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Archive: june 29, 2008

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liquid tension experiment

Sunday,  06/29/08  11:07 AM

Last Friday night I went to see Liquid Tension Experiment, a prog-rock band consisting of members of Dream Theater and the keyboardist Jordan Rudess, thanks to my friend Bill Smith (who is a prog-rock guru par excellence).  To say they were fantastic would be unworthy; they were out of this world.  I expected it to be great, and it was that much greater.

One of the great things about this concert was the simplicity.  Simple venue (Downey Civic Theater), no opening act, no pyrotechnics, a minimum of light effects.  Just your basic four musicians on stage for two and a half hours, playing their brains out.  Before the show the promoter said he had a theory about the audience, and asked for a show of hands; "how many of you are musicians?"  About 80%.  Excellent musicians playing for other musicians.

Pictures (sorry, cameraphone in the dark):

LTE are: Jordan Rudess, Tony Levin, Mike Portnoy, John Petrucci...

John Petrucci did some amazing guitar soles, whew...

Matched by Jordan Rudess on keyboards (loved that handheld keyboard, BTW)...

A total explosion of sound, how could four guys do that :)...

Thank you, for a wonderful amazing evening!

 

 

quintuple double - joining the 1,000 mile club

Sunday,  06/29/08  11:28 AM

Yesterday I rode in the Grand Tour Double Century, my fifth this year, and have joined the California Triple Crown 1,000 mile club.  Yay, me.  This event was the 50th anniversary of the  original double; 50 years ago a group of century riders at the L.A. Wheelmen Club bet each other they couldn't ride 200 miles in a single day.  I completed it in 11:52 riding time, 13:55 overall, which I'm pretty happy about considering the amount of climbing - 8,300' - and the heat.  (I lost six pounds, clearly didn't drink or eat enough, and am rectifying that at this moment :) 

As usual I rode with my friend Mark Burson; here we are at the fifth checkpoint, 115 miles in, we're smiling because it was a nice day and there was food at this stop...

Ole and Mark - the Grand Tour

This wasn't the easiest double I've ridden - that would be Solvang - but it was the easiest for me; there is still no such thing as an easy double (there is always at least one point during the ride where you question your sanity) but I think I'm gradually getting used to spending that much time riding all at once.  My biggest problem on this ride was food; usually there is stuff at every checkpoint, but for some reason in this ride there really wasn't; well okay, they had bananas and orange slices and such, but how about some sandwiches, some power bars, something with calories?  I resorted to drinking [real] cokes, a source of sugar, but not exactly real food.

Next up - the Death Ride (dum dum dum), which is a mere 129 miles, but features 15,000' of climbing...

 

Sunday,  06/29/08  07:42 PM

Spent another lazy Sunday afternoon messing about in small boats, with Megan and her friend Madison; having discovered the joy of deliberately capsizing (aka swimming in the lake) they determined to perfect this important skill.  Meanwhile I got sunburnt and otherwise had a great time.

It must be said, two consecutive days of not working are somewhat guilt-inducing.  Yes, I am a workaholic.

AARP cardTalk about depressing; guess what arrived in the mail Friday?  A fake AARP card, as a solicitation for me to join AARP and get a real one.  My reaction to this is unexpectedly strong.  Perhaps turning 50 (as I will this December) is not going to be easy.

Big Sur fireHave you been following all the fires in Northern California?  Horrible.  One thing that strikes me, when there's a disaster, they never show a map.  Pictures of the fires and the firemen are all very exciting, but I want to see where it is...

I love this headline, about the Supreme Court's Heller ruling: News Flash: the constitution means what says.  Reading about the dissenting opinions, I'm struck that the court has really moved beyond interpreting laws to making laws.  There really isn't much question about the fundamental issue, given the second amendment.

The London Times: Cheer up, we're winning the war on terror.  "The evidence is now overwhelming that on all fronts, despite inevitable losses from time to time, it is we who are advancing and the enemy who is in retreat."  Ah yes.  But hey, let's leave Iraq anyway, as soon as possible.

Another case of gloom-and-doom denied: Palm's 4th quarter not as bad as you think.  "Palm continued to flaunt its almost inexplicable boost in health in an earnings call yesterday.  Honcho Ed Colligan boasted of a 29 percent gain in smartphone sales year-over-year, largely in part to the stellar performance of the company's budget-priced Centro."  I continue to love mine.  In fact I just discovered yet another cool thing it does, it auto-completes addresses based on information already entered.  If I start typing "Westlake Village" in an address, by the time I type "e" it fills in the rest for me.  Nice.

Qingdao's algae carpetValencia Sailing notes Qingdao's golf course.  Qingdao is the sailing venue for the 2008 Olympics; unfortunately the bay is presently covered with a thick carpet of algae.  It isn't clear whether this is temporary or a serious obstacle to the competition.

Bentley flying spurWhen carbon footprints don't matter: the 2009 Bentley Flying Spur.  A 600hp W12.  I bet when you accelerate you can use the gas gauge instead of the speedometer.  Note that Bentley's chief engineer is Dr. Uli Eichhorn; I don't know if we're related, but I suspect we are...  [ via Instapundit ]

Not sure what to make of Google Media Server, an add-on to Google Desktop which let's you stream movies and music from your computer to "any PnP-compatible device".  Huh.

Brad Feld considers the unintended consequences of hybrid cars.  The thing about hybrid cars is, they’re gas-powered vehicles.  They might be moderately more efficient than Hummers, and they might have electric engines inside, but at the end of the day you put gas in them to run them.  Someday there may be electric cars (go Tesla!) but that day is not here – yet.

Russell Beattie wants to know where are the electric cars?  Indeed.

[ Update: this just in, Arnold is going to help Tesla announce their new "whitestar" sedan tomorrow. ]

Wall-E rocksThe reviews for Wall-E are uniformly positive; CNN calls it a classic.  I can't wait to see it myself.  Weird how Pixar has been able to make one great movie after another, one hit movie after another, while other studies struggle...

Yay!  Eric Raymond is unstealthing...

 

 

 

 
 

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