They’ve made the final 16. And their next game is against UCLA, who they beat in the regular season.
I’m liking their chances. I might even order a shirt.
I love my XKCD shirts, but I haven’t bought a new one recently.
And I’m not buying anything for myself between now and Christmas except essentials, but darn I want this shirt. (2XL. Not that anyone was wondering.)
(“This person has multiple issues.” Story of my life.)
Sorry about the short blogging quasi-hiatus there.
After work on Friday, I drove down to San Antonio for LoneStarCon 3, the 71st World Science Fiction Convention. It was a swell time. I got to hang out with several friends, including Mike the Musicologist, Andrew the Colossus of Roads, RoadRich, and Lawrence, who was doing a land office business in books. (Who says people don’t read any more? I covered the table for him a little bit, and by Ghu the books were flying off the table like snow crab legs at an all you can eat Chinese buffet.)
I haven’t been down to San Antonio for reasons other than medical for years, and hadn’t been on the RiverWalk since LoneStarCon2. I’d forgotten how nice the RiverWalk is, even though the vendors make things a bit crowded. (I don’t remember there being as many sidewalk vendors there last time I was down. But I’m getting old, and memory fades.)
Mike the Musicologist did most of the meal planning. Breakfast for two out of three of the days we were there was in the Marriott Rivercenter, mostly for reasons of timing. However, it is a pretty good buffet; I’d go so far as to say, with the custom omelets and made-to-order waffles, it comes close to being worth $20+tax and tip. Especially since I really didn’t see any breakfast places near the hotels or along the Riverwalk. (McDonalds and Whataburger excepted. There was also a Denny’s across the street from the Rivercenter; but literally the first thing I heard when I got to the hotel was that a mutual acquaintance of ours got food poisoning from the Denny’s bacon.)
The one non-Marriott breakfast was at the Magnolia Pancake Haus on Embassy Oaks, which was packed to the gills. We waited 40 minutes for a table, but the Munchener Apfel Pfannekuchen was worth it. I’d love to go back (and maybe try the wild mushroom hash) but I’d make sure I brought a good book.
(At some point in the near future, I want to do a post on how tablets, and especially the iPad, are transforming the restaurant industry, with Magnolia being one of my examples.)
We also had an excellent meal at Moroccan Bites (I loved the lamb shank and the chicken bites) and a pretty good meal at a place called Charlie Wants a Burger. (I had the pulled pork sandwich. And wings.) Sunday night we went to Fogo de Chao…which, you know, is Fogo de Chao. If you want huge amounts of roasted meat, you know what you’re getting into. For reasons I won’t discuss here (think Tim Cahill’s rule #6, corollary 1), I just had the salad bar. Which is actually a reasonable thing to do at Fogo de Chao (especially since you also get to eat the fried polenta, bananas, and cheese rolls), and I didn’t feel ripped off at $22.50. (I did feel gouged by the $3.25 iced tea. Note to self: water next time.)
(If you think you detected a trend, you may be right: Moroccan Bites and Magnolia have both been on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Guy Fieri may have problems running a place of his own, but as far as recommendations go, he’s batting 100% with me.)
Oddly enough, I bought more t-shirts (three) than I did books (two). Of course, one of those shirts is a gift for my brother. And one of those shirts I don’t actually have yet (they’re shipping it). And one of those books I bought mostly so I could support my friends. (I would have bought more books, but nobody had any Robert Frezza. “The Whistling Pig” was the theme to my last few months at 4LCC.)
I do want to say a few words about the best thing that happened at the convention. I don’t like bragging about famous people I know, mostly because I’m always afraid someone will ask them about me and they’ll say “Dwight who?” (Or, if they’re talking to Gardner Dozois, “That a–hole Dwight?!”)
(If you’ve never met Gardner in person, let’s just say he has a puckish sense of humor.)
But I digress. The best thing that happened at the convention is that one of my closest friends in the world won the Hugo Award for Best Novelette. That put the cap on a pretty swell weekend.
Congrats, again, Pat.
