Monday, April 30, 2007
Sunday, April 29, 2007
The new US passport looks ok on the outside. But open it to any page and be visually assaulted by a garish drawing of some patriotic icon. It immediately made me think of The Cobert Report. It looks like it was designed by Disney.
“It is like being given a coloring book that your brother already colored in,” said Michael Bierut, of the design firm Pentagram in New York City. A passport, not unlike a scrapbook, gets its allure from gradually accruing exotic stamps, with the blank pages holding the promise of future adventure, he and other designers said. But they find that the new jumble of pictures detracts from that."
Comment from Gadling:
"Seriously - not only is it poorly designed and unattractive, but do we need such an overload of flashy Americana on a document that we might be taking into countries where we Americans are not... well, let's just say not necessarily so popular?"
Comments from The Consumerist:
"Basic propaganda. And, only in a country in which freedom is slipping away does the government need to declare so loudly that freedom is alive and well."
"You know, I have no problem with people and countries being patriotic but there's a line for that. This design crossed over over that line with a ramp and an 80 mph run."
"I got one of these recently. It looks like it belongs on the set of the Colbert Report. Everyone I've shown it too has agreed that it's excessively patriotic to the point of being annoying."
"I think the last thing an American traveling abroad wants is a custom agent seeing a passport decked out in "America is better that you" bullshit on every page..."
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Friday, April 27, 2007
When we moved to our new apartment/condo, our children became indoor cats. In the past they were free-range, but they spent almost all of their time inside.
Since we moved, it's been my job to find them a cat-tree/platform to play/sleep on and watch the world outside from. I have to consider that Che can't comfortably jump higher than 18" at a time. And we want a platform that Che and Jawa can share.
The Lotus at $300 is not cheap, but it is the most suitable cat-tree I've found.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
In the last third of the video the camera car is racing downhill through corners, making minced meat of the competition. Outstanding!
At my local race track, Sears Point Raceway, there's one long sweeping downhill corner. It's turn 6, also called the Carousal. My car has neutral handling. But point it downhill, and the weight transfers to the front wheels and the rear gets light causing the car to oversteer. To counter this problem, I enter turn 6 a bit slower than I need to, then accelerate hard and let the car drift all the way to the edge of the track before lining the car up for turn 7. This is not the quickest way around the Carousel, but it gives me more control of the car.
I'm impressed with the driving skill shown here in this long downhill section at Australia's famous Bathurst track.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
This Thursday evening, April 26th, the San Francisco Bicycle Advisory Committee(BAC) will host a community forum about Critical Mass. The meeting will start at 6:30 in room 408 at City Hall.
The events of last months SF Critical Mass ride were widely reported on TV and in the popular press, and there was much criticism of the cyclists involved. Now that tempers have cooled down, this forum can be the place for both sides to express their views on Critical Mass rides.
Ten years ago I rode in this event. Never again. It was anarchy! We rode through stop signs and stop lights at high speed. We behaved like arrogant spoiled brats. This does not help the cause of cyclists. Our cause is to gain space on the public streets, and respect from other road users.
The next CM ride is this Friday, starting from Market St. near the Ferry Building at 5:30pm.
[Personal note: I love cars and cycling. I've been a member of the SCCA for over 15 years. And I've cycled 25-50 miles each week for 15 years.]
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
"The Chrono-Shredder is a device that makes past time tangible... It has no on/off-button, thus it is unstoppable, just like time.
"This project invents a near-future scenario, in which people have embraced human hibernation as common practice and efficient method to delay their natural ageing."
Monday, April 23, 2007
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007
The idea is silly and fun. Go to the website; enter the serial number: read where the dollar bill has been.
This George Washington hasn't been very far: SF to Fremont and back. I'll spend it tomorrow and check back in a few weeks to see where it's ended up.
Friday, April 20, 2007
For one week, starting tomorrow, we can shop for frames at the annual City Optix sale, before the sale is advertised.
My insurance allows me to buy new lens every year, but new frames every two years. So I buy the frames myself, and have insurance pay for the lens.
The selection and quality are excellent.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Hit Record is the personal website of Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
He's the little boy in the tv show "Third Rock from the Sun". More recently he played Brandon in the teenage detective movie "Brick". And I'm looking forward to seeing him in "The Lookout".
"So far, my life's work has been to be recorded, but not to hit record. With this site, I hope to change that."
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Friday, April 13, 2007
A morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th.
a) Triskaidekaphobia: From the Greek word treiskaideka, for thirteen. (1911)
b) Paraskevidekatriaphobia: A term coined by media personality and therapist Dr. Donald Dossey. He says that when you can pronounce the word you are cured.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
His novels and short stories meant so much to so many people.
My favourite is "Breakfast of Champions":
There's no meaning to life, unless you create one for yourself.
Goodbye Kilgore Trout.
"I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center."
Photo from OSU
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
My Victorinox penknife was confiscated at SFO and might have ended up in the artwork of Michele Pred.
This Wenger penknife (now owned by Victorinox) uses a better spring design on the scissors and includes a nail clipper, along with the usual toothpick and tweezers.
The only place that sells it is Herrington. $30.
They claim that it's
air-travel approved by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Monday, April 09, 2007
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Friday, April 06, 2007
Most of us don't get excited by a delivery van (unless it's UPS with our new 46" LCD HD TV).
But I was excited when Dodge dumped their stodgy old B-vans and began selling a version of the Mercedes Sprinter van from Germany. They look trim, athletic, and efficient compared to GM and Ford vans. It's a pleasure to see them dotted around the city.
Photos from DHL and FedEx websites
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Monday, April 02, 2007
This weekend was the first Regional of the 2007 race series of the SF Region of the SCCA. Conditions were good and the racing was superb.
The last race on Sunday was for ITS, ITA, ITB, ITC, FP, GP, and HP.
Ron DeVogel (a long time acquaintance of mine from the SF Autocenter in 1988) driving a 1275cc F-Production Midget was in second place behind an ITS RX7 on the first lap. The next lap was a full course yellow flag to remove a broken Fiat X1/9. On the next lap Ron was side by side with the Mazda going into turn 2. The Mazda came out ahead, but was then poorly positioned for turn 3. Ron overtook him in turn 3. On the next lap he lead by over 1 second. A few laps latter the gap widened to 3 seconds. And that's how it ended.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
This is a 1973 Lola Formula Ford that competes in the Club Ford (CF) class.
In the US, FF cars use a spec slick tyre. In Europe it's a spec grooved tyre.
I thought the tyres might be wrapped in cellophane so they wouldn't pick up dirt in the paddock. But the driver told me that wrapping the tyres was an old go-carting trick to keep the "oils" from leaching out of the rubber.