Sunday, June 30, 2013

...Damn it Jim, I'm a skeleton not a doctor!


...Porsche GT3RS


Saturday, June 29, 2013

...Does not compute!

As I've mentioned, I am a techno-geek.  I love building my own computers, installing operating systems and generally jaunting about geekdom.  It takes a special breed to find enjoyment in doing the things I like, even in this day and age of "simple-tech".  iPhones..iPads..iThis and.iThat. These types of devices work..and work simply.   That leaves few people with the desire or need to customize there computing doohickies.

There are those that jailbreak their iDevices and those that root their Android world domination machines.  There are those that choose not to jump onto the Microsoft or Apple bandwagons by installing Linux on their home PC's.  I'm still a Windows faithful (Technet subscription and all), but still...one can never have too much customization.  I was spurred on by a recent article on lifehacker.com and decided to install a desktop customization tool named Rainmeter on my Windows 8 powered laptop.  This application allows enormous amounts of modifications to the standard Windows interface.  In addition I added an application launching tool named Rocketdock to add a toolbar at the bottom of my desktop to help launch my most used folders.

Searching the interweb for additional skins and icons can help you create your own personalized computing experience.

The finished product:



Tuesday, June 25, 2013

...I have a gif for you!

I can not take credit for them, but I had to share:











...Etch-A-Sketch



...Mightier than the sword?


...and so it goes, boldly!


I've thought about doing this my entire life and discussed it with no one.  Now, fair reader, you will be audience to my confession:  I have always wanted to be a writer.  It's true...really, it is.

I had always chalked it up to flights of fancy, or a vivid and overactive imagination, or perhaps even a burgeoning case of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, but I have for as long as I can remember created entire worlds in my head.  I have many a time become immersed in fantastical scenarios, leaving these realms only when another tangential point is reached.

I've decided to use this space...my blawg... to flex some of this mental muscle.  I had planned on writing a story about a group of banded warriors that undertook an epic journey with the goal of saving all of the world from a dark, malevolent overlord. They would travel through all different types of climates and environs, all the while battling enormous hordes of fiendish creatures. The idea was that one central character, perhaps one additional to keep him company, would forge through these perilous odds to destroy a magical ring that was tainted with evil power. It was going to be a great tome, opaquely enlightening it's readers on the multi-layered nature of humanity. To make it more-so, I would have made them smaller and simpler than the average human to emphasize the duality of a meager existence (both in stature and nature). By the end you would see clearly that the limitations that a lack of size & substance placed on our heroes would in fact be the source of there greatest strength.

It was going to be awesome!  I even thought of a great name; Ring of the Lords.  Having a sound idea fleshed out as a first draft, I then tried copyrighting the project. I was met with ULTIMATE disappointment...





Who is this Tolkien &@$;"-bag??!





Exciting times folks...look forward to my first short story soon!


Monday, June 24, 2013

...Perigee-Syzygy...Hoo ha ha!


Yesterday (June 23rd, 2013), we had what's called a Supermoon appear in our night sky, lighting it up with it's ethereal glow and seemingly thirty (30) percent larger size.  This phenomenon had actually been visible for the preceding few days, but it reached it's zenith on Sunday.

A description taken from a Wikipedia page describing this event "A supermoon is the coincidence of a full moon or a new moon with the closest approach the Moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit, resulting in the largest apparent size of the lunar disk as seen from Earth. "  The full article can be read here: Supermoon

I tried capturing this with my readily available camera equipment with little luck, but my old friend Eddie McKeon managed to capture it in this nicely framed shot (while you can't quite make out the detail of the moon, you can tell that hamsters are running double-time providing extra wattage to light that sucker up):


As an aside, support Eddie and his NJ Road Dogs Bike Team's fight against Multiple Sclerosis here:
NJ Road Dogs Bike Team

If your reading this, then I hope you'll donate some money!



...Artsy Fartsy


I dabble in art.  I use the word "art" loosely and the word "dabble" emphatically!  While I sketch infrequently, I have been working more and more on digital art on my iPad and iPhone, usually tweaking picture's with an assortment of different "apps", such as Snapseed, VSCOcam, Over, Halftone and Phoster.

