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Wind gusts really suck today.

No, I like Diaryland for what they provide, but I definitely don't feel a part of a community here. I have other communities. I've never been in a DL chat room, I don't often seek out new diaries (once in a while).

Spring Break began a couple hours ago. 263 hours off. Work, though.

Crap I like my McJob. Yesterday I had but one trip to make. I took an older couple to their RV park right on Lewisville lake. My gods it was beautiful. I made a point to write down the exits and directions so I could come back out there on my bike. All these great twisty roads, awesome view of the lake, trees everywhere, no traffic... Idyllic! After I dropped them off, I took a little joyride around in the van and stopped by the lake and got out and stood around breathing. Then I meandered around some other roads and got pleasantly lost before heading back. It reminded me of roads we used to have in Ponderosa (outside Houston) when my father and I would be out riding on the Honda Express or Z1. I added it to the text file I have with all the roads I need to travel when I ride. I made about $30 just for driving a nice couple out to a beautiful area in someone else's vehicle, taking a cruise, listening to music (the Pontiac has a CD player!), then coming back and reading a book, watching the news, and watching two episodes of The Simpsons.

Connecticut is passing a new law: you have to be 18 to be a passenger on any two-wheeled vehicle. Uh huh. You can be the "driver" at 15 or 16, but can only ride at 18 or older. Yah, I used to ride at age 3 on the back of my dad's bikes. Taught me about safety gear, holding on, and being a good passenger. About the fondest memories I have from my early years are of riding on the motorcycles and mopeds.

Basketball: Mavericks are ripping it up, 4 in a row at home, average margin of victory: 21 points!! Olajuwon has apparently played his last game. He has some leg problem. I saw one of his last games. And Michael Jordan may be returning to the game at age 38!

I have to set up a message board and chat room for my International Relations class. We have a huge project coming up. 20 page paper to go along with a weeks-long group activity.

Sad day in UT. The Roost, the most famous server in the world, has closed for good. I'm not sure why Rooster shut it down, but it's gone. It was famous for being the home of one of the greatest clans, |C|ondemned, for having extremely active admins, for hosting all kinds of clan games every single evening, for having unbelievably low pings (almost every broadband user in the US pinged ~50-70 to it), and for being the place to find awesome 1337 competition. I was merely slightly above average on The Roost. Although, it was one of those places that was either completely full or completely empty.

I have convinced another person to see about buying a motorcycle. Yah! Take that MSF course, you won't regret it, it's a ton of fun!

Big news stories: the stock market is CRASHING! Ugghh! It's terrible. The whole planet is entering a recession. I woke up today to hear some guy forecasting disaster, saying the Nasdaq Index could fall under 1000 and the Dow to under 6000. That would surely spell ruin for millions of people. That would be catastrophic.

Also, there's a disease called foot and mouth or hoof and mouth disease which affects livestock--so far it's confined to Europe but it's a good bet it will be over here in the US pretty soon. It's extremely contagious. It's harmless to humans, but it could wipe out the beef industry in this country if things get really bad.

An interesting story came out yesterday. Renault Racing, the developer of pneumatic valve actuation, is now developing electronic valve actuation. A computer will control each individual valve. In some of their racing engines, that means a whopping 60 valves at engine speeds up to 20,000 RPMs with quite a few variables thrown in. So what?

Well, Honda is licensing the technology for further development and use in upcoming motorcycle engines! It's like VTEC taken and spread to other variables and then taken far, far ahead of the current VTEC system. Everything could be continuously and infinitely variable and adjustable, leading to extremely clean and extremely flexible and powerful engines with few tradeoffs. Without cams and camshafts, the engine is smaller, lighter, and has alot less rolling resistance and gyroscopic effect. Yah, that's going to rock!

Haha, the RIAA is never getting any more of my money.

I miss my RX-7. Got to get her rolling again. Such a great machine. She has a soul.

Remember when I posted that Falco the other day? Man, that is such a glorious bike! Here, here, here, and here are some good shots. Pay no attention to the dumb bitch sullying the bike.

Funny Aprilia commercial here. An example of an ad that could only be shown in Italy.

60 Minutes is doing a story on lifestyle discrimination, specifically people who've been discriminated against because they ride motorcycles. And they've contacted my message board, Of course, I don't have much to contribute, but a few members may end up on TV. The chance to cast national attention on this issue is something everyone's jumping at. I can think of a few instances of discrimination other than by an employer: landlords who evict residents who acquire bikes and prohibit bike owners from renting, and insurance companies who won't insure someone who rides. Other stories I'm hearing are along the lines of: an employer preventing someone from wearing leathers to work because it "offends other workers"; a guy not being allowed to park his bike in the company parking garage; a neighborhood having rules against owning motorcycles or even riding on the streets; cops ticketing riders just because they've never seen a sportbike and they can hear the engine revving; motels and hotels not allowing any riders to have a room; fast food restaurants not serving riders, gas stations not letting riders get gas, and on and on...

Bike pic of the day is going to be this picturesque scene. We have an F3, F4, R6, and F4i overlooking a town and some body of water.

Reasons a manual is better than an automatic:
�You can use engine braking with a manual transmission, saving your brakes, and possibly saving you if your brakes fail
�You can manifest better fuel economy by shifting into more appropriate gears which gives you the ability to mash the throttle less to accelerate the same amount
�You can launch the car much quicker by revving and dropping the clutch
�When you need to pass or merge, in an automatic you have one choice for quick acceleration--floor the pedal and hope the stupid transmission downshifts enough to get you by; in a manual you have much more delicate control over throttle , gear selection, shift point, how far to bring the revs, whether to clutch up before passing, using intermittent engine braking instead of having to hit the brakes, etc.
�Most automatics won't let you approach redline (where peak power is made on a good engine) no matter how hard you stomp on it; a manual puts the decision in your hands and you can harness the full potential of the engine you payed for when needed/desired
�Many automatics only have three or four gears, many manuals have five or six; more gears gives you more leverage and greater flexibility
�manuals need no power-robbing torque convertors
�Except in the case of the Vette, which has a slick Borg-Warner system, manuals are generally cheaper than automatics
�Manuals allow you to shift into neutral while moving if desired
�Manuals allow you to decide how to short shift or hold out to redline or beyond, you can bust any combination of road speed, engine speed, gear, and throttle position without some damn intervening computer program, and you can skip gears if desired
�Manuals are more fun! Power to the people!