Friday, 28 October 2011

Foo Fighters

Intense, awesome, fun. Lots of energy!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Greece crippled by anti-austerity strike

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein, (attributed)


Greeks appear to be really good at organizing strikes.  Aside from the economics of their budget/fiscal position, I’d argue that, in economic terms, the supply of strikes that Greece is willing to provide to the world greatly exceeds either the demand for Greek strikes or the utility of such strikes. 


But, if you’re a one trick pony… better keep refining that trick.


I just don’t see how that’s going to clean up the income statement or balance sheet. 




Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Beavis & Butt-head returns

I’m a Beavis and Butt-head fan, and am excited about this fall’s return.  In contrast to the journalist below, I think one of the large attractions to the show is applying your own knowledge.  That’s art in a nutshell.  Someone can view a picture by Salvador Dali and suggest what they think he was addressing; or a song by the Velvet Underground that said so much in so few words that meant it was up to the listener to fill in “the” meaning.  That’s art.  Beavis and Butt-head are similarly cartoon art.  I rest my case at Cornholio's return.  Cornholio is absurd to consider as a messanic figure, but the vapid souls who elevate him to that status are so willing to place their thoughts on Cornholio's "blank slate" that he's elevated to their art/belief form/embodyment.  It's all what one makes of it.
This fall, MTV resurrects Beavis & Butt-head, the dominant delinquents of the nineties, that faraway decade. And (Mike) Judge-ing from the preview clip debuted at Comic-Con yesterday, the boys are in fine form: screwing action figures to Beavis’s hand, resurrecting Cornholio (thanks to some liberal dosages of pain meds), and inadvertently inspiring a Costco-clogging cult to believe the Metallica-shirted lunatic muttering about “TP” is their reborn messiah. But the best part, as always, is the slyly stupid social commentary — in the new clip the TV is showing Jersey Shore instead of videos which makes perfect sense considering that’s the same route MTV has taken in the 14 years since B&B have picked up a remote.
Some have wondered if America is actually hungering for the return of Beavis & Butt-head, as if their slackery nihilism is as irrevocably tied to the nineties as hypercolor t-shirts or that lousy song by Travis. This is nonsense, of course, not only because, really, what does relevance have to do with Butt-head asking a doctor to show him on an x-ray where a screw entered a plastic ass? But primarily because, if anything, Beavis & Butt-head were ahead of their time.
Sure, Al Gore may have invented the Internet. And pictures of kittens may have popularized it. But it was Beavis & Butt-head who taught us how to use the Internet, even back when most of us considered Hackers to be a gripping documentary. Think about it: two young, underdressed dweebs with dangerously short attention spans savagely snarking about any stray bit of culture that crossed their path — or, more often, that crossed in front of their couch. The two have no apparent qualifications to pass judgment on everything they consume — other than their youth, boredom and ability to make each other laugh. If we haven’t just described every blog ever, we’ll eat our RSS feed. And so MTV’s decision to bring back the show is both visionary and brilliant: not only for the inevitable LOLs but because we are all Beavis & Butt-head now, cracking wise — or, more accurately, cracking dumb — from the comfort of our living rooms, perpetually in need of more cultural TP for our voracious, cynical bungholes. (Gross.) Now if you’ll excuse us, there’s a video of a salsa-dancing porcupine that needs our attention.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Bunnin to the Third

We had a lovely brunch with Double B, and nearly Triple B since Shawn and Claire are engaged. After gourmet cheffery in the kitchen with coffee, laughs and karaoke stories, it was time to try the tandem.

It earned good reviews. When the tandem was in double Bunnin mode (Shawn and Andrea), it was faster than a speeding locomotive. I think they broke speed limits on 5th. Those Bunnin's sure have cycling power!

Rock Lobster

Karaoke nights are fun.

Some big black dude did a quality/really funny Afroman rendition.

Some tiny little girl with half a shaved head belted out some song from Chicago; I actually think she did it way better than this.

Then sidestepping to Bunnin land, Andrea led the crowd through a wonderful "Safety Dance". 

"Shawntoberfest" picked the not so easy or flowing, but entirely unique Rock Lobster.  


Saturday, 15 October 2011


Low carbon footprint.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Tuesday, err, Wednesday 'cross

Best season ever for attendance and weather, 5 of 5 so far with one to go.

Here's a tip: that engineer in A&D who's birthday was celebrated prior to the race with free slices of pumpkin cheese cake, wasn't doing that with "pre-race meal" in mind. So good, but so bad. Timing is everything.

Fun night, and Joss beat me on the his home course.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Occupy Wall Street

To be honest, I’m having a bit of a difficult time deciphering what these people are actually upset about.  Lots of sound bites, but I don’t think it thus far is a really cohesive message.  What I gather is its anti-corporate, anti-capitalist, and about “fairness and equality” which apparently means generally the opposite of capitalism in their view, but not something like communism.  Maybe just more tax.