A few samples of this hobby:















Now if I could just get better at taking pictures of people...

...Tis a Salty Pig



I went to The Salted Pig in Riverside, CA recently with my wife, brother-in-law & his girlfriend.  This restaurant describes itself as a "gastropub" and given it's eclectic fare, certainly does fit that bill.

Website:
The Salted Pig


Some pictures of our Smörgåsbord:


Mac 'n Cheese made with Gouda:


Pig 'n Fig Flatbread:


Roasted Bone Marrow (Hmm...interestingly, the menu didn't say what animal this comes from. ...and we neglected to ask):


The M.S.G. Burger w/ Fried Egg:


Their current menu:


My impression was favorable.  I only tried my hamburger with the rest of our party enjoying the other items, however I've decided to definitely return and try some of the other more "non-standard" menu items. 

My reason for getting the hamburger was to run them through my standard pressure test.  If they can prepare a hamburger to my satisfaction, then they've earned my trust for items that are not part of my staple diet.  As it was, the hamburger was offered as medium-rare.  They accommodated me quite well with a sandwich that was prepared effectively at medium (I prefer the cows have stopped mooing prior to my ingesting them).  Every food item is made completely "in-house" and the end product definitely tastes like it.  The meat patty was well seasoned and juicy.  The bun had a rustic bent and the slab of bacon was thick cut and sumptous, but not crispy (as I prefer my bacon). 

The Arugula salad was far better than I expected  Bonus Trivia.. What movie am I quoting?:

"Arugula. I haven't had arugula in six weeks.
 What's that?
 It's a veg-a-tabul."

..back to the salad...  vegetables were crisp and clean with a nice, light, vinagrette.  It even had some bonus strawberries at the bottom.  These people know how to get to my heart.....straight into the Oral Cavity, down the Esophagus and into the Stomach where the chemical reactions create heat which radiates through my torso to warm my cardiac muscle.

To cool it down I drank some Black Market Brewing Compnay 1945 Berliner Weisse. A nice pale ale with a satisfying combination of sweet and sour AND a cider-like finish.  Low in alcohol content, so it could have been imbibed with impunity, but I had only the one due to a prior engagement.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

...I did not eat them


...Ode to Tony Soprano


Not an Ode, per se...and adapted from the strophe of a classic, but given his incomplete life, apropos.

There was a time when Meadow, Anthony, and Carm,
The shore and swampy night,
To me did no harm
Bathed in neon light,
The grind and fight for my father's dream.
It is not now as it has been before;
Turn wherever I may,
By dreary night or brightest day,
The things which I've been I now can be no more.


Rest in Peace, James Joseph Gandolfini.





Wednesday, June 19, 2013

...where are you, Mitch Rapp?


Why am I discussing so much death?  Perhaps because it is a part of life?

I just read that Vince Flynn, the author of my favorite series of books has passed away after a two year long battle with Prostate Cancer.   He was 47.

His Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vince_Flynn

Vince's work was a compelling story about a very special counter-terrorism agent for the United States that exacted revenge for crimes committed against the Empire and protected it from burgeoning threats.  The name's Mitch Rapp.

His Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitch_Rapp

Do yourself a favor and read these books.



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

...Fifty Dolla Bill!!! ..No! ...It's a Booty Trap, you idiot!


Speaking of The Goonies:


...An Englishman in New York.



As a fan of Formula One racing and a native New Jersian, I absolutely cannot wait for the upcoming Grand Prix in New Jersey & New York.  This video of David Coulthard blasting through Weehawken and the Lincoln Tunnel definitely got the soul stirred up.  Hopefully this gets done for the 2014 schedule!





...and a great video about the history of Red Bull Racing's Formula One effort:




...Entertain me, silly monkey!

Movie buff?  So am I.  I've got a sickness, though.  I can and do watch movies multiple times.  To this day, if I'm flipping through the cornucopia of channels available via DirecTV and see The Goonies or La Bamba on...well, let's just say mowing the lawn can be done later.

