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July 2006 Archives

July 8, 2006

this post has no title

Now seems like a fine time to recount last weekend, just in time for another.. It was actionpacked, and great fun.

Bowling on Friday with (most of) the usual bowling suspects. I used my dad's vintage bowling ball. The ball itself is super; it's a Brunswick Fireball, and it hasn't been used in something like 50 years. But, it seems I'm not grown-up enough to bowl effectively with it. It weighs 16 pounds, and drilled for my dad's left-handedness. Sinister (as opposed to dextrous), if you will. Actually, bowling right-handed with it, and with the funny grip that required, seemed the least my problems. I simply didn't feel strong enough to heave it around properly. My scores started going up when I switched to a lighter (and right-handed) ball.

England-Portugal and a car-wash on Saturday. Not sure what to say about the futbol game, except that by now Portugal is gearing up for the 3rd place game. I then washed the car (for the first time since early May) at Ian's place. Great spot to wash a car; he might be opening up a shop, so keep your eyes peeled. I'll do the whole treatment this weekend, including stripping off the old wax and doing the clay bar thing, just like last July 4. Look...everyone needs a hobby.

Sat night was another trip to Bluefin in Middleton, for sushi and (Red) sox, with all 2.5 of the Lynches. We made fun of Brett Myers (in ways that I am not going to repeat on the Internet), and (later) the highschool kids who drive minivans to Richardson's to eat ice cream, hit golf balls, and pickup girls.

Sunday was the laziest day of the whole week (and weekend). I drank iced coffee, read the NYer, napped, and basked in the air conditioning and treated myself to dinner at West Side Lounge. It's good to be the king.

Monday I vacuumed the car, and after some other shopping (turbinado sugar, beer...), I headed to a dog-friendly bbq, to meet up with humans Simone and Katie and others, and dogs Rocket J. and Emmett (the latter of whom is moving back to...Kansas? Missouri?). It was a super time, with lots of dog silliness, but was cut short by...

...Having a little send-off for Albert at the Publick House. Such beer! Rogue Imperial Stout on tap. A Belgian (beer) that some guy recommended. Mojo Ale. Racer 5. It was all paradise. A little more crowded than last time, but we started (and ended) later. The (un?)fortunately unused pickup line of the night was "Can you drive stick?"

Tuesday, the Fourth, was time for more bbq, this time at Casa Lynch, along with the Lofgrens, Murphys, and 1 (one) each of a Smith, O'Toole and Mosher. During a brief rain shower, the menfolk stood around on the deck, drinking beer and discussing weighty issues of the day; somewhat in the vein of a scene from King of the Hill, but funnier. THAT was cut short by...

...Jessica's 30th bday/housewarming/4th of July party, at her new manse in Cambridge. The usual bowling/pool-shooting/wine-on-self-spilling/Champagne-swilling suspects were there (along with Misy, the latest cool Dog Owned By Someone Else I've Had The Pleasure Of Meeting), and eventually we (all) sat on the porch watching Prospect Street hum with pre-fireworks excitement, smoking, and telling jokes. As the fireworks rolled around, we lay about in the park along Broadway (between Prospect and Norfolk, if you must know) and saw maybe a half or 2/3 of the fireworks being lit off from down on the river. The rest were hidden behind a building, which was a problem that was starting to afflict that neighborhood when I ived over there a few years ago. Not a bad display, and certainly worth not trekking down to the Mass Ave bridge, and it seemed a fitting symbolic end to the joys of a 4 (!) day weekend. Sure, my Chucks ended up getting quadruple-knotted, which made for some drama when I got home, but...quite a night.

And now, RL Burnside, a mint julep, and the impending sweet, sweet toil of a day of car detailing are lulling me to sleep. The next stage of random rants will have to wait.

Don't mouse-over this.

July 10, 2006

fortuitously, handles of Jim Beam are on sale

So, here's some of what was going down this last week.

I waxed the car yesterday. And it looks awesome, according to both some meathead in gold chains and a SUV, and a couple of 10 year-old-girls. But wouldn't you rather hear about something else?

Tomorrow, Albert's moving to NYC for grad school, about which I will probably always be jealous. At least until I do it too. But he had some AV hardware that he preferred to give away instead of sell on Craig's List. So I'm the new owner of a mammoth Sony TV, and a ReplayTV DVR, as well as a swank portable bbq and a new (to me) MiniDisc recorder.