My sister and her family (who I love dearly) gave me this shirt for Christmas.
I was wearing it this afternoon when I went to REI, as I also planned to wear it to the blogmeet as a recognition signal. Anyway, I’m standing in the checkout line at REI, not even thinking about the shirt, when one of the clerks looks at me…
…and says, “Hey! I have that shirt at home!”
Not what I expected at REI, but between that and clerks at B&N who want to discuss how GD dumb the proposed assault weapons ban is, I believe that word is: Winning!
Some folks may have noticed that I haven’t been doing as much bread blogging recently. That’s because I haven’t been baking as much bread; I’ve been a little tied up with some family things. Nothing serious, nothing health related, and things are winding down. But it has distracted me a little from the bread machine. I’m going to try to do another one of Laurence Simon’s recipes this week, but I’m not sure which one.
In other news, I’m trying to get back on my bike. I have a Trek 7500 that I bought several years ago, and which sat idle pretty much the entire time I was going to St. Ed’s. I took it in last week and had it cleaned, lubed, and tuned; now I just have a series of petty annoyances I’m working my way through. (I couldn’t find my water bottles, so I bought replacements. You can’t have too many water bottles, anyway. Then I couldn’t find my bike shoes: I can ride the Trek in my normal sort of half-boot half-sneaker shoes, but it isn’t as efficient. REI had some Shimano SH-MT33L shoes on the clearance rack at an incredibly low price, so I grabbed a pair of those.)
(Side note: I bought my bike at Freewheeling Bicycles. Why? Lawrence bought his there. I’m happy I followed his lead. The total bill to get my bike out of hock last week was about $104. That price included $8 for a rear tube, and another $45 for a rear bike rack. I want to start making grocery store trips on the bike, rather than the car, so I bought the rack and plan to sling some panniers over it at some point. Since I bought the bike there, Freewheeling gave me a 25% discount on labor, so the whole thing ended up being much more reasonable than I expected. Consider this an endorsement of Freewheeling.)
(Side note 2: F–k Sun and Ski Sports, the horse they rode in on, and any horse that looks anything like the horse they rode in on.)
As a geek, one of the things I’ve always wanted to when I was riding was to log and track my rides. I have a cheap-ass bike computer with basic functionality: current and average speed, distance on current ride, odometer, and clock. But I’ve always wanted to be able to overlay my ride log onto a map and see where I’ve ridden, as well as getting elevation data. My feeling is that being able to do that gives me a tangible sense of progress, which gives me more motivation to ride. But those capabilities require GPS.
I’m still looking for work so I can’t (and don’t want to) spend $330 on a Garmin Edge 510 or $479 on a Garmin Edge 810. (“Social network sharing”?) If Garmin, or one of my readers sent me one, I’d certainly use it, but I don’t want anyone to do that (even as a birthday present). That kind of money will buy you a decent to nice Smith & Wesson, depending on what part of the country you’re in and what you’re looking at.
Here’s the thing: I’m smart. S-M-R-T. Smart. And not only am I smart, but! I have a smartphone! That has a GPS built in! And that runs apps! And, yes, there are cycling apps available! The big ones on Android seem to be MapMyRide and Strava, but I’ve also seen people say that MyTracks works quite well for cycling applications. And I already have MyTracks installed. And I already take my cellphone with me when I ride anyway, in case of emergency. Now all I have to do is get it properly rigged and I should have almost everything I need. (The last remaining piece is some cycling shorts with pockets. I’ve blown out the waistband on the one pair I have; whenever I put them on, they slide off my ass. This is not good for cycling purposes, or for staying off the sex offender registry purposes.)
(I got into a discussion with a friend of mine about Android/iPhone cycling apps. My friend’s position is that the dedicated cycling computers like the Garmin Edge line are preferable to using your phone for this purpose. His feeling is that running the GPS on the phone and logging data eats battery power, and your phone may run out of juice before you finish the ride. My feeling is: I’m not a high-speed low-drag road biker. I’m usually not out for more than an hour or two. If I start out with a fully charged battery, I feel like I should be able to run MyTracks for at least two hours without worry. We’ll test this theory once I get everything rigged for silent running. If I was doing the kind of thing he talks about doing, such as riding the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route 12 hours a day for ten weeks, I’d reconsider my position.)
