Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

More Mustang Madness

About that V6 business.
How to buy a new 1969 Mustang, sorta.  From Retrobuilt.
A short article about Turbonique.  Key quote: "Not only did people do some crazy shit back then; actual U.S. Senators cheerfully pitched in to help them do crazy shit."

Too much of everything is just enough. -Grateful Dead

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Back to our recurring theme of too much: Mad Max Trilogy

Too much and on the topic of movies, I watched the Mad Max trilogy over the weekend.  Here are all three reviews presented over the next few days.

Mad Max (1979), 3.25/4 stars.
Strangely, I'd never seen this one before.  Twenty five years ago I attempted to watch a poor version on VHS.  The panoramic views of mayhem in the Australian outback had been horizontally squeezed so that everyone looked about eight feet tall, the transfer was so muddy that it might as well have been in black and white, and (worst of all) it was dubbed into American English.  So I while I'd seen it, I hadn't seen it.
So what makes this movie so good?  It shows a recognizable (then) near-future where things are going to hell in a plausible way.  The story is good enough to keep things rolling and mostly makes sense.  The stunts are 100%-on and 100% jaw-dropping, especially by the standards and film technology of the day.  Even with all of the action, there is substantial character development going on.  But most of all, it pushed the movie envelope in both cinematography and brutality, while keeping things human.  And the cars, oh man, the cars.
What's not to like?  Sometimes the music is a tad intrusive and cheesy.  The family scenes, needed as they are to build the characters, drag on at times.  Some of the hospital scenes are played more for shock value than dramatic development.  And why the harmless child-like giant guy in one scene?  I mean, why?
Ah well.  Putting all that aside, it's a fine film, beautifully shot, and put together with enthusiasm beating out glib slickness at every turn.  It knows when to show the violence, when to build the tension, and when to only hint at the violence (e.g., a child's toy and shoe bouncing down an empty road – you'll know the scene).  It's the bridge between car-crazy exploitation movies of the early 70's and post-apocalyptic 80's movies like Terminator.  It went on to inspire works as diverse as Watchmen and Saw.  And now it's restored and out on Blu-Ray, and finally worth watching.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Take a few minutes to read through the United States military casualties of war page at Wikipedia.  Then head for the beach.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Continuing this week's theme of too much...

... we bring you The Loaded Warrior.

If you've never seen The Road Warrior, it's just about the same story, compressed into 15 minutes.  Except with bikes and beer instead of hotrods and gasoline.  Meh, close enough.

Friday, May 25, 2012

As seen on the road today...

... over a hoodful of too damn many horsepower:
Some Texans just have style.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

This is what the future looks Like, Part 4

SpaceX Dragon/Falcon makes it to space.

Now we're getting somewhere.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Memphis Dawls at the 'bird last night.

Was fun, and they were a cut above the usual (and excellent) Saturday night show at the tin roof & gravel dance floor venue.
Here's a video of them playing somewhere else so that you can get an idea of their music, and here's their facebook page (if you're into that sort of thing).  They also have a stub page at this url, but it seems more of a placeholder than anything else.
Anyway, got their CD, listening to it now.  Here's Mark Jordan's review of it.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hey, check this out!

First named Atlantic tropical godawful of 2012!  And it's only May!
Buckle your seatbelts people.  It's a long ride 'till October.

NB: tomorrow's the last day for the Thornton Dial exhibit at NOMA

Details here.  If you haven't yet, what're you waiting for?  Unending, gnawing regret?  Because that's all you'll have left after tomorrow.  Get your tail down there and see the damn art, already.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Yeah, it pretty much rocks all 'round.

Really though, I only got it because the back seats fold down so that bikes can fit in the trunk.  No, really.  I mean, if it can't haul bikes as well as the old Saturn wagon could, what good is it?
Another shot:
See that big ol' trunk? Yeah, it'll haul bikes just fine.  Hauls something else too.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

4th Ward Cleaver & BridgeFest

May reminder: the Fourth Ward Cleaver's up.  Too much stuff to list going on in the Bay, just go there and dig around.
One noteworthy item mentioned however is Bridgefest, June 1st–3rd.  This thing just keeps getting bigger, and the music just keeps getting better.  Again, I'm not going to even begin listing the stuff going on, click through and see for yourself.  You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

This is what the future looks like, Part 3.

Following up on some postings from last month, here're some items on Blue Origin at Space dot com, Fox, and again at Space dot com.  It is encouraging.
If this cool stuff keeps on coming, I'm going to have to make up a "what the future looks like" tag.

Monday, May 7, 2012

What'd you say? Couldn't quite make it out.

The BBC has an article on the hearing loss campaign in the UK.  Go.  Read.
Damn right I wore earplugs at the Dick Dale concert a couple of weeks ago.  Stood right up front too, heard every note, and walked away unscathed.  Coincidentally, it was at the same venue (Howlin' Wolf) with another surf rock act (Man or Astro-Man?, yes with a question mark) where I got the Final Warning from my ears a few years ago.  The ringing didn't fade for a week, and once the initial panic of "am I going to live with this forever?" was over, it was clear that earplugs were no longer merely optional items.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Hiking the Tuxachanie Trail

Due to a messed-up wrist (from riding a rigid CX bike for entirely too many miles where a mountain bike would be more appropriate), I've been doing a lot more hiking lately. Specifically, along the Tuxachanie Trail.  Highway 49 to Airey Lake two weeks ago, attempted Airey Lake to the P.O.W. Camp (well, ex-P.O.W. camp; it's a leftover from WWII and only a few concrete items are left).  "Attempted," last week because there were some navigation errors involving unclear trail markings at an intersection with a horse trail.  Anyway, back to this weekend, hiked again from Hwy 49, past Airey Lake, and on to Copeland Spring.
Well, here are the picks of the multitude of digital photos.  Some of them may even have captions.  I'll leave them small, but you can click to embiggen.

Pond near the Hwy 49 trailhead:

Pine lizard on the first big bridge, about a mile in:


A nice stream crossing:

Another pine lizard:

Me, next to Copeland Spring.

Another nice stream crossing.  Lots of little bridges and waffle-block crossings.

Well, that was a fun for three weekends, but it's getting a little too warm for five hour hikes to keep on being fun.  Might start doing it again next fall.  But I'm looking forward to this wrist finishing the healing (better every day, thanks) and getting back on the mountain bike where I belong.


OK, they can quit making super-action superhero movies for a while.  This one's so big, so action packed, so funny, so skirts-over-the-top that there's no way to follow this act.  Anything in a similar vein would be a letdown.
Sure, I'm looking forward to The Dark Knight Rises (or whatever the new Batman movie's called), and a little curious about the Spider-Man reboot, but for general superhero movies studios can just quit for a while.  Avengers is that good.
See it in 3D.