Monthly Archives: September 2005

Nike Sucks Ass

I threw away a pair of sneakers tonight. My trusty old Reeboks, which have served me well for these past four years, finally fell apart during tonight’s walk. The outer sole peeled away from the soft midsole, which in turn detached from the upper. They’ve been falling apart for almost a year now, ever since that DMX cushion crap in the midsole popped and the shoes started squeaking like a doggie toy with every step I took. They weren’t particularly snazzy shoes, sort of dark green and gray with orange piping, but they were damn comfy. And they took a beating for years. Adios, mis zapatos fieles.

Which brings me to those crap ass Nikes. I will never purchase a pair of Nikes again. Walking home wih my shoes flapping about wildly, I got to thinking about how many pairs of shoes have failed me, and they were nearly all Nikes. It started with several pairs of football cleats, which invariably blew apart towards the end of a single season. I originally put these failures down to the stress of daily football practice during rainy season on Guam, but now I am not so sure. I’ve had pair after pair of Nikes fall apart on me; hell, I got two busted pairs in my closet right now. Boots, running shoes, cross trainers, a couple pairs of sandals, those cleats I mentioned, hiking shoes and water slippers, they’ve all fallen apart on me during crucial moments. I can honestly recall Nike footwear crumbling away during four seperate hikes down to Tarzan Falls.

I understand shoes fall apart, my problem with Nike is that their shoes fall apart without any warning, during the worst possible times. Those Reeboks gradually failed over the course of months. When I put them on tonight I thought it might be the last time I would ever wear them, and I was right. Without fail, every pair of Nikes that disintegrated under my footsteps did so without any warning signs. Right when I get to the furthest point in a hike, the Nikes inevitably fail, leaving me to walk back to my car barefoot. That’s why I’ll never buy another pair of Nikes. Time to try another brand, maybe some more Reeboks, New Balance or Adidas. But not Nikes.

All Systems Go!

Well, it took a couples days of downloading updates, new versions and patches, but I am typing this from my venerable beige PowerMac G3, running Mac OS X 10.2.8 Jaguar. And it is good. Very good. Frankly I am surprised. I always heard stories about how OS X was dog slow on G3 computers, but it seems perfectly acceptable to me. I’ve got over five applications running right now, Firefox, Nvu, Mariner Write and Mariner Calc, Sherlock (remember Sherlock? Apple doesn’t) and two terminal windows open, one running Folding@Home and the other Python. And things are running just fine. Now slowdowns, no problems redrawing the screen, nothing. Not bad for a 300 MHz, seven year old computer.

Obsolete indeed – I’d like to see an old Pentium II run XP adequately, along with a heavy load of applications. Hell, I got an old Pentium II sitting in my hallway, gathering dust. It was running BeOS Release 5 last year, until it gave up the ghost and refused to be resurrected after a power outage. And while it ran BeOS adequately, it was nowhere near as responsive as this G3 is under Jaguar.

Okay, enough geek love for tonight. I need to go take a walk and get some fresh air. Just thought I would share. Now it’s off into the night.
Check out the big brain on Brad

Gasoline Tops $3 A Gallon

Well, it happened overnight. Shell raised the price for a gallon of gasoline to $3.03 last night. I doubt it will ever retreat to something reasonable again.

This new high has prompted a personal experiment for the month of October. Taking a nod from Thirty Days, I will explore alternative methods of transportation for one month. Mostly that means I’m gonna buy a month pass for the bus and see how it goes. Guam Mass Transit has it’s problems, but I’m willing to try it for a month and see what happens.

Hell, if I keep losing weight, I might just start biking into work again. That would be excellent, but I doubt I can pull that one off just yet.

Found Around The Internets

Found a couple interesting links floating around out there:

  • Tolkien and Lewis scrapped over religion – The two authors were great friends and colleagues at Oxford, but a new documentary reveals that the two fought repeatedly about religion and argued about the merits of their respective work.
  • Tom Robbins bitches about the 60’s – A short essay by 60’s author Tom Robbins in Hightimes. Yeah, Hightimes. Dude! What was I saying? Oh man, I totally lost it. Dude, where’s the Cheez-Its?
  • Pablo Neruda’s Nobel lecture from 1971 – Okay, let’s get serious for moment. This is a fascinating lecture on creativity and the role of the poet. Neruda received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971, he takes this quote from Rimbaud as the essence of his speech: “In the dawn, armed with a burning patience, we shall enter the splendid Cities.”
  • SF Chronicle report on Pat Tillman’s death – The article paints a complex portrait of the former NFL star and his tragic death by friendly fire in Afghanistan. He was certainly more than a gung-ho patriot jock, and his memory shames the chicken hawks running this country.

The Day Of The Dolphin?

Well, this is a weird little piece of news: Seems a cadre of commando dolphins, trained by the Navy for counter-terrorist activities, were set loose by hurricane Katrina. And they might be packing dart guns, designed to stun divers attempting to sabotage ships. Great, now we’re arming cetaceans and teaching them to attack people in the water.

