Archive for August, 2008

Cool & Unusual Punishment

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

I did something amazing yesterday at the tail end of last night’s IAAL•MAF “Scoot & Shoot” Ride downtown. I was on 4th Street on the left side of the No. 2 lane when a brand new black Ford Mustang in the No. 1 lane gunned it passing close by me, leaving perhaps a foot / foot-and-a-half between us, at most.

It was clearly an agressively intentional maneuver (that I’ve only experience four billion and seven times this year), but what the driver wasn’t intending was to get stuck at the light up ahead at Central Avenue so that I could roll up on his passenger side, which of course I did.

Except what happened next was pretty rare for me. Instead of me giving the young punk in the driver’s seat an earful and a middle finger, I just calmly bent over and told him through the open window that he’d passed me “awfully close” back there and that I hoped he’d consider giving cyclists a little more room in the future.

He seemed to think about this thoughtfully for a moment and even agreed to do so with a semi-reluctant “Yeah,” but then came the inevitable exhibition of his lack of wisdom and intelligence when he said “And it would help if you stayed out of the middle of the road!” at which point the light was green and he smugly punched it across and beyond the intersection, and I rolled my eyes watching him go with my friend Stephen who’d arrived to back me up yelling after the jerk: “He wasn’t in the middle of the road!”

Alas for the young gunner, his second attempt at a clean getaway got botched when he landed at the next red light a block away at Alameda. So again I rolled along his starboard flank. Having already been an asshat with me at the last red light I knew I was well within my rights to return the favor, but shockingly I again went calm and diplomatically told the guy, whose smugness was now replaced with something of an trapped and embarrassed grimace, that I hadn’t been trying to piss him off and that if he wanted to be belligerent that was his choice, but not a very good one.

He nodded.

“I was just trying to get you to see that we can both coexist on the road, you know what I’m saying?”

Maybe it was relief that I was still being a decent guy when I didn’t have to be, maybe it was just surrender, but he let out a “Yeah,” that seemed sincere enough, and I said “Cool” “and “thanks” and complimented him on his sleek sled and we both went our separate ways, with me a bit blown away at how much of a grown-up I can be. Occasionally

Sometimes I Don’t Ride My Bike

Monday, August 18th, 2008

I last filled up my truck’s gas tank up in the beginning of July. In the time since I’ve only put 139 miles on the odometer because I mainly use it on weekends for local trips to the hardware store or Costco. The two longest trips we’ve taken with it this year have been Disneyland in February and Ventura at the end of May.

That 139 miles includes yesterday when, it being superheavyduty crunchtime at the job, I had to go in yesterday, and when I finally got out of there at 10 p.m. I figured why not set up the cam on the dashboard to record a timelapse of the trip home. Anytime’s a good time for timelapse!

Of course the 405 Freeway at 10 p.m. on a Sunday night was farking jammed up from the moment I boarded that parking lot so I got off of that crawler as quick as I got on and surface streeted it around the back-up to the 10 and it was smooth sailing the rest of the way.

Field Report: Buster’s New Home

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

My friend Julia inquired recently about how our Russian tortoise Buster might be doing in her new digs:

Buster's New Home

I’m way happy to report she has really taken well to her new 25-square foot outdoor residence. It’s a far far more improved thing than the aquariums she’s lived in since 2001 when my mom found her in her Sherman Oaks backyard. She’s getting loads of natural sunshine and exercise — I’ve even set up a rock-filled pond (OK, so it’s just a water-filled pan with some stones in it) in case she needs a sip.

PS. Last weekend I reinforced the screening material of the roof/door with some old fencing material we had hanging around — the better to keep squirrels and other such critters from getting in as well as to deter any of our cats (namely Pepper and Jig) from stretching out on it and stretching it out.

There’s another pic on Flickr, here.

Ironwerx

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

Forgive me if I come off sound all golf-instructory (for the real deal go see Al Crawford at the Griffith Park driving range), but while hitting your woods well out of the driving range teebox may be more sexy and satisfying, a good drive on the golf course doesn’t mean diddlus squatumus if you can’t work it onward to the green with your other clubs. Thus it’s important to give yourself plenty of time in the box swinging your unsung irons because they’ll do more to determine your score than your driver.

Quicktime clip of me and my seven iron is here.

Of course actual consistent skill can help too, but other than practicepracticepracticepraypractice I’ve got no fresh pearls of wisdom to help achieve that.

A To B ‘N Back

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

Following up my post below that showcases my first video timelapse of a bike commute, I did one both going and coming the next day. All in it’s eight minutes of herky-jerky seizure inducement, but thanks to the features of YouTube so you can haz greataaar enturtaynmint valyoo they’ve got semi-incongruous music tracks to give me the illusion of being hip as well as annotations pointing out the streets I’m on (excepting they’re unhippedly unreadable in the thumbnail versions below):

Ridelapse

Friday, August 15th, 2008

I was late in the office tonight. I don’t like to be, but when it’s time to leave I actually enjoy riding home through the dark. So I mounted the cam on my handlebars, set it to take a low-res snap every second and then rode home.

Here’s what the hour trip from Westchester to Silver Lake looks like in four minutes (although not quite so pixelatedly muddled):

A marginally less blurry Quicktime version can be seen here.

By The Way Will, How Are Your Fingers Doing that You Gouged On Your Bike’s Chainring This Weekend?

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Better than they look. I’ve been dousing them pretty regularly with isopropyl alcohol and hydrogen peroxide (no, not at the same time), which has been key in minimizing what coulda/woulda been a gnarly infection since there’s still a fair amount of burning and bubbling of the respective liquids when applied. And I’ve been pretty persistent in keeping them slathered in antibiotic ointment and bandaged up, while also letting them out in the open air to make Susan go “Eeeeesh!” and to promote the healing that will replace the channels of flesh I plowed off of them as if with a linoleum knife.

Somewhat mercifully color-desaturated snap of the carnage as seen this morning, mercifully after the jump. You don’t have to go there if you don’t want to.

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