--SitRep Live. Wow. I felt so priveleged to be able to be there. I learned a hell of a lot. It was so different than the radio version of SitRep (stands for Situation Report, by the way). It was so... live. So urgent. Rather than just sitting there listening while doing other things, it was quite a riveting experience. Jess is just amazing. I'm carefully trying to sort out what it is I heard. I actually could fill this diary post with political things, but I'm trying to leave that alone for a few days. Let's see if I'm successful.
--Motorcycle. Wow. I want one. I went 130 miles per hour (as a passenger) on the Bandit yesterday. Felt EFFORTLESS. The massive behemoth of an engine was YAWNING while it felt like God was reaching His hand down and pushing as hard as He could. This is what pure, unadulturated TORQUE feels like. Got up there (130) in only a few seconds. Could have gone another 30 mph, easy. The wind was unreal though. No problem staying on, but it was really whipping at my back. We were in dual full tuck, sort of. I was wearing John's girlfriend's gear. The Bandit's had a few upgrades (pipe, jet kit, filters, sprocket). It sounds much nicer, more organic and thrilling, and pulls like a FREIGHT TRAIN at every RPM. I mean, good grief, I could not get the grin off my face for about three hours.-----> Even thinking about it now almost makes me giddy. I've GOT to get me one of those things! It's like a little rocket ship, like falling, but horizontally. Twist the grip from a stop, under seven seconds later you're travelling at 100 mph. We did a little riding on the back/country roads, getting some nice lean angles and corner speeds, but he took those pretty tamely considering the extra 165 pounds on the back (that's another thing, this thing was so friggin' overwhelmingly powerful and fast, and it was carrying around an extra person... and he didn't use full throttle because the extra weight at the back makes it kind of wheelie-prone). Hehe, I could probably fill several pages just thinking of things to say about the whole thing. It was almost like being on another planet.
Oh if you want to see what the bike looks like, HERE is a good pic (same color and year, but sans the little bags on the back and with a small carbon fiber exhaust). HERE is a picture of the Bandit doing something that comes very naturally to it. It LIKES to do this. $7000 for the unfaired model and after a full exhaust and Stage III jetting, you've got a machine that can just about out-torque-per-pound an 8.0 liter $80,000 Dodge Viper (not to even mention the horsepower to weight ratio which at that point is already nearly the equal of a Winston Cup NASCAR racecar), and do it in the open air! However, it is NOT a beginner bike. That engine is extremely serious. The line between putting along at 30 and hitting 80 is less than three seconds long. Man, and the Bandit isn't even a sportbike. In the hierarchy of fast bikes, I count about twenty-eight current models that leave the Bandit in the dust in a straight line, let alone the fifty or so which are faster when the road gets curvy.
--If you want to see a truly fast bike, download THIS 3.16 MB video of a Busa. From 0 mph to 155 mph in 9.3 seconds. Ya know, it's one thing to read it in a magazine or talk about it at a party or see it in an mpeg, it's easy to dismiss, "eh, yah it goes fast, big deal, yawn", but when you get out there and experience that you can't get it out of your head. I can sit here and almost still feel it. Anyway, also check out this AMAZING VIDEO of dudes throwing four hundred pound bikes around like they're toys. I was impressed with this one (unlike the last one I posted a week ago which was crapola). The vid quality is excellent, the music is decent in parts, there's some good choreography... it's entertaining and the stunts are head-scratchers. Also check out this absolutely gorgeous Falco: ONE--TWO--THREE--FOUR
--Darryl Kile died yesterday at age 33. He was a major league pitcher, one of the nicest guys in the MLB they say. Just died of natural causes in his sleep. Since Rachel nearly died at our house, I'm more aware of the fact that these things do happen from time to time.
--Carla is going to be in Denton every day for seven days straight next week. In fact, she and my father are getting a room at the Radisson on Saturday night. She's got something called an "Alexander Workshop", probably something to do with singing or acting.
--I gamed again the other night. I got smushed by a car.
--I've identified my three favorite artists on Renderosity (so far--there are thousands, and over four hundred new pictures are posted each day). It's probably no coincidence that none of these use Terragen, or Poser, or Fractal, or ZBrush. In fact, just by chance, they all three use primarily Bryce and liberal amounts of 2-D post-processing. Huh. Take some time to browse through the artist pages for Freeze (115 images), gevidal (73 images), and Cybercrash (100 images). Gorgeous, stunning, thoughtful, innovative. Cybercrash's various series are delicious tours de force which must be ingested in sequence. DON'T underestimate the power of some of Freeze's older, initially simpler-looking creations--they remind me of the kind of penetrating brilliance that Bernard Butler's guitar playing or David Foster Wallace's writing exhibit. And gevidal looks like he's making digital oil paintings of a fictional universe he used to live in and still longs for. Browsing Renderosity sometimes feels like using Napster the way the RIAA objected to--it's hard to believe some of this is stark free!
