Thursday, March 29, 2007

Creature from the Desk #7

Today’s Creature from the Desk is again, technically speaking, from above my desk. It’s a plastic insert map of the Green Line from the Chicago Transit Authority’s rapid transit system. It actually snaps into a curved, backlit marquee above the door of each car and is a reference for the riders as to which stop is next, where to transfer, etc.

I’d like to say I was cool enough to have stolen it from an actual train, but I’m not—I would surely have gotten caught. Overriding that, however, was my preordained guilt over the poor woman who, in a panic, gets off the train at the wrong stop in the bad part of town—erroneous in her judgment because she has no map to reference—and is beset upon by railroad marauders who steal her purse and throw her from the platform to her death. Unable to bear such a thing, I bought the sign from the CTA online store a few years back, the $10 cost being far less a burden than my conscience.

When I look at it, I recall fondly walking to the Harlem/Lake stop from my house in Oak Park. I’d make up imaginary stories about the people on the train until I got to Clinton where I got off and hoofed it—or trudged or splashed, as the weather dictated—to the office where I worked; Magnani & Associates Advertising in the old cold storage building at 345 N. Canal—across the river from the bridge that’s always up.

Somedays I'm just a loquacious ramble.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Shitfire Lucky Charms Agent Orange-O-Rama

It's funny what goes through your head when you're stumbling home solo from a rock show while shoveling the Lucky Charms you bought at 7-11 into your mouth. I went to see Agent Orange at the Blank Club...a band I've never been nuts about or anything but I saw them back in the day and thought they did it right. I guess it's telling that though I went to the show, I bailed before they even played a note. They were supposed to be on at midnight and I got a 25 minute walk home from there....and shitfire I'm getting old! That's what I was thinking when I was walking home. Shitfire better get me some Lucky Charms. Shitfire I'm tired. Shitfire I gotta take a shitfire (I know TMI).

I mean I did ride for like five hours today and climbed 6000 feet on the new bike, so that will expend some energy...and I haven't slept worth a crap for the last week, but dammit if I didn't used to be a trooper when it came to shows. Not tonight though.

I justified my early departure by really liking the middle band--The Razorburns (pictured above)--they had these two crazy chicks on guitar and vocals that just railed it. And the openers, a band called Bad Samaritans, seemed pretty good too, though I didn't see much of their set. Both bands just seemed to be having a ton of fun on stage and that counts for alot in my book. I like the fun.

Anyway, about the Lucky Charms...I'm not backing the magic crystal ball marshmallows. I'm a traditionalist.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Creature from the Desk #6

Today's Creature from the Desk is this Dwight Schrute bobblehead. He is on temporary loan from Stacy, so if you want to see him shake his brain thang, you better come by soon because he is likely to disappear without notice. Dwight has his own web log, which is substantially more entertaining than this one.

Rock Lobstah!

Sean and I played hookey for a half hour after lunch and went to Rock Lobster, a two-man shop where they handmake bikes in Santa Cruz. Paul was affixing water bottle bosses to a road frame and Simon was applying decals to a deep root beer-colored mountain bike frame. Sean and I scratched our asses. Our own asses, to be clear.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Creature from the Desk #5

This week's CFD is a special, temporary desk item. Given that I wasn't able to infiltrate Barack Obama's office to shoot what was on his desk when I was in DC last week, I thought I would go big...what you see before you is the BMC SLC01-Pro Machine frameset. It will only be on my desk (file cabinet actually) today as I will be taking it home to build up this evening.
While it lacks the romanticism and Italianess of my beloved (now broken) Pinarello, it is resplendent in high tech construction and Swiss/German engineering. And it weighs 2 pounds. Seriously light unidirectional carbon fiber nanotubular dreaminess.

Friday, March 16, 2007

1993 Buick Estate Wagon Taxi

408,000 miles and seats that melt into the floor. Sweet.

Lil Faith

Lil baby Faith.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Museum of Native American Art 1 of 2

Floating guns...

(Not sure how they qualify as Native American Art, unless the tools of exterminating indigenous peoples are considered artful).

Museum of Native American Art 2/2

Floating bibles. Displayed on the wall opposite of the floating guns. Guns. God. Extermination. A coincidence or just a reflection of the current administration?

Artchitecture in DC

Smithsonian Museum of Native American Art


Even all dressed up and they still won't let me in.

The White House white squirrel

And I thought they were only in Olney.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Runnin' the Train

Navy Yard subway stop, Washington, DC.

So just as the doors closed on this train, three girls ran into my car. And when I say ran, I mean seriously running ran. Like technical shorts and tops and Asics and Nikes and Reeboks and even a heart rate monitor. They were sweating profusely and lauging hysterically...and not so bad to look at, actually.

Anywho, when they sensed my "what the fuck are you three doing" look, one of them kindly explained that they were 'Running the Trains.' Every Tuesday they take the subway to three different stops, get off at each stop and run a loop of approximately 5k. The train rides between each loop is a de facto rest interval. When they're done they run to an ice cream place by their house and chow down.

