Happy New Year!

Happy New Year (Randomage)!

I went to a great NYE party hosted hosted by my old swim-buddy Jay. He whipped up an amazing spread and we drank and (in a rather unusual departure from our normal activities) watched porn (the ladies were just as fascinated by Alisha Klass' talents as the boys were). At midnight we all piled out on the deck, drank bubbly and sang Auld Lang Syne.
Jay passed out sometime after that and the ladies wrote stuff on his forehead in lipstick. Good times.

All Music Guide gave my band's album a good review!

And Frito wrote to tell me how to speed up Firefox...which, if you're on a PC you should be using 'cause it rulz. Here's whatcha do:

Normally the browser will make one request to a web page at a time. When you enable pipelining it will make several at once, which really speeds up page loading.

1.Type about:config into the address bar and hit return.

2. In the Filter search, type network.http.pipelining. Set the value to true.

Set network.http.pipelining.maxrequests to some number like 30. This means it will make 30 requests at once.

3. In the Filter search, type network.http.proxy.pipelining. Set the value to true.

4. Lastly, right-click anywhere and select New-> Integer. Name it nglayout.initialpaint.delay and set its value to 0. This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it receives.

If you're using a broadband connection you'll load pages MUCH faster now!

From http://wiki.amazon.com/?MozillaFirefoxSpeedBoost


The Poisoned Well

This is my favorite story.

I mention it every chance I get, 'cause nothing else seems to explain the times we live in quite so well. It's all about your perspective. You see, we are (thanks to technology, various rationalizations on the nature of objectivity, propaganda, the consolidation of major media outlets, etc.) increasingly able to choose our reality. What was once willful ignorance (ex.: "You read that in the New York times? Then it's bullshit!") is now just another point of view.
Facts are bent, lies are put forth as gospel truth and even minor details are contested to the point that the very nature of 'reality' starts to warp...without wormholes or time machines!
I wonder what will happen when we can actually rewire our brains to alter, accept or reject sensory input? What shape would public debate take when people can instantly turn on their "Chomsky", "Marx" or "Limbaugh" filters while perusing the paper or listening to The State of the Union Address?

I digress.

There are different versions of this tale...but it's pretty short. Enjoy!

The Poisoned Well

There once was a tiny little kingdom of peace and plenty.
One night a jealous foreign agent snuck in and poisoned the well in the town square with a foul potion. Everyone who drank from the well became mad and of course, everyone did drink from it.
Except for the king, who had his own well.
As the days went by, the townsfolk became agitated. They stirred and murmured among themselves about how the king seemed to be acting strangely and talking nonsense.
One day the king's madness became so bad that the people seized him and brought him to the
town square for public examination.
They asked him questions in logic, which he answered with crazy talk!
The king began to fear for his life. However, it was a hot day and naturally the king asked for water.
One of the women drew him a cup from the well.
Soon after, the king started answering his subjects questions with increasing clarity and his
madness diminished until finally he was sane again.
The kingdom rejoiced that their beloved king had recovered!

But it was odd how their crops perished when they fertilized them with salt...


Stu's Birthday!

Stu's Birthday...

was Sunday and his girlfriend Rachel and I had been conspiring to throw him a surprise party on Friday. I rented a car 'cause I was tired of digging for change evertime I to take the bus...my bike won't be ready for another couple of weeks. We had everyone meet us at The Rendezvous in Belltown and Rachel met Stu under the pretense that she was taking him out to dinner.
Laura went in with me on his gift, which was all five of Eddie Izzard's concert DVD's.
Stu is pretty hard to surprise, but we actually managed to anyway!
It was a really nice party. A bunch of people I had not seen in a long time showed up. Rachel decorated the space with balloons and such and we had cupcakes instead of a b-day cake...and we drank a lot. I swear I only had 4-5 beers and with food and buying other folks stuff my tab was still around $100. Laura came with me but is still feeling ill - so she cabbed it home.
We stayed until 1:30AM.

Next year is the big FOUR OH...




So, I went to a party on Friday with Stu and Evangeline, thrown by the Seattle School guys in West Seattle. There were a bevy of attractive people there and I threw down some vanilla vodka and discussed the finer points of ABC's "The Lexicon of Love" album with the host. While we were on the balcony smoking, Evangeline told me a funny story about how she got into a Bootsy Collins show at Bumbershoot several years ago. I was home by 12.
On Saturday, I was getting ready to meet Heidi, her sisters and stepfather at the International Motorcycle Show when Laura informed me that she and her friend (who was visiting from out of town) were going to go too. So I rode with them, but en route they decided to get some food first. So I got dropped off.
Heidi found me after about 10 minutes, then we wandered around looking for her folks. After we all hooked up, we wandered around trying to take it all in. I sat on a bunch of Harley's but didn't like most of them, they seems kinda narrow and small and the seats weren't as comfy as my Kawasaki. I did like both the Road King and the Springer, though.
I also am seriously wondering if I'd have to sell I kidney to move up to the Drifter 1500. I'm a little too unsure about my job to be getting further into debt, but I'm sure I could find a '01 or '02 for the same amount that I'm paying for my 800.
Anyway, we left and went to the New Orleans Cafe for lunch. Then I went back to the show to meet Laura. I really wanted to look for a new helmet, but I didn't see anything I liked. So we sat on more bikes and I fantasized about my dream rides, The Fat Bloke by Exile Motorcycles, The The Harley-Davidson Road King Custom, and The Honda F6 Valkyrie.
We were pretty much beat my late afternoon...I spent the rest of the day at home.
On Sunday, Laura and I got early to do some shopping. I swear sometimes my roommate and I are speaking separate languages. We went out to Costco to buy food an' shit and en route to making a stop at Uwajimaya, I was talking about my motorcycle.