Oh. And about 150 pieces of vinyl, collected and spun by DJ Albert Dang himself. Hottt Traxx. He offered me a chance to buy his turntables and PA and mixer and coffin...and...and...but I couldn't justify space:usage-frequency ratio, even at the crazy-low price he was asking. So I just stole his wax.

Now, the acquisition of the TV is kind of bittersweet. Picture- and sound-quality-wise, it's a huge improvement from my beloved (and also free, courtesy of my cross-country-moving roommate Robin a few years ago) Zenith System 3, with Computer Space Command. But that wood-grained retro-treasure was built in the late 1970s, and is modern in all respects--except for the appearance, the rounded corners of the screen (think 1950's sci-fi movie radar scope), the need for rabbit-ears, and the mono headphone jack. It has a keypad on the front, concealed behind a door. When that door is closed, the only controls or displays you can see is the green LED channel display.

In other words, it is the very embodiment of minimalism....

The Computer Space Command (we would say "remote control") is powered by a 9 volt battery. It has a "zoom" function, available only from the remote, which increases the magnification of the screen by maybe 10%. Invoking the zoom function on the Space Command results in the "clunk" of some machinery in the back of the TV, a simultaneous dimming of the lights (and probably some blown circuit breakers somewhere up in Ontario), and the unsteady wobbling of the picture as it enlarges. A satisfying pale orange light on the front panel of the console lights up, telling you the zoom function has been enabled (as if the fact that you can't see the tops of the heads of anyone on the screen wasn't enough of a clue). Actually, the orange light is meaningless, unless the door to the control panel on the set is closed. That door has a clear lens with the word "Zoom" silkscreened onto it, in action-packed, forward-leaning, future-seeking italic type. When the door is open, there's just a garishly large orange light. Actually, it's more of a lamp than a light. Bright. Awkward. Large.

In short, I love this old TV because it's more than a TV. But as a TV it's pretty bad. So I've definitely taken a step forward by getting this new one.


What to do about programming? As I have a habit of mentioning, I don't have cable TV. I did when I lived with Robin for those few months (and she had a pretty great TV that she kept for herself), and of course I reveled in the picture quality, programming choices and her TiVo. But that was all hers; it was there when I moved in. And when I moved out a few months later (taking some furniture *she* didn't want to move or sell, in addition to the System 3), I invested in a pair of rabbit ears ($2.99 from Radio Shack), a used VCR ($60) and a fairly good DVD player ($199 on closeout) and called it a day, in terms of building an "entertainment system." I've always preferred to spend my entertainment dollar on computers, music and gasoline.

But rabbit ears on a Replay and 27" TV seems pretty lame even by my standards. And I started thinking that something needed to be done. So I did a little research into what precisely one gets in return for giving up the moral high ground of not having cable TV (and specifically not being a Comcast customer). And I found that speed and The Daily Show are a pretty powerful combo.

The cable guy is coming on Tuesday morning to hook everything up.

What does this mean for you, gentle readers? (There's a strike tag around that funny "s".) It means that you'll no longer hear me remind people that "I'm the only person [they] know who doesn't have cable." it means you'll probably have to deal with me saying something like, "This Gilmore Girls show...are they kidding?" It means you'll probably have *me* telling you what to watch instead of the other way around.

Sounds awesome, doesn't it?

I really can't wait to have the Speed Channel (Rolex Series! World Rally Championship! Star Mazda Series! Touring Car Championship! All Sorts of Races Besides NASCAR and Formula 1! Dare I hope for.....Spec Miata??) ESPN will be useful too, of course, and it'd be sort of fun to watch some Tour de France on OLN (at least the all-accident highlight reels they put together). Of course The Daily Show will be great, and Yo! MTV Raps. (That's still on, right?) But I really feel dirty about having succumbed to the pressures and joined the masses, injecting culture through my eyeballs, one remote-click at a time.

And that's long before I get to investigating the PPV options at the upper end of the channel scale....

Later in the day on Tuesday, I'm going to get my eyes checked. Which is sure to be great, because I'll come home with my pupils all dilated, and not be able to watch Cribs, or Maury, or Xzibit....I'll only be able to take a nap. Not that that's such a bad alternative. But I'll set the Replay to grab the Star Mazda race in Montreal (which happened 2 weeks ago) showing on Speed Tuesday afternoon.

But enough about television.

Last week, for the first time in maybe 3 years, I made a batch of mint juleps. The way I do it is, of course, a bit complex. It involves an alchemical process of basting fresh mint (in this case, sourced in abundance from Lisa's garden) in a powerful syrup of fresh spring water and turbinado sugar.