Thinking about this some more, I wonder what the market for higher-end bike and running computers like the Garmins is today. Let’s see: I can pay $330 for the Edge 500. Or I can pay $196 for a HTC EVO V 4G Android phone pre-paid (no contract) from Virgin Mobile, get one of those cycling apps, and have two cameras and cell phone service. Or I could buy a cheap-ass used phone with no carrier off of eBay, run the same apps, do everything using WiFi, and not have to worry about breaking my good phone. All cell phones sold in the US are required to connect you with 911 even if you don’t have a service contract, so you’re covered in the event of a real emergency. And if you have a good cell phone you want to take riding with you, mounting brackets are a dime a dozen. Plus, I understand some newer Android phones support ANT+, so you can get cadence sensors and heart-rate monitors that will work directly with Strava or MapMyRide on your phone. No dedicated computer needed, so, again, what’s the market for that $479 Garmin Edge 810? (You can probably even do “social network sharing” from the phone, if that’s your cup of Gatorade.) Yes, you have to purchase the cadence sensor and heart rate monitor separately, but you also have to purchase those separately with the Edge 810: that $479 price does not include either sensor. If you have an iPhone, ANT+ isn’t directly supported, but Garmin will happily sell you an ANT+ adapter for a mere $50, or $40.73 from Amazon..
If any of my readers have experience with cycling apps like the ones I’ve mentioned (or others: I’m still running an Android phone, but iPhone users are welcome too) please feel free to leave a comment, or drop me an email if you’d prefer. Contact information is in the place where it says “Contact”.
Linoge over at Walls of the City has some nifty t-shirts for sale.
(I have received no compensation for this announcement. I paid for my own damn shirt, thankyouverymuch.)
By way of the great and good Kevin Baker, we have learned that, once again, orders are being taken for Kalashnikitty t-shirts.
Mine has gotten a little frayed around the edges, so I will be ordering a replacement – perhaps two. Maybe even three. Thinking about it, I bet a certain niece of mine would probably like one…
If you’ve got a week off, and you live in a relatively free state, why not schedule a range day?
And if you’re doing that, why not bring the middle nephew:
especially since he got a pair of Say Uncle endorsed active muffs for Christmas?
(I wanted to bring the two older boys, too, but for logistical and other reasons I wasn’t able to make that work.)
So we went out to Best of the West in Liberty Hill. I had not shot there before (though I’d been there once for LaRue’s Range Day). I was actually pretty happy with the range; everyone we dealt with was polite and friendly, and we managed to get an entire 50 yard bay to ourselves. (I only felt like we needed 50 yards, since all I brought with me was .22LR stuff for the novice shooter.)
Sean Sorrentino is doing a third run of Project Gunwalker t-shirts.
This is great news. As a proud owner of one of Sean’s shirts, I’m considering ordering two or three more. Remember, these shirts make great presents for any major holiday: Christmas, Easter, Hanukkah, Ashura, even Armistice Day (though from what Sean says, the shirts may ship a little late for that one).
Edited to add: Now in pink!
Anyway, I was poking around the site this morning (looking at the new MAC-V SOG shirt) and ran across Nick’s Rules on Leadership. I think these are linkworthy. There is a lot of overlap with other entries in the leadership series, but this is the kind of thing that’s good to have in one place, maybe so you can print it out and drop it on someone’s desk.
(I would like to note, for the record, that I do not currently feel any need to print this out and drop it on someone’s desk. I note this because certain someones have mentioned that they read this blog. This is also one of the reasons I do not talk very much about my work life.)
(I would also like to note, for the record, that I haven’t abandoned the leadership series, even if there haven’t been any recent updates. I post stuff when I find it, and when I think it is worth posting.)