This afternoon, I'll be trekking down to Shelf Road for a weekend of camping and rock climbing with my bossmen and a few others. This is rather exciting, as I've done neither of those activities in yonks. It's also a bit depressing as I realize just how many yonks it's been. Based on the evidence, I haven't touched a real rock while wearing a climbing harness in this century. In fact I've only climbed on the indoor fake stuff the once since I've moved to Colorado. Climbing was part of the "why" of moving to Colorado at the time of that decision. Funny how things work out, eh? A large part of it is having people with whom to actually do things. I suppose I didn't realize how lucky I was to have developed the network of like-minded and tolerable people I had back in Massachusetts. Thanks, gang!
Then there the camping. I unpacked my tent to make sure it hadn't dissolved completely over the years and found bits of bark and moss from a camping trip I took in New England with Miracle Ed and Hanh something like ten years ago. Good goddamn!
It's all a bit conflicting, to be honest, because I can't say I've missed it all as much as I would have expected. I've found other things to do at times. Mostly I'm just kind of lazy, I think. Or at least I tend to have a lot of inertia when I'm comfortable. That's a nice way of saying "lazy"...
Also, snakes. ;)
Unrelated: Holy crap! I totally watched The Master back in the day!
Meta: I wanted to add my shared items from Google Reader to the new secondary sidebar, but it didn't work properly. I might keep trying.
Did you know Dickie and the boys are doing a Mighty Mighty Bosstones reunion thing with a series of shows at the Middle East? The gang is all 40-ish now, but it seems most of them couldn't find anything else they wanted to do.
Go get 'em boys!
I've been scanning and posting a few rock climbing pictures from my days in Massachusetts (and a few from here in Colorado). There are some great shots of me and my friends from those days (most notably Miracle Ed and Hanh). Makes me wistful.
And a bit depressed... As Ed put it to me "You should get skinny again. You were pretty."
As of right now, the notions of getting skinny and getting back into climbing are almost a chicken and egg proposition... Nothing to it but to do it, right?
(Did I mention rock climbing is how I seduced my wife? It's somewhat true.)
Once, when I was small and living in the winter home of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, I thought I'd like to be a clown. Nowadays I mostly subscribe to the "clowns are creepy" philosophy, though. But when I come across a story like this, it warms the cockles, to be sure:
"White Power!" the Nazis shouted, "White Flour?" the clowns yelled back running in circles throwing flour in the air and raising separate letters which spelt "White Flour".
"White Power!" the Nazis angrily shouted once more, "White flowers?" the clowns cheers and threw white flowers in the air and danced about merrily.
Awesome! And this happened in Knoxville, TN -- my old neck of the woods.
I've been a big, big fan of a Boston area rock band from the 90's called Buffalo Tom since my college years. Even before I saw them live and had one of my best concert experiences ever. They got some national exposure, but never really hit it huge, so I've always felt like I've known something other people didn't. After B-Tom kind of dwindled and fell apart, lead singer/guitarist Bill Janovitz released a couple of folky solo discs. They were enjoyable but nothing super exciting in my estimation.
Just recently, though, I grabbed his new album with his new band, the Crown Victorias, and I am happy to say Bill is back to his old rockin' ways. In fact, several songs had me so nostalgic for Buffalo Tom that I looked them up and lo-and-behold they have gotten back together and have a new disc coming out! I have yet to hear the new B-Tom, but you should check them out, kids. (Bonus: There's a clip from the Daily Show on the B-Tom site in which Jon Stewart name-drops Buffalo Tom. I wonder if that's why they are back together...)
(Sidenote: The new Tori Amos is also quite good, if you're into the angry chicks - and you know I am.)
Somewhat against the odds, the BU Terriers have won the Hockey East regular season title! Wow!
â€œSo we finish the season 16-2-2 in our last 20 games - thatâ€™s quite a run for us and might be the best run weâ€™ve ever had since the 1978 team that only lost one game all year,â€? said BU Head Coach Jack Parker. â€œIt was a great regular season for us and we get rewarded with the league championship outright. To enjoy the evening tonight - getting the championship and getting it in the style we did down the stretch is pretty nice.â€?
Yep. Pretty nice.
Thanks go out to the UNH team for beating BC in their season closer.
It was business as usual for the boys from Boston University on the second Monday night in February as the Terriers beat Boston College 3-2 at the TD Banknorth Garden to capture the 54th Annual Beanpot.
"I think that we have the capability to do a lot this year and we're not going to stop short of anything we're capable of," Curry said. "We're going to enjoy this, but I think we have some big things in store for this year."
