So we went to Dyno Day. Lousy weather that day. We got there late, too. Even so, it was fun. I learned a lot about power and torque. We didn't dyno our Vette, but C5 FRCs are getting about 303-308 rear wheel HP, depending on the weather, the shittiness of the gasoline, the break-in, luck, etc. One guy with a supercharged Z06 was up around 485. We got some ideas for what to do on the Vette first. Met some fellow Vette owners.
Later that day I saw Crouching Tiger. It's a movie. Wire Fu. Subtitled. It was refreshing to see characters onscreen other than weak pathetic whiny 'mericans. The plot was pretty good but weak in a few spots. The Wire Fu scenes were somewhat overdone at times, somewhat badly done at others. Some of the fighting was mezmerizing, some pushed my suspension of disbelief to the breaking point. Whatever, it was a damn fun movie to watch, and the scenery was breathtaking (is that earth??).
What the heck is up with the shitty movie theatres, though? The last two I've been to have just sucked. The seats are cramped and uncomfortable, the sound is weak and only emanates from the very front speakers (not even stereo; pathetic). The "lightbulb" which they light the movie with is waaaay too dark. The screen is small. For a new movie, there was a lot of distortion on the screen. And there's this annoying shaking of the image that doesn't ever go away. It's blurry, too. It just seems pretty K-Mart brand, like I'm not getting my $7 worth (actually, I paid for duo and my somewhat-girlfriend, so I didn't get my $18 worth either). Anyone notice this? Lameness in the strangest places...
Sunday was the Superbowl. It was over after a few minutes, really. As I predicted, the Giants had zero offense. Their one touchdown came on defense. It was 34-7. Ravens. I had predicted 27-16, so the Giants dissappointed me pretty much, but I was closer than virtually everyone I heard from last week. It was a pretty lame game. 21 punts. Halftime show from Hell. The commercials were lacking. The EyeVision was choppy and buggy and not used well and they need to have more cameras and cameras at higher angles.
It was an ugly weekend. So no riding the NX. It's a ploy.
I watched the 2000 Isle of Man TT races. My god. The 500cc GP bikes, 205 mph down the road. Not a track, these are fenced-off roads. With hills. And leaves. Geez, the 4-strokers were leaving the road after every hill. The aerial view was awesome, the bikes looked like bullets going down the straightaway. It was a spectacle.
PuF just updated to VBulletin 2.0. It was rough for a couple of days, but they're slowly fixing all the bugs and problems. There are about 200 new features. It's a dramatic change. Suddenly the old PuF seems so limited. But I won't be able to spend much time there anymore.
I stopped in the UNT bookstore and my old boss Rodney from UD was there. He got promoted to store manager for UNT.
Well, they've done it. They've sent the order to lower the speed limits in Texas by 5-10 mph. In order to reduce air pollution. Shyah.... Right. How brilliant is that? We already have some pitifully low speed limits, now they want to lower them further? I say FUCK THAT. The highway system was conceived as a way to connect municipalities at high speed. The idea was that people would travel at 75-80 mph and no lower. Then good ole Nixon brought us the 55 mph national speed limit. But it wasn't until Carter that they tried to keep the speed limits down for "safety" reasons. Interstate 35 is going to be a 55 at night. RIDICULOUS. It's too bad Texas can't be like Montana: they're able to tell the EPA to go FUCK itself, because they're financially solvent, but Texas needs federal assistance for road maintenance, assistance that we'd lose if we didn't comply with this bullshit. Also, get set for the great new outdoor cooking ban. Cooking steaks on Sunday, a tradition in my family, has been destroyed by the tree-huggin' reds OOPS I mean greens.
On a related note, this morning I got the Stealth up to 120 on I-35. As a matter of fact, while I was going 120 I decided to swerve real quick. And you know what? The car stuck to the road like glue, even with some wetness on the road. It simply moved and moved back without any drama. A Chevy Blazer, travelling at HALF that speed, would have FLIPPED OVER. It was my little way of rebelling against the news (I heard the story on 1080 on the way just before I accelerated).
One night last week I played on the Lo Grav server for hours. It was the best! The old guys who've played there for a year, player_x, uvd, Ghostwalker, and Jaffo were there, as were some of the newer greats like CAVE, Pauth Dibra, etc. It was probably the most fun I've ever had playing UT! Jaffo had a bunch of brand new maps loaded up, and everyone was there to have fun--complimenting great shots, acknowledging good performances, sticking around for hours. It was competitive, to be sure, all of us being accomplished lo grav jockeys. Miraculously, I came in first place on 5 maps in a row. The maps were excellent, too. State of the art. That's what I want UT to be from now on. Something I don't have to practice 6 hours a day, or even play every day. Something I can jump into with nice people who are there to have fun instead of judging and insulting. I guess I'm too busy--I'm done with the clan life, or any thoughts about playing competitively again.
Some players are wrapping up their "careers" in UT. It seems Tribes2 is the expected jumping point for the future for many. Oh, by the way, as an aside, Quake3 Team Arena SUCKS HARD. Anyway, SimplyCosmic was talking about how odd it is that Tribes2 is being looked at as the tranquil rendez-vous spot, even the Promised Land, and how he believes the same problems that afflicted UT will pass to Tribes2 as well. He talked about how at first there will be the honeymoon period where everything's new and everyone's on a level playing field. But after time there will be some who can spend hundreds and hundreds of hours practicing to beat up and insult newbies, there will be the unintended engine exploits discovered, cheats and hacks, and clans fighting over whether launching a thermonuclear device at one's feet is or isn't "cheese". There will be server issues, and torrential lag, framerate problems, and most of all, terrific assholes. There are so many dipshits online these days. What makes us think Tribes2 will be any different? It will continue as long as some people insist on sucking every last bit of fun out of something in order to win at all costs.
But then again, look at our role models. Other lame UT players. NFL and NBA stars. Limp Bisquick. Politicians who'll do anything to be elected (or try to steal an election). I guess it's no wonder...
Some kid set himself on fire today. He was trying to be like his heroes on some MTV show called "Jackass". Uh huh.
And my International Relations class tonight was just chock full of totally baseless opinions developed only moments earlier and yet argued so vehemently you'd think these people were real historians and philosophers and thinkers. Imagine my surprise when I was the only one who knew to whom to attribute the quote "Life is nasty, brutish, and short".
Sometimes I just want to go live on an Extropian commune and leave it all behind. But I'd bring my PC and my motorcycle.
And I'm sorry, I have NO sympathy for the guy describing the way his wife (a two pack a day smoker for nearly 30 years) died at age 46. Poetic justice? Artificial Darwinism? Whatever, I'm sorry man, she did it to herself. She loved her tar more than her family. And fuck, we've known for many decades that inhaling chemical smoke was detrimental to health, so don't blame the tobacco companies for your airtight ear canal and basement-level IQ. Hey, if I split my head open on a fire hydrant while riding my bike at 100 mph, who should I blame? The guy who lied and told me motorcycles were completely safe? The guy who sold me the helmet, or manufactured the helmet, who couldn't design a helmet to protect against an impact 30 times more forceful than it was expected to defend against? The company that made the bike with the vast power we crave? The police for not enforcing the speed limits more forcefully?