“No, no, information really does want to be free.

“Just like shoes want to be rich, fences want to be happy, clouds want to be famous, and pencils just want to be loved uncritically.”

— Bill Snyder

Ride report


I put 150 miles on my new motorcycle today. No pictures, yet, because I was too busy improving my skills.

Kind of embarrassing, really. I made it through the MSF Basic RiderCourse with no problems, and a bunch of test rides on different bikes, but when I rode out into traffic on my own bike, I stalled it at least a dozen times trying to get into first gear. That’s why yesterday’s ride primarily took place in a parking lot down the street.

Today was fine, though. Drove around the neighborhood for a few minutes to convince myself that I was past that little shifting problem, then headed up to BMW of Santa Cruz County in Watsonville, to pick up a Wunderlicht rear-seat bag. The F650CS comes with a decent-sized tank bag, but I wanted a little more storage while I figure out what sort of hard luggage I’m going to install (BMW has a top case, but it’s been delayed; Riderhaus has a very sturdy-looking mount for Krauser side and top cases, but they’re ugly; Happy Trails seems to be the best of the bunch, with a custom mount for Givi side and top cases).

Next stop, the Borders in Seaside, which was an uneventful trip down Highway 1. Picked up the obligatory copy of the Return of the King DVD, then decided to find out if I was up for something a bit more twisty, Carmel Valley Road. Early on, some clown in a pickup truck decided that the van ahead of me was moving too darn slow, so he passed us both on a double yellow. Never saw him again, and the van turned off soon, so I pretty much had the road to myself. I went a little wide on one turn, the sure sign of a novice rider, but it wasn’t until about a minute later that a Miata came zooming along in the other direction, so I got the lesson without the adrenalin or the damage.

Around 3pm, the wind really picked up, so I decided to cut over to 101 at Greenfield. Same wind, and faster traffic, but on a road that I know well, with no surprises. Besides, it gave me an excuse to see how fast I could go without exceeding the 5000rpm limit recommended for the break-in period. The bike claimed 80mph, but my GPS insisted I was only going 75. Top speed is supposed to be in the 110 range, but I think I’ll wait a bit to test that.

Tomorrow? Well, I sort of took half the week as vacation, so I can do whatever I want. There’s an MSF course layout painted on a parking lot down at the rodeo grounds, so I’ll stop there for some quick-stop and tight turn practice, and then I think Point Lobos would make a nice backdrop for pictures of the bike.

Oh, yeah; my throttle hand is cramped, my butt is sore, my left calf is hurting from the effort of keeping the bike upright when I tried to walk it through a tight u-turn on a dead-end street at the top of a hill (novice, remember?), and I really need to pack the earplugs next time, but I can fill the gas tank for less than $9, and I had fun. Guess there was something to that dream after all.

Movies that suck, continued


There’s a new teaser trailer for Constantine, the extremely loose adaptation of Hellblazer that stars Keanu Reeves as an American occult investigator in Atlanta. Who carries some kind of gold cross-shaped shotgun-thingy with a rotary magazine, that he occasionally lights with an eldritch Zippo.

I’m going by the teaser here, because I refuse to have anything to do with this turkey. It’s not a question of “will it suck?”, but “precisely how much will it suck?”. Based on the sub-Keanu-grade acting in the teaser, I think it’s going to be the worst comic-book movie yet. And it may hold the title for several years.

So, it's just about the freebies, then?


You know, I’d be a lot more comfortable with people who argue for the legality and ethical purity of sharing your CDs with thousands of anonymous strangers, if they didn’t also think it was cool to scam free copies at Kinko’s. Guess that EFF gig doesn’t pay much…

You really can't make this stuff up...


Spanky The Clown arrested for kiddie porn.

You just can't make this stuff up...


I present to you Organic homeopathic personal lubricant (menopause formula). I’m guessing that the less you use, the more effective it is, or something like that.

Grimjack returns!


So I was randomly googling for a quote from a twenty-year-old comic book (easier than digging through a pile of boxes to find it…), and I discovered that Grimjack is no longer tied up in red tape. Great news, and I hope to see a series of graphic novels soon. I’m not a big fan of the later “GrimJim” stories, but the early stuff was gold.

grimjack

Oh, the quote? Approximately, it was “the laws of physics are powerful motherfuckers; always got to have them on yo’ side”. It’s from the Night of the Killer Bunnies story, if I recall correctly.

Career burnout in 5... 4... 3...


“The Rock” is set to star in Spy Hunter, a movie based on the classic arcade game, possibly directed by John Woo.

You don't get what?


On the fuel efficiency of hybrids:

Hermance said drivers who slowly roll through intersections using "California stops" are decreasing their mileage. "If you don't stop, you don't get the free energy of regenerative braking."

Apparently those hybrid engines are more advanced than I realized. Somehow the energy stored by the regenerative braking system exceeds the energy that the moving vehicle had, by enough of a margin to improve its mileage.

The next paragraph attempts to explain this unusual (thermo)dynamic, but ends up making it sound like the car is just poorly designed.

“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”