2009-11-21

Men who stare at goats

Watched "The men who stare at goats" on Friday. Pretty cool movie, in a vein similar to "Ocean's thirteen". Had a few good laughs, and walked out of the theater smiling.

The cast is stellar, with Clooney, Casey, McGregor, and Bridges deadpanning it all through the film. I am not sure the movie had any deeper meaning, but it provided for a nice way to spend a couple hours on an early Friday evening.

Together, at last!

After months and months of fruitless search for a perfect teapot, I have finally found one. At IKEA, no less.

The challenge was to find a contemporary-looking, minimalistically designed, preferably white teapot (so far, so good, but wait!..) with capacity for approx. two liters (or quarts if you are so inclined). That last requirement turned out to be the hardest to meet.

I had to walk away from otherwise perfect teapots, because they would hold mere two teacups' worth of tea.

When I make myself some tea, I like for it to last a while, so that I can enjoy a few chapters of a book or a whole movie (or at least one hour-long series episode) before I have to make more tea.

For the past five or so years I have been using a designer teapot I traded from my room-mate in Munich, but unfortunately it was not the best quality, and was continuously losing its glaze, eventually resulting in a shabby look.

Finding a replacement took me until today, and kids, am I happy to say, it is a worthy replacement indeed.

Let's raise our teacups to years of enjoyment!

2009-11-18

Which tastless star made Louboutin famous again?


This selection could have come straight out of a PayLess store. Seriously not digging these.

2009-11-15

Now my Roomba won't be lonely

Bought myself an early holiday present: the iRobot Scooba. I got it at Hammacher Schlemmer because they offer an unconditional lifetime warranty on all the merchandise they sell, and also priced the robot about ten percent cheaper than on the iRobot site, plus offered free shipping.

I went for the base model (Model 330) which has enough battery to clean 250 square feet (approx 23.5 sqm), and its tank holds enough cleaning solution to clean the same area. Higher-end models have more battery than cleaning solution, with Model 350 having enough battery for 500 sq ft, but only 250 sq ft worth of cleaning solution capacity, and Model 380 cleans "up to 850 sq ft" with one charge, but its tank will only cover half of this surface.

It looks like the Scooba does not have scheduling capacity, so I intend to start it a couple times a week before heading out to work, in order to avoid having to listen to the noise. Since I won't be there to supervise the cleaning and refill the tank, it seemed to me that this model was the best value for my situation. I will simply have the robot clean half my apartment in one go, and do the other half on another day.

It comes with a virtual wall, which will help me easily "wall off" the half which I don't want cleaned on any day.

2009-11-14

Honi soit qui mal y pense

What do you think when you see the warning shown below?

Okay, I usually find myself thinking evil more than average, but please, tell me which part of the following commercial has any of these:

  • Mild cartoon violence
  • Sexual themes
  • Use of tobacco

This doesn't mean that I find the commercial good. Lately, Microsoft has been trying hard to push the boundaries of cringe with its "launch party" ads and now this.

However, I just feel left out and confused when all I see is an innocent commercial, and no "sexual themes."

2009-11-09

UFO Club Autocross at Marina 2009-11-08

As it gets colder, and holidays cause many competitors to be out of town, autocross season is winding down. This Sunday's event was the only one I will get to run this month. There's another one in December, and then hopefully it'll pick up again early next year.

The course was a very fun one. After a usual painfully slow start, and a 90-degree left-hander, there was an extremely fast slalom. It was spaced so widely that I was able to accelerate through it with the foot firmly pressing the gas pedal into the mat. The 90-degree corner right after the slalom forced me to give up some speed towards the end, otherwise I would be topping out of the second gear there.

My best run ended up being a 53.3xx--not sure when the results get posted, but it seemed fast enough to get me into the middle of the pack, I figure.

Sunbeam Tiger Club autocross 2009-10-31

October 31st marks the day my car won an event for the first time, while piloted by Tris. On PAX, and possibly in raw time as well. I don't have the official results yet, but last I heard, he was about 0.1 second ahead of the competitor, who had a B-Modified car on slicks.

Anyways.

Great event.

I don't know where I ended up, probably in the middle, or hopefully in the upper third. No idea how to get my hands on the results though.

Tristan and I co-drove. We got four runs in the morning and five in the afternoon.

My rungroup rested while Tris's ran, so I got to catch a few rides with him. He worked during my runs, and so the only shots from the event that show my car were from his runs. We forgot to swap the numbers for his afternoon runs, so he's running my number "23" in the shots -- but the folks in timing thankfully figured it all out and recorded his times correctly.

On my fourth run in the afternoon I hit a cone and it got caught in my left wheel well. I knew it got stuck somewhere, but did not know where, and continued my run, only to get a red flag moments later, because there apparently weren't enough cones to replace the one I was dragging. I tried getting a rerun for that, but no dice.

Anyways, it was a fun event, and I got to run pretty good times.

As I learn the site (Santa Rosa Airport), I feel more and more confident on it, and am already looking forward to the next event there, which sadly will be in 2010.

Cars attack!

Yesterday I got attacked by cars (or rather women driving said cars) twice.

First was the PT Cruiser of Death on CA-17, which decided to change into the right lane as I was occupying it. I moved to the right edge of the lane and honked, but the blue monstrosity kept getting closer. I lay on the horn and put two wheels off onto the shoulder, trying to avoid contact, and the driver finally noticed me. She pulled back into her lane and made some apologetic gestures. I used some non-verbal cues to tell her what I thought about her and drove off.

I got home and went to get some food. Parked far away from everyone and walked to the store across the parking lot. I was happily minding my own business as I felt a firm nudge in my forearm and my thigh. I jumped aside and screamed as I realized that a minivan was backing out and into me. The driver got out and her first excuse was "I did not see you!"

"I know you did not see me!" I said. Okay, yelled. I got pretty rattled by this, and used some vocabulary that would have made Samuel L. Jackson proud. I did not get hurt, so decided not to call the police. Just yelled at the lady and walked off to get the food.

Got the food, drove home, and sat the rest of the day out to make sure no more crazy drivers got a chance to kill me.

Kinda ironic that I was at a race earlier that day and all the truly dangerous stuff involving cars happened to me after I was done racing.