In this day & age of sooper-high-speed Internet access, we can take advantage of so many different streaming movie services.  Netflix, Hulu, Crackle...even Amazon provide a wealth of programming for us to reminisce to.  In addition, with the advent of the Home Server, we can store all of our favorites to be perused on a whim.  I've got one of these doodads and combined with a networked media player (I use a Roku XD) can watch its content on any TV I attach to.

I've also added a neat little piece of software (named Plex Media Server) that allows me to watch my servers content on my iPhone or iPad anywhere that I have Internet access.  

Reasonably easy to setup:



Pass the popcorn! 

...What dost thou carry in thine pocket?

I oft think about what I would do in an emergency situation and I needed some tools.  Like what if the folding table in the lunchroom at work's leg fell off and I REALLY needed to sit to scarf down my Habanero Bacon Ranch Quarter Pounder?

.45 ACP, a couple of screwdrivers, a flashlight and some keys.  Yup.. I'm ready for the forthcoming Zombie Apocalypse.


...Lefturn




As some of my friends may know, I am an avid motor sports fan.  Over the recent few years this has been dominated by an obsession with Formula One (F1) racing, however I continue to follow NASCAR and Indy Car racing as well.  On occasion I'll tune in to different types of motorcycle racing as well, especially during the running of the Isle of Man TT, which just passed.

Speaking of passing, my thoughts go out to the family of former NASCAR driver Jason Leffler who lost his life during a Sprint race in my native New Jersey.  It's another stark reminder of the dangers involved in this sport. Sad story, and one that happens from time to time in the Big Show to remind us of our mortality.   That it happened around the time of Father's Day makes it more so.  It will undoubtedly always sting just that much more for his son.


Auto Racing is filled with these tragic stories, but that seems to be part of the lore.  It creates legends.  It makes even unknown drivers into tragic heroes and favorite sons into demigods.  Was it really 2001 when "The Intimidator" (Ralph Dale Earnhardt, Sr.) perished while blocking for his son. 



Has it really been 19 years since the greatest Grand Prix driver of all time, Mr. Monaco...Ayrton Senna da Silva left us while dominating the race at Imola.  (Note:  the picture below is from his days with McLaren.  I refuse to honor the Williams Racing Team, for whom he was driving when the steering column on his car broke at racing speed).


Time flies faster than the vehicles these people hurl down the track at meteoric speeds.  Modern day gladiators battling forces unseen and indomitable.  A battle that one cannot truly win, if but for a moment.  ...but then perhaps that is the reason why we reach.  For that fleeting moment. 



Go Vettel!! 




Monday, June 17, 2013

...Cobra Commander


I happened upon this rather entertaining video of a Snake Charmer peddling his wares somewhere in India.  I've always been entertained by this profession.  Is it a profession?  Can it be called as such?


I would think it to be more of a calling.  An ethos. Perhaps the Id of a man. You don't do this for fame or fortune.  You do this because you love to watch drunk cobras fall out of their baskets trying to keep up with your ministrations:
 

This might involve copious amounts of Butter Beer.

First Cluck....


I've been beating around the bush, thinking about what this blog was actually intended to portray.  Political opinions? Sports commentary?  Mad ravings of a nigh sociopath?

In the end, it will most likely be a combination of all those, but more so, it is to be an outlet.  A place for me (and you) to just talk.  Vent that steam that builds up under the pressure of the daily grind.  

There will be pictures...and videos...and a whole lot of ranting.  ... But I promise you this: you will be entertained.  We'll include discussions about most of my interests; cars, technology, sports and men's issues (there seems to be a dearth of these types of discussions in the blogosphere).

My hope is that we'll add regular contributors at some point, but for now my insanity will have to suffice.

If you have something to say or commentary about what I have to say, feel free to join in the diatribe.  Just remember, at any moment I reserve the right to release the Kraken:


We call her Cuddle Muffin.  She likes to take down Pit Bulls and Rottweilers.