Me: I hope to get some new tires once I get it back. And maybe some saddlebags. Too bad that stuff is so expensive. Tires and saddlebags could run me $700!

Her: Well, you know that bag of frozen veggies you bought? You coulda got the same amount of stuff for way cheaper if you'd bought it fresh!

Me: Yeah, but most times I don't feel like choppin'! (long pause) Uh...what does that have to do with motorcycles?!

She went on to clarify her point (which incidentally, still had nothing to do with motorcycles) but I think what actually happened is that I caught her not listening and by some Women's Union rules, she had to cover it up! Once again, proving that you ladies can be just as bad as us guys, you just have better P.R.

Anyway, if you've been reading this blog awhile, you know I love soup when it's cold out. Especially Udon or Pho! So I was dying to get some Hon Dashi Bonito Flakes. I also bought a crab soup base, frozen Udon noodles, miso paste & sweet soy sauce. We looked around in the food court, I wanted Humbow and found a little bakery that hooked me up.
Laura, however, is on a Filipino food kick and didn't like the little joint in the mall (and when I say "didn't like", I really mean really fuckin' hated!) so we drove up to Beacon Hill to another spot we frequent, with her ranted about the lousy food in the food court and how they were not representin' the whole way.
As she got out of the car she says:

"You comin'?"
"Nah," says I, biting into my humbow. "I'm already smackin'."
"Fine!" Laura huffs.
"Hey...couldja get some Lumpia?" I ask.
"FUCK YOU!" She yelled, slamming the car door.

By the time we hauled all the crap into the house, we were wiped. So we watched The Bourne Supremacy (I got my Lumpia, BTW (she's crazy, but sweet)), then racked out. Then it was off to work...


Nothing Pithy Here...

Nothing Pithy Here...

I got up early to do a some shopping with Laura in anticipation of Orphan's Thanksgiving, the annual celebration where my "other" family gets together in appreciaton of each other. We met at her place of employment, then went to Costco and dropped a ton of money there but they didn't have the turkey Laura wanted, so we agreed to meet at Larry's Market in Lower Queen Anne.
We bought more stuff, I helped her load it in her car, then told her I'd see her at the house after I stopped to pick up some teriyaki in Fremont. Traffic was pretty normal for that time of day. I took Dexter into Fremont, crossed the bridge and then turned onto 34th. There was no traffic in front of me, though the lanes going the opposite way were full as per usual at this time of day. As I approached the entrance to the Adobe parking lot, I was anticipating my dinner and getting a few hours sleep before rolling into work.
Suddenly, there was a car in front of me.
I hit with a dull thud, I was thrown forward, then fell sideways the front wheel and fender bearing most of the impact. I was maybe going 25 or so. It happened so fast, nothing had time to register. I sat up and a group of people were asking me if I was alright. I had fallen to my left and my leg was trapped under the bike by my handlebars. My ankle got a tweak from the way I landed and the bike was pinching my leg.
I pulled my leg free and stood up, puzzled by what had just happened. I got my helmet off.
A bystander was already on the phone to the police by the time I stood up.
-Yeah, I'm fine. Nobody got hurt.
-OK, well in that case, we won't send an officer out, so just exchange information and call your insurance companies.
I handed the phone back and thanked the lady, she turned and was briskly on her way again.
A gentleman on a bike pulled up handed me his card and told me he'd be a witness if I needed one. He rode off again.
A guy in a trench coat stood nearby with a guilty look on his face. He introduced himself as the person who'd hit me. I was overwhelmed at the moment, feeling a growing elation at cheating death, weirded out by all the attention and surprised that I felt so calm. Traffic was beginning to back up because my bike lay in the street. I picked it up. The other driver and I decided to meet at the bottom of the ramp in the parking lot. I didn't try to start my bike, but rode in down the ramp anyway.
We exchanged information, neither of us sure of exactly what information we were suppose to exchange. My bike wouldn't start and neither of us had a pen. He went inside to find one, while I found a parking place for my bike.
Mr. Davis turned out to be a decent enough fellow, I think he was scared I was going to go ballistic, but I was so relieved at not being hurt, that I couldn't be mad. He even gave me a ride home. The whole thing seemed rather absurd. Two people who had no reason to interact at all intesecting due to a bad judgement call. I was just relieved that the judgement wasn't mine.
I didn't go into work that night...I wasn't sure of my emotional state. All could say for sure was that I was annoyed at being deprived of my bike. And a little afraid of how this would turn out. I was pretty sure that I was not liable for what happened, but that wasn't up to me.
My bike was towed up to a shop in Lynnwood the following day. I made a few calls and sent emails to my insurance company's claims adjuster and to his agent. The shop called and reeled off the list of damages, which added up to be a nice chunk of change. I wasn't going to pay a deductible...I hadn't done anything wrong.
I went to the company office party on Friday night with my buddy Jay. We had a pretty good time as the bar was serving Cosmopolitans and Apple Martinis. I got to chat with Matt F. and Kim and even a few coworkers I'd never met before.
I got home and found a message on my cell phone. I was going to be fully indemnified! WhooHoo!
Saturday was busy, cleaning, cooking and entertaining. I think this was one of the best Orphan's Thanksgiving's EVAR. The food was great and everyone hung out for awhile afterwards. I found out that a girl that Stu knew back when he was in elementary school was someone I'd met via another friend. I'd even gone to her wedding!
Sunday was pretty mellow. Laura and I got up kinda late and started cleaning up. Then I went to band practice and she went back to sleep. I took the bus to work.

Red Cross Finds Detainee Abuse in Guantánamo

Red Cross Finds Detainee Abuse in Guantánamo

Raise yr hand if you're surprised...
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