--We have it good in Texas. Not only do we not have this stupid 'points' game that other states have (where you lose your driver's license for a year after three tickets or something absurdly lame), but they let us have two chances to keep a ticket off the record per year per jurisdiction! You could get six or eight tickets a year, assuming you spread them out over at least four municipalities, and other than having to pay a whole lot of money, your insurance wouldn't know a thing and your license would be in no jeopardy. The downside is that we have exorbitant fines! $250 for not having your stupid seatbelt buckled (and you better have your papers near where you don't have to unbuckle to reach them!). Oh, I have a nice big rant about the seatbelt thing and the 'Nanny State' saved up for one of these days. We also have camera boxes that take your speed and license plate and then wait weeks to send you a ticket (what a great deterrent... err, revenue generator). Of course, one of these days we'll all have On-Board Law Enforcement. The road telling your car how fast it can go. Your car telling you how much fine money you've been assessed (and probably deducting the money from your account on the spot). Yay, the future.
--Now that's a thing. I'm not looking forward to the future. Not in any way. Nothing. I think the future is going to be a terrible place. The country is becoming ever more fascistic, the grasp of government is growing like a malignant tumor, millions of people are being taught that plotting the deaths of Americans is the greatest good that can be accomplished, fun things are being legislated or regulated away, the economy is tanking hard, the citizenry is being dumbed down heavily, the population is exploding, personal responsibility and honesty and thoughtfulness and common sense are disappearing at an alarming rate, technology is being developed to turn people into subjects, many people are WILLING to become subjects if only a marginal amount of safety can be attempted... This country is going to be a nightmare by the time I'm middle-aged.
--Sigh. Well, I've got about two hundred fifty songs recorded from CD to MP3. I actually switched from using the variable 128-256 quality to using the absolute highest pinnacle possible, a flat rate 320 with 48 Khz sampling and several other settings which make the file size larger and the encoding a lengthier process. I figured 'what the hell?'. I've got fifty gigs plus CDs when I get the software, might as well go for the best. The compression is still about 3.3:1 I believe. Exact Audio Copy is some of the best software I've ever used for anything. It reminds me of extremely elegant stuff like the first Clarisworks or rFTP (kind of the opposite of trueSpace or Word or ICQ). That guy could make a lot of money with that program, but it's only postcardware.
--I heard Britney Spears is playing a NASCAR driver in an upcoming movie. What a joke that racing series is. Have you seen Sarah Fisher? She drives in the IRL. She looks like she could play Defensive Back. She could bitch slap Britney Spears with her left pinky. And she still can't handle IRL races very well. As much as I don't like NASCAR, I have to admit a NASCAR race is a grueling ordeal which requires immense strength and endurance. Britney would last about a quarter of a lap at 175 mph in a stock car before her neck just went limp. She's as believable as a racecar driver as the actress who played Sonya in Mortal Kombat was at beating up those chiseled 260 pound fighters.
--Southwest Airlines is doing something new. They're making fat people purchase two seats on their planes. Haha. If you're a huge tub of grotesque lard who the ticket person deems too wide for one seat, you'll have to pay extra for your unwieldy girth. Seems normal-size folks are tired of being pushed out of the way by big old bags of pancake batter. Herb Kelleher, you rock.
--The US Soccer team did indeed lose to Germany. Score was 1-0. Or 'one to neeul' as the Frosted Lucky Charms man says. Whew! Global incident averted. World Cup Soccer has some totally goofy rules. The offsides, out of bounds, overtime, and yellow card rules are about as ghey as ghey can get. Okay, the NHL, NBA, MLB, and NFL all have their own shares of dorky rules.
--Sometimes I think about the episode of Robotech: Macross Saga where Rick Hunter had to take the Valkyrie with the ablative armor out on recon patrol while the Miss Macross pageant was on back on the SDF-1. And I think about my own life in my own time. This is no Robotech life. I'm not flying among the celestial presence. I'm not protecting the planet. I'm not admiring the majesty of open space from a beyond-state-of-the-art piece of woundrous machinery. I'm not a pioneer. This is no Robotech Life.