By basting, I mean soaking, infusing and muddling. And being patient. Because all that infusing takes time.

So I had about 4 cups of syrup, and went in search of bourbon to cut it with. (I know that usually one cuts bourbon with a syrup of some kind, or a mixer, but this is really powerful syrup.) That found, I mixed up a couple of batches (*that* stage is kind of an exercise in unskillfulness; the way I do that part is kind of akin to taking a pour bath in whiskey), and still have 3ish cups of syrup remaining. It keeps forever, but at the rate I'm giving bottles of this mixed elixir away, not to mention enjoying it myself (with hand-cracked ice and a sprig of fresh mint as garnish), it won't be around long.

Those of you with summer birthdays now know what you're getting from me.

July 18, 2006

baile funk

Tim, Doug and I headed to Great Scott to catch Diplo last night. It was hot, sweaty and a complete revelation. Tim wrote a great review that says it all better than I could.


July 20, 2006

I guess it's official

Rapture Ready (and specifically, the discussion boards) is the most disheartening, irritating, frightening, hilarious, hopeless and repulsive stuff I've ever read.

Thanks (?) to Tim for the link. Boing Boing and Harper's have nice summaries.

Praise Jesus and pass the bourbon.

The only good thing to come out of it is the phrase "glory bumps," which I think must've been the name of that movie on Cinemax last night.

July 25, 2006

continuous partial attention

Oh shit. This is me.

Well. How about that.

The Notorious K.I.M.’s Physiologic Positions & Movements For Labor And Birth

Tim has done a genius mashup of Li'l Kim and a pamphlet of exercises for "labor and birth." It's beyond compare.

July 30, 2006

relaxed to a crisp

relaxed to a crisp
Originally uploaded by rotorglow at 30 Jul '06, 11.00pm EDT.

A bunch of us went up to Lake Winnipesaukee for a weekend at Annie's family's sumptuous estate. There was awesome food, dogs, a billion billion stars (at night), and sun. Lots of sun. I spent rather too much time out on a dock collecting rays and breezes this morning before I drove back...also in the sun. So I'm singed in several places.

But I sure am calm.

Separately, the trip up there began in torrential walls of water, with vivid lightnight [wtf?] lightning stabbing all around. I waited for the rain to let up a little, and for the flooding to go down, then picked my way to the interstate. It was rainy and slow well into NH, but soon the sun was shining low, yellow beams under the black clouds but above the distant mountains. It was all misty and damp, and quite a contrast from the biblical rains that came before.

July 31, 2006

heroics = luck + opportunity + skill

Most of you know I'm merely a casual Red Sox fan. I'll root for them unless they're playing my favorite double-A team, the Phillies, but I have to rely on friends for the scoop, the skinny, the lowdown. So, with all that said, I'm pretty lucky to have gone to the Sox game tonight, and watch a slugfest end with another batch of heroics by David Ortiz. And I'm smart enough to know how lucky I am, and that some of you life-long Sox fans are probably cursing an infidel like me.

The tix came to me from a friend at work, and I was second in line. So that I got them at all was pretty lucky. The seats were pretty great--a box, above first base--so that was pretty lucky too, because they could have been standing-room or some-such. The night was perfect--warm, not humid yet--so that was a nice bonus, because it could have been rainy, or sweltering...like the games later this week. There are bigwigs up in the box, talking about Aramark and so on, and I get stung by a yellow jacket on the way up the ramp (I don't remember the last time that happened, and it sucks), but the view and a cold, fresh Heineken (*cough*) help with that. There are hot dogs and more beer.

And things go back and forth. Hits everywhere. The runs are piling up like a co-ed restaurant-league game. The Sox are on the short end of the score as a couple of rallies fizzle. And then in the bottom of the ninth, Sox down by two, with two on and one out, Papi comes up, and it's like everyone expects him to do something amazing. Every time. I've seen it on TV a bunch of times, of course (this past Saturday, most recently), and it's always pretty wild, but when you're there, and everyone's on their feet, it's extra cool. And so what does he do?

He goes deep, of course. For the second time in the game. Game over. Pandemonium.

And even though I'm purely a situational Sox fan, I'm into it too, high-fiving the guys in front, chanting MVP. Watching his post-game chat in front of the dugout. Noticing how nobody wants to leave. And I finally realize what a lot of people already know: that it's easy to get caught up in the moment at Fenway (like the Palestra), and think that heroics happen every day.

About July 2006

This page contains all entries posted to Rotorglow in July 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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