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Check this out. I have a 454 now. My tax refund will be around $930. I'm planning on getting a ZX-6R someday. In the meantime... well, I was thinking of buying something for in between. I've figured out a way to possibly pick up a Bandit 600 for under $175 a month including insurance. A Bandit would be a great stepping stone between the 454 and the 6R. It's a great-looking bike with reasonably competent performance. Zero to 100 in 10.7 isn't bad for a stock bike of its ilk. And that zero to 60 time puts it faster than every production car made this year. An 127 mph top speed gives me tons of headroom to play with that I may never use. It'll spank the Corvette hardcore.

It's thought-provoking. Of course, there is also the SV650 which costs $50 less, has V-twin power (more torque, less top-end horsepower), and weighs a whopping 91 pounds less than the Bandit. Decisions...

I made a 92 on my IR exam, which put me in the top 15 percentile in the class. I like that class alot. Mass comm. sucks though.

Looks as if the XFL is already failing after 3 weeks, if ratings and advertisers are any guide. Too bad, the games look like they're getting really good... but I'm not watching.

One thing I did half watch was the Daytona 500. In which Dale Earnhardt lost his life. His son and his driver Michael Waltrip came in 1st and 2nd, Dale Sr. would have been 3rd if not for the wreck on the final lap. He slammed a wall after being bumped from behind.

Now Dale never wore the recommended neck restraint. He'd also had surgery on the upper vertebrae just a year earlier. The injury that killed him was a broken neck. Honestly, the wreck didn't look very severe, particularly compared to one just a few laps earlier which brought out a red flag and affected 19 cars including one which flew through the air and caught on fire.

As I've mentioned here a couple times I think, I have no love for NASCAR. First, I think restrictor plate racing is assinine. I think a race season with no right turns, no shifting, and no braking is pretty boring. I think the regulations mandating how the cars can be set up stifle creativity and competition. And I think the race is too dangerous. This could never happen in Motorola Cup racing. NEVER.

As NASCAR racers go, Dale was my least favorite. I'm much more a Jeff Gordon fan--there's a class act. Dale had caused countless dangerous wrecks in his long career with his particular driving "style". Perhaps he finally received his comeuppance? I feel bad for his friends and fans though.

Saw Stir of Echoes (DVD). It was well done. I expected it to be kind of cerebral and reserved, but it was just a good ghost story.

duo is dragging me into another online league. Fragball is a fun new game (UT engine) where you have to put a ball into the opponent's goal. It's team-based and pretty well done. It's in 2nd beta right now and the league will be up soon so by next week we'll have to start practicing and recruit 1 or 2 other players.

FragPU is the biweekly Friday night event sponsored by PuF. They usually have 3-4 servers. They run interesting things like Last Team Standing, Excessive Overkill, and MultiCTF. I haven't been in a while unfortunately, but duo is becoming a regular. Of course, half the readers of this diary are well aware of what FragPU is.

So now the richest man in the world (Larry Ellison) wants to become the Governor of California.

I saw the Deathray Davies last week. Fun band to watch and listen to live.

Um, trying to find a restaurant in Plano on a Saturday night??? Too many people. Too many cars. Too little space. What a ridiculous experience.

As if the Ford Explorer, Expedition, and Excursion weren't huge, ill-handling, slow, and innefficient enough, get set for the Unimog to make it to the US next year. Pictures here, here, here, and here. Now, if you were thinking you've finally seen the ugliest street legal vehicle in existence, you're not alone. If you were thinking these things looked a little umm utilitarian... you're not alone, but nonetheless, they are "street legal" and will be marketed to the public next year. I was shocked to read about the motors. 124 HP pushing 8000 pounds????

I got a couple of nice responses about the televised executions. Thanks guys. I'll wait to post my opinion on the subject.

I got 2 votes for the Kawasaki, 1 vote for the Yamaha, and 4 votes for the Honda plus a couple write-ins. I must admit, that CBR is an absolutely gorgeous bike, no doubt.

I found the Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the Texas SportBike Association here. They go on regular weekly rides, plan other local rides, and do long trips every year. Looks like a ton of fun. I don't really know many local riders yet, so this would be a good way to get to know some people to ride with. Umm, I need a sportbike though, at least that Bandit. So far, I've only been able to convince one friend to buy a bike. And he's extremely happy with his. Come on! My insurance on the 454 is around $2 a month! The thing will get over 60 miles per gallon! You can pick up a bike for $800! They're very reliable! They're very addicting, liberating, exciting, handy, quick, maneuverable, and fun! Anyways, here are a few selected pics of the sportbike club I hope to join someday soon:

Looks like a whole lot of fun! Finally, look what you can do with stickers: