Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Writing Process

I don't know if this makes me a prima donna or not, but I only seem to be able to write coherently when I'm in a certain mood. Otherwise it comes out like a John Kerry interview, all incohernt and wordy. You get a long answer that starts and stops several times but doesn't really say anything. What the heck is wrong with me? It's like I have to have a certain amount of mental limberness that doesn't necessarily have to do with sharpness. I could swear it's all emotional. Anyway, this may explain some of my crappier posts. Nighty night.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Crystal Cathedral Has Cracks

It seems the Schullers, pictured, from the famous Hour of Power broadcast weekly from the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, CA, have a split on their hands.,2933,444085,00.html

The old Schuller has fired the younger Schuller for having a different vision for the future of the ministry. People will have to make a choice. Some will be loyal to one Schuller, some to the other, and some will be torn between the two. Eventually the people in the latter group are going to have to take sides and that's a tough place to be.

One can only hope that the Schuller that initiated the split underwent some honest reflection and prayer before making the decision. I would hope the lines of communication were open. Maybe they were and we just haven't heard about it; I can only guess.

The Schullers pastored a very large congregation together. A split will likely result in two viable churches. Imagine if this sort of thing happened in a small church. It would probably be devastating.

PS: I've always thought the older Schuller looked like Skeletor from He-Man, especially when he wore a robe when preaching. Good thing it didn't have a hood.

NOTE: Edited for clarity and brevity on 10/29. For the record, I love and respect both of the analogous Schullers, not the actual Schullers.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Nothing To Do With Rally Racing

Edited on 10/29. Okay really, there is no possible tie-in to the people I commute with on the highway. I'm reminding myself of Walter in the Big Lewbowski these days. Not everything has to do with bad drivers, Walter. Sometimes chimps riding Segways are just funny.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More Rallying

Here's what I guy who knows what he's doing in professional equipment. He's not screwing around.

The car is an early BMW M3, the famous e30 generation chassis, which is probably my favorite chassis of all time. The only thing wrong is the sound. M3's are high horsepower 4-cylinders; I prefer the luscious sound of the great M20 inline 6-cylinder.

Here's a sample of what the 6-cylinder sounds like. Almost gives me goosebumps.

Could you tell the difference?

Stage Rally Navigation

If you've ever wondered what the navigator in a stage rally does, this video illustrates it pretty well. The footage is from Keith Tanner who owns the famous Flyin' Miata shop in Colorado. Footage is from the Targa Newfoundland stage rally in a non-turbocharged Miata. The roads are pretty narrow. Looks like a blast to me but a bit slow in that particular car. Your typical rally racecar, like a Subuaru WRX would have more than double the power and all-wheel-drive so you can picture how much faster that would be.

Man, I've been jonesing to race lately...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Great Dub

Watch and be amazed.

Monday, October 13, 2008

New Music

Calexico - Two Silver Trees (Carried to Dust CD)

I really dig this CD. Found it just reading a record review a couple weeks ago. There are several other standout songs on the record: Red Blooms, Man Made Lake, The News About William, and House of Valparaiso. I have to admit this video is pretty lame but I don't know how else I can share the song. They really should have stuck to the art and other imagery instead of occasionally cutting to 2 average white guy band members every now and then. It just loses something. Consider minimizing the window while the video plays so you can just hear the music.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My Faith In SNL Has Been Restored

Okay, a couple weeks ago they were making incest jokes about Palin's family. It's pretty hard to come back from that but now they're back in my good graces with this sketch.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Left My Sunglasses in Miami

I really did. This is why I never buy nice watches or sunglasses. If I don't leave them somewhere I destroy them.

Less than 48 hours ago I had my feet in the fine white sand in South Beach, eighty degree dark green Atlantic waters rushing over my hairy florescent midwestern office worker feet. I knew the Atlantic that far south was warm but didn't expect it to be so comfortable in October.

(Not my pic, just a Google hit.)

Ocean Drive runs along South Beach near downtown Miami, FL. It's lined with Art Deco era hotels and restaurants, all with patio dining areas and filled with beautiful people. As the tourists walk past, cute hostesses (and hosts) pounce on them so they'll sit down for a $25 plate of food with 15% suggested gratuity and hopefully lots of drinks from the bar. After a few passes all the way up and down the street I settle in at the News Cafe (check out the live cam), because of a lack of aggressive hostess mugging and the neat candle-lit courtyard with mostly full tables.

Dining by yourself is an exercise in trying not to look/feel weird and I've brought a book along to combat this but there are a lot of people passing thru, it's noisy and dimly lit, so I spend most of my time people-watching. Most everyone is speaking Spanish but I hear some German tourists every now and then along with a few other languages I can't identify with all the background noise. I expected a lot of Spanish speakers to be here but the landscape is almost completely dominated by it. Outside of a few of the employees at my hotel, everyone's first language is Spanish. Their accents are distinctly different from the somewhat lazy sounding Mexican accent we're used to. These people are mostly from Cuba, Central & South America. They also look like European Spaniards for the most part.

I hear the thin, neatly dressed waiter at the next table talking to his customers. He's a wanderer from Las Vegas who has been travelling across the US. He sticks out a bit being white but it's mostly the nearly-knee high black socks, wingtips, shorts, white shirt & tie. He appears to be very professional and I'm guessing he saves up cash working these kinds of jobs which funds the next destination. Timid me did not strike up a conversation but I wonder if he's headed north next or going to follow the southern coast back around. The weather here is way too nice to head to New York until well into spring. I have to admit that I'm a bit jealous at this point. I would love to have wandered the world without obligations or responsibilities before meeting my lovely wife and having children. Don't get me wrong, I'm not unhappy, I just like to explore. Trips like this are great for that. Wish I had another day or two but I couldn't have afforded a couple of nights at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa on my own dime.

Note to Pearl: I walked through the Miami airport with John Legend. Yeah, seriously. I could have struck up a conversation but it would have gone something like: "Thanks for not being overly sucky in an incredibly crappy dumbed-down music genre. Did you get that shirt at the GAP?"

Other Random Notes:
  • The new Honda Accord is a nice driving car. It handles really well and I rode it hard. Don't have much praise for the Dunlop SP 7000 tires though. They're crap. I don't know if I should blame Honda North America or Hertz for those.
  • Downtown Miami is huge. Even huge-r than you'd think. Visit the world's neatest Target store while you're there.
  • Take a lesson from me while Karting at the Miami GP; trail-brake at corner entry or you'll never goet those rental karts to turn-in properly.
  • Don Johnson, David Caruso, and Will Smith were no where to be found despite what I've seen on the TV.
  • Miami traffic is pretty bad but the roads never see frost heave or snow plows so they're liquid smooth. I was so jealous.