined hilltops or sat partially hidden behind giant iron gates. Absolutely breathtaking.

Then, I came to Lexington. I got lost in Lexington going both ways. 27 just disappears. I was even ready for it on the way back. Still got hopelessly lost.

Once through It was on through southern KY and into northern TN. Almost immediately I came to Daniel Boone National Forest. Beautiful trees lined the road on both sides and the road rose and fell slowly with a few nice, long, slow curves.

By this time I was rather in a ton of leg and arse pain. I only made fuel stops and one stretching stop. The sun was going down and I was still 30 minutes plus from the campsite when I turned onto 63 to head to 75 and drive the ten miles to my campsite. 63 was absolutely breathtakingly beautiful and fun to drive (lots of curves and hills) AND the sun had been down just a few minutes, so there was filtered light to illuminate the mist and clouds running through the valleys. Absolutely amazing. Here are some 63 Pix from the return trip.TN hills still life w/Wynona.

Sneaky self portrait. Yes, as a matter of fact I DID Haul @$$ around that corner with a big ol' smile on my face right after this picture was taken. Woot!

I reached 75 just in time for it to be completely dark and start raining. So, I got to do my first riding in the the dark. On top of that I discovered that I didn't have my load far enough forward, as everytime I got above about 55 or 60, Wynona developed a nice butt wiggle. Excellent. On go the four-way emergency flashers, thank you "BMW Motorrad premium package" and we slow to 50. I put my chin on the tank bag to make us all aerodynamic and avoid the rain and rode it out until two miles before my exit...where it stopped.

I hauled ass into the campground, paid my fee, rode to the spot and even though I was tired and my legs and arese were killing me, I quickly unpacked, pitched the tent, threw on the rain hood and got my gear inside. I ran to take a shower thinking rain would be on top of me at any second. After seven hours on the bike with little rest, it was the best shower I've had in FAR. When I came out, no rain. I lay down and read some of Jupiter's Travels and fell asleep. I woke up. No rain.

I ate a healthy breakfast of blueberry mini muffins, peanut butter crackers and Diet Dew. Then, snapped a pic of my temporary homestead before heading down for the convention.

This is Volunteer Family Campground in Knoxville. It's mainly for RVs. The staff were super nice, the food on Saturday night was amazing (German all you can eat feast), the bathroom and shower facilities were spotless, the showers were hot, the tent site was heavily shaded...but...the ground was as hard as stone. My only complaint. They even had ice cream.

I arrived at the convention center just in time for one of four, yes, FOUR weddings taking place that day at the convention.

What the hell are you looking at?

Troopers lining up for the first wedding.

Along with lots of troopers...
Trooper1: Man, it itches real bad right here.
Trooper2: Dude, get that looked at

...there were a few random folx who seemed a little out of place, but added a little color to the scene, these girls among them.

And then there was, in my opinion, the belle of the ball, Gigi Edgley, Farscape's Chiana. Cute, sweet, fun and Australian!
We had a good chat and off I went back to the campsite for German food and beer and badly needed rest. The ride Friday took more out of me than I thought.

I awoke at 2:30 am to rain. I ran out, quickly lowered the rain hood fully and jumped back into the tent. I was pretty wet and as I got in it started POURING rain. Man, I hope Wynona's still on her feet in the morning. When I finally dragged myself into consciousness at 8:30, it appeared all was well, but damp. I then had to break the cardinal rule of camping: Thou shalt not store thy gear wet or even damp. No choice, got to hit the road.

View from the tent at 8:30 am. "Morning 'Nona. Any chance YOU'LL pack the gear? No. Damn."

I saw this place on the way in and knew I had to stop here for lunch on the way home. I have a fetish for mom and pop burger joints.

I wanna say this place is just outside of Waynesville, KY. But, don't quote me on that.

All this for less than $4.50. Hot damn! (can you find the subliminal message?)

Well, I was doing so good taking pictures and the weather had been perfect. I approachd the 27/68 turn off, ready to shoot copious pictures of Bourbon County, KY, when things took a turn for the unpleasant. A giant beast of a storm began to form to the North. As I was running East at the time, I thought: "I can out run it, I can get around it." Down the hammer went and along a nearly deserted, but stunning stretch of road I went. As I got out in front of the storm I thought "YES! I did it." Only to have my hopes and dreams come crashing down when 27 separated and turned north, directly into the storm. I laughed at my stupidity for the first 1/2 mile. Then it wasn't funny anymore.

Pea sized hail and heavy wind gusts had me slowed to 45 before I took shelter under a tree for a while. My crotch got soaked. Lesson learned. Close the hip pockets on your suit when you seal it up for rain. The wetting down the suit trick to stay cool works brilliantly with my Oly. Gotta remember that for my trip to Tejas. I froze my butt off for the next half-hour.

I learned a lot this trip, about riding and about sci fi conventions. Turns out I'm a fan. The folks that attend those things are FANS! Most of the people there, even the ones that weren't in costume, had all attended them for years and all over the country. It was fun and interesting...but not that fun and interesting.

You have come to the end of my ride report...

Ahh...thankyouverymuch! (not a prosthetic gut, by the way)

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Your Friday Moment of Zen

Courtesy of my best good friend Raf over at The Boys Blog. It's kind of sad that they didn't elaborate on the contents of the clip.

I'm off to Cinci for lunch with friends before heading south another 300 miles to Knoxville to embrace my inner dork. I'll elaborate when I get back.

Have a great weekend and try not to e-mail your boss any porn.

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