Just to reiterate a fun fact: There have now been 54 Beanpot Championships. BU has won exactly half of them.
Well, it looks like the Beanpot will come down to the Comm Ave rivals once again. Boston College took care of Northeastern in the early game yesterday 5-2 and my BU Terriers topped Harvard 5-3. Interesting tidbits from the USCHO.com notebook:
In the last three non-Beanpot meetings, Harvard has a 2-0-1 record against Boston University. In the last four times the teams have met in the Beanpot, Harvard is 0-4.
"In the first seven minutes of the first period, they outshot us 15-3. I called a timeout, and said to my kids, 'Harvard's pretty good, huh?'" â€” Parker, on the Terriers' first meeting with Harvard, a 2-2 tie on November 22.
Boston University has won more Beanpots than any other school. If the second-nearest school, Boston College, were to win the title each year going forward, the Eagles would not catch BU until 2018.
The Ice Dogs meet the Eagles in the final at TD Banknorth Garden (just call it the Gahden) Monday the 13th. I wish it was being broadcast nationally...
There's nane that's blest of human kind, But the cheerful and the gay, man, Fal, la, la, &c.
Here's a bottle and an honest friend! What wad ye wish for mair, man? Wha kens, before his life may end, What his share may be o' care, man?
Then catch the moments as they fly, And use them as ye ought, man: Believe me, happiness is shy, And comes not aye when sought, man.
This combination of drink and poetry riminds me of my college days. Boston University has a private pub (in the basement of the Castle, no less), and at said pub they have what they call a "beer quest". You would get a card on which the bartender would make a mark for each of the many different beers they had available as you consumed them. Once you, the drunkard, completed the quest, he would be inducted into an exclusive group known as "the Knights of Gunnungagap". You would be dubbed with a silly title ("Sir Tainly a Slacker" at your service) and given a glass mug which they kept for you behind the bar.
The highlight of my own poetic attempts was when I composed a toast for a friend of mine, which I read at his "knighthood" ceremony. That toast became the official induction recital for at least one of the bartenders at the BU Pub and lived on for an indeterminant amount of time after my graduation. I wonder if it still is...
The knighter reads from a plaque on the wall about the Quest to the new knight, who kneels down upon one knee.
I doubt that's the toast, but I don't recall a reading from a plaque in my day.
This just in: The Red Sox are fucked. Here's to another 80-odd years without a World Series Championship.
Update: Well, Theo can always go work for the Brockton Rox!
"We don't actually have an office for Theo," Rox president Jim Lucas said. "But we built two new cubicles this year and he'd have his own phone and access to the internet."
Funny. I was just telling my friend Erik about the International Male catalog last night. When I was in high school back in the late 80s, IM was a hot source for kids like me (ie: in the boonies of East Tennessee) to get some seriously queer fashion. That's queer as in different, y'all. I never even thought about buying a mesh tank top. ;)
In much more butch news, Erik made some crazy progress on the CL350 while I was on vacation. Last night he showed me how the thing will start with the slightest press of the electric starter button. It definitely needs some tuning (timing, fuel mixture, etc.) and there are some ... uh ... idiosyncracies -- like when you rev it above 7000 RPM and the tachometer just goes BERSERK!!!
Then we worked on the clutch a little bit and got that working, so Erik took that little 35 year-old motorcycle for a spin around his neighborhood.
It's a runner!
Just because I did nothing with my aerospace engineering degree doesn't mean I ignore the cool stuff from that field: 'Singing' wings help prevent small-plane stalls
In wind tunnel tests, Salmon stuck sections of plastic piezo-electric film to wing segments. This film vibrates when an electrical signal is applied, producing sound.
Tests using a barely audible sinusoidal tone of about 400 hertz showed a 22% increase in lift, compared with a standard wing. This could translate into a few extra seconds of time for a pilot to boost a planeâ€™s speed before it stalls, says Salmon. The simple tones worked best, though Salmon did experiment: â€œI can say that songs by the band Spiderbait are more effective than Radioheadâ€™s.â€?
Spiderbait?! Way to plug the virtually unknown (in the US, at least) Aussie band, Qantas dude! Truth be told I went through a huge unknown Aussie music phase in college. Can't say I stuck with any of the artists I got into back then, but at the time some of my favorite tracks were on those freebie tapes I got a CollegeFest in the Hynes Convention Center.
Back to the airplane stuff... Once, while hiking on Mt. Washington, I saw a couple gliders buzzing around the summit. Literally: their wings were vibrating in the updraft (I assume), causing a high-pitched hum. No piezo-electric plastic involved with that, but it was really cool to me.