I told them that is one of the best ideas I have ever heard. And I meant it. And I love the train.

The Capitol Skyline

This luxury palace is my home for the next three days. I'm not really'll do fine. But when a place is subtitled "Capitol Skyline" and it's in Washington, DC, to me, that signifies a view of sorts. And technically you can see bits of the Capitol, but you gotta look hard...and through some smoke stacks and housing projects to glimpse it.

There's an Expedia commercial about this, me thinks.

70 Degrees in DC right now

Flying saucers in DC.

I'm about to take the Metro to dinner. I love the train!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Randomly Good

It was a good drive in with the iPod on shuffle today:

American Analog Set - JR
Karaoke Hits - Just Like Heaven (Cure)
John Vanderslice - Mansion
Echo & The Bunnymen - Bring on the Dancing Horses
The Ramones - Sheena is a Punk Rocker
Liz Phair - Stratford-On-Guy
The Lemonheads - I Don't Wanna
Johnny Cash - When the Man Comes Around
Chad VanGalen - Echo Train
Death Cab for Cutie - Lightness (Live KEXP Bootleg)
Pixies - Here Comes Your Man (Live)
A Tribe Called Quest - I Left My Wallet in El Segundo
The Wedding Present - No

Friday, March 09, 2007

Creature from the Desk #4

This week's CFD is my shaker of Redmond RealSalt. Though I bought this particular jar at New Leaf in Santa Cruz, I discovered real salt in Utah on vacation this year. The natural sea salt is extracted from an ancient, dry salt lake in south central Utah and contains all kinds of crazy nutrients and minerals. The salt is bespeckled with brown and not-quite white grains and is--strange as this may sound--a very tasty salt. I keep it on my desk for fresh produce--celery, cucumbers and tomatoes. And yes, I ocassionally freebase it, taking a shake or two directly on my tounge. I know it's not good for the blood pressure, but if my helmet straps are any indication, I burn off more salt than the average bear on an average day.

Note: Next week's CFD will be from somone else's desk. I'm off to Washington, DC to lobby on Capitol Hill and my aim is to find something interesting in the House or Senate to include. I may sneak in with the Illinois contingent and see what's on Barack Obama's desk. Stay tuned.

M Dot Strange at Cinequest

I shot the clip above at the South First Friday art event that coincided with the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose last Friday. Animator M Dot Strange (aka Micheal Belmont) was the featured artist at Gallery Anno Domini, and the props, sets and apparati from his film We Are The Strange--which was playing at Cinequest as it had at Sundance earlier-- were on display along with the works of a few other artists. M Dot also had his PowerBook hooked up to a video camera and projector and encouraged people to make claymation shorts which all rolled up into the clip above. Using a $40 program called iStop Motion, M Dot would have the volunteer animators pose their creations and then digitized each movement frame-by-frame into the computer. It was quite fun to watch--especially the tipsy people.

I went to the Apple Store on Sunday and picked up iStop Motion. As if I needed another way to waste time!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Creature from the Desk # 3

This is a picture of my corkboard, which is attached to my desk and therefore eligible for inclusion in this feature. On the left is an art tile of two boys in a boat that I bought five or six years ago in Mexico by the whimsical artist Manuel Lepe. On the right is an old photo of my brother (right) and I in the bathtub. I thought it would be fun to get the photo mounted onto a tile of the same size and give them both to my mom. I haven’t quite gotten around to it yet.

Also, some great stuff happening in Downtown San Jose this weekend:

- South First Fridays - Tonight 3/2/07
Open galleries featuring the opening reception for "We Are The Strange" featuring M dot Strange with artwork by Sean Boyles, David Choe, Mitsy Ovalles and DeeJae Paeste at Anno Domini.
- Cinequest Film Festival through March 11th.
Cool flicks and shorts from all over the word, plus Minnie Driver (Herself! Live! In-person!). Screenings at various venues all over downtown.

- North American Handmade Bicycle Show, March 2-4.
Gorgeous handmade bike porn and a bunch of guys in glasses debating optimal head tube angles.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Dogma Done Died

I knew there was something wrong as soon as I landed. And when I say landed, it’s not like I hucked a gap or anything, I’m talking a bunny hop of maybe four inches of vertical. I was smooth too—definitely less impact than hitting a speed bump at 20 mph, which is basically the other option.

But as soon as I touched down there was a funny rubbing noise. Naturally, I thought I knocked a wheel out of true, though even that would be strange considering the lightness of impact and the fact that I landed arrow straight.

Stopping to check it out, there was nothing wrong when I spun the wheel…but every time I started to ride again the rubbing noise would start up…and then that disconcerting wobble kicked in.

Then I noticed the crack. After two years and I’m not sure how many miles, my precious Pinarello Dogma is done. And it makes me sad. My best bike ever…well, road bike anyway.

At least I didn't crash and wasn’t hurt. And at least I could milk it back to the office.

I think it should be covered under warranty. I hope so anyway.