I get it that they don’t think rich people are treating the world fairly because they hoard all the wealth.  I suppose that’s true.  Once “they” amass it, they don’t just go about making it rain like confetti from every limo they’re travelling in.  Interestingly enough though, there’s enough rich people that have made their fortunes this generation that I think protecting opportunity is more important.  I scanned the Forbes billionaires list.  All the tech guys such as Ellison, Gates and Allen, Ballmer, Jobs and Wosniak, Page and Brin, etc. are all single generation wealthy.  Ikea and Wal-Mart fit this in that the old guys are still around and the kids seem to be half engaged in charity giving the money away in between living the high life.  Buffett and Carlos Slim fits the one career/generation accumulation of wealth.  Jack Simplot fit this.  Lakshmi Mittal fits this, as I believe does Eike Batista.  Scores of finance guys – Bloombergs to hedge fund guys to Schwab types etc. do too.  I’m not a knowledgeable historian on all these guys.  But the ability to create wealth in a career or generation to me actually seems pretty fair.  Now I’m guessing these guys all had some luck, survivor bias in my list here, but I’d also bet they weren’t occupying parks for weeks when they could have been just observing what the market needed and figuring out how they were going to create that, thereby laying the foundations for their empires.

I look around the office I work in, and the industry I work in, and I note actually a surprisingly small number of rich by inheritance types.  I’d note this is also survivor bias as I’m observing from “an office, in an industry” whereas I’d suspect most inheritance types would be not office bound, although they may be ongoing industry affiliated in certain ways.  But again it strikes me that there’s a lot out there available if one just puts nose to the grindstone and makes it happen.  Whatever the field is, some strive and some whiter.  I’ve been on both sides of the fence.

Since my mind thinks well with biking analogies – it’s sort of like a long stage race, say La Ruta.  You can be hot, baking, tired, dehydrated, etc. and look around you at all the others who are too.  You can throw down your bike, start chanting, and have all the riders sit in and protest the unfair treatment of having to ride that far in such awful conditions.  Or you can pedal through to the end, put your feet up, scrape your local currency together and have a beer and a shower whilst the others complain that it’s unfair that you rest with a beer and shower, and that they should have them too.  Right.  I’ve withered and I’ve survived.  It’s not easy to survive.

Let’s not forget that nothing in the world will ever be fair and equal.  It’s not about “that guy has more, so give me some so we’re equal”.  It’s about ground rules that allow/facilitate/encourage one to have the motivation and opportunity to create or receive “it” given your efforts. This opportunity is what needs protection in my view.  America (and others) are still leaders in providing that playing field.  I endorse a system that provides that playing field.  Not everyone will accumulate a similar amount of wealth in a generation.  Not everyone on a field kicks a soccer ball equivalently.  Asserting that it should be a non-distributed outcome, or less distributed outcome, is just not accurate or logical in my view.  Such is life.  Show some hustle at whatever you do.

The right to "pursue happiness" is not necessarily the right for everyone to get what is determined as a fair and equal amount of happiness, and definitely not get it as an entitlement.

These protests appear popular – weather in NY is good and the free breakfast is still apparently on site at the protest zone.

From my side, I wish these protests were directed at the right problems within finance/corporation and [especially?] government.  But by reading random samplings of quotes from protesters, I’m not entirely sure that’ll be forthcoming. 


Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Thanksgiving weekend

So other than gorging on Turkey, terrific sweet potatoes we made/experimented with ourselves, and the rest of the potluck, this weekend’s news includes a new addition to the garage.


Since we rented a tandem a few months ago in Vancouver, it’s been a topic of conversation.  Long story short, this one is a stoker supported decision moreso than a captain begging for a stoker.  We had so much fun, got in like 200k this weekend after a surprise taxi waiting outside on Saturday morning to take us to Bow Cycle all kitted up.



Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Tuesday 'cross

Nice night again, after rain this morning. It's been miraculous this fall. A new cyclo-crosser was born today. A smiley one. It's hard to explain how addictive this sport is, but trying to just dilutes the magical fact that its just plain awesome.

This pic proves I'm not smart/fast enough to remember to turn off the iphone's HDR setting while riders speed by. Oops.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Remington 'cross for kids

Beauty sunny day. Slightly less technical course. Upside is I didn't flat and drop out. Other upside is there was no pulling of lapped riders. Downside is I was DFL... But that's ok. If I weren't sick there's perhaps a wheel or two I could have stuck with. Still a super hard 60 minutes of intensity.

Cindy and I did a soccer style running workout of intervals after - and once the intervals and various starts/stops/running drills were done she beat me home.

I hope by Tuesday the sniffles are gone. My mom got some Tiger Malt at Superstore, and if that doesn't cure a common cold, I don't know what will.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Dark Knight 'cross

Course was super technical with lots of tight corners, off camber, some sand, and the pump track!

Starts so fast up the hill, but felt ok. On the pump track first corner I went into the bushes after one of the people dressed as a banana steered off a bit. From there I was last and tried to make up a few spots back up the paved climb by the bobsled track. The fast downhill corners worked well for me, and starting lap 2 I was with Thomas Yip which was about normal.

Hung on a few more, then rear flatted. I only would have lasted 1.5 more before getting lapped by Schooler.

Highlight of the night was watching deadgoats Kyle/Steve/Ed battle and Craig/Devin who had awesome races. But not really as the cheerleaders of Shannon and Cindy were the highlight - I could recognize their voices from a long way away.

Rest up, pump up a tire, and try again tomorrow.