Didn’t I see a movie about this once? And didn’t that end badly?

Crossing The Rubicon

Mac OS XMade the jump from Mac OS 9.1 to OS X on my Beige Power Mac G3 last night. It was fairly smooth, but it took a little longer than I expected. First hangup was discovering that OS X wouldn’t install on the G3 unless the first partition on the IDE drive was less than 8 gigabytes. After a repartition of the hard drive (so long data, it’s been swell), I got OS X 10.1 to install with no problem, just took a couple hours. The performance is certainly acceptable, I would describe it as ‘stately’ – certainly acceptable for a machine I bought in 1998.

I left it running the Jaguar upgrade this morning, so hopefully I will have Mac OS X 10.2 when I get home this evening. I was a little disappointed to discover that Panther is not supported on the Beige G3, but I think Jaguar will be acceptable for my modest needs. I got the latest copies of Mozilla and Firefox pulled down this morning, so adios Internet Explorer.

Supposedly Patchburn will allow the G3 to burn CD’s under Jaguar, and XPostFacto is a hack to allow the G3 to run Panther, but I am a little hesitant to go plugging hacks onto the machine. I think Jaguar will work fine on the G3, since I don’t really need to be bleeding edge with that box. I’ve got other Macs that take up the slack. I just wanted to get something a bit more modern running on the G3.

Music At Laumeier

Last month I spent a lot of time walking around either the Powder Valley Conservation Center or Laumeier Sculpture Park. Both are great little locales, tucked away in the southwest corner of St. Louis. Laumeier particularly is one of my favorite places in St. Louis. Back in the day I wasted many a day wandering around the park, grooving on the sculptures tucked away in the woods.

This weekend Laumeier is playing host to a music festival. Looks good, Indigo Girls, James Brown, B.B. King and others are featured. Cool, wish I was there.

Power Outage Explained

So a faulty breaker in Agaña caused last night’s power outage. At least the power was on in Yoña when I got home around ten o’clock.

In other Yoña related news, GWA crews tore open a big hole in the fresh asphalt along Route 4 today, trying to repair a busted water main. I guess we got a brand new nasty-ass pothole to avoid on Guam’s highways now, because one thing GWA does not do is repair their damage to Guam’s roads.

Test Textile

_Emphasis_ *Strong* and the ever popular “hyperlinked text”:http://www.netpci.com/~tstroh/other.html among other abilities.

Well, it looks like “Textile”:http://www.textism.com/tools/textile/ is working. That was painless.

fabprefab – modernist prefab dwellings

The BlueskyMod Cabin

So I stumbled on some interesting links this week, all about prefab buildings, and the current popularity of modernist designs. I have to admit, I am a sucker for modern architecture. And these prefabs are not your average trailer park material. The are designed by prominent architects, and are available in a variety of shapes and sizes.

The picture above is a prefab cabin marketed by BlueskyMod. Here’s a longer story about the company and its plans for prefab housing.

For the truly adventurous, I also dug up a variety of sites offering plans and prefab kits for geodesic dome homes, including this one from American Ingenuity that offers concrete geodesics. Very interesting, and not nearly as crazy as I used to think. And they look so damn cool…

iMac Woes

I haven’t made much noise about it, but I went on a bender at Christmas, purchasing a couple Apple computers and an iPod. I’m writing this on my iBook G4, an excellent laptop that is quickly becoming indispensable to me. But I went a little crazy when I saw those beautiful iMac G5’s at the Apple Store in West County Shopping Mall at Christmas. It was easy to convince myself I need one; since my Dell PC was dead and my aging PowerMac G3 was on it’s last legs, I needed a new desktop computer. Why not go a little crazy and actually buy a new, worry free computer instead of my usual route of eBay castoffs and obsolete models. So I drank the Kool-Aid and bought a 20′ iMac G5.

Well, I started hearing rumors about how the iMac’s were prone to problems, overheating and bad power supplies being the most common. Sour grapes I thought. On Tuesday I was watching a bit of Quicktime video (no, not porno – the entire NOVA special The Elegant Universe is available online) when the iMac just switched itself off. Whump – game over man. Every attempt to turn it back on since then has been met with failure. It comes on for a couple seconds, starts the familar Apple ‘bong’ startup chord, then it stops. Tried Apple tech support chat, and it looks like I need a new midplane (logic board) or maybe a power supply.

You know, I just realized I never posted this story about the iMac G5. Well, the short story is – I got it working again, though it took several months. It was the power supply, and it only took about three days to fix. Regrettably I waited from April until August to get the computer repaired. Thankfully it was still under warrranty. In fact, just about the time I took it into the Apple Store in St. Louis, I got an email announcing the extension of the warranty program for the iMac G5 because of problems with the power supplies.

Why did I wait so long to get this computer, my pride and joy, repaired? Because I wasn’t about to pay to FedEx the computer back to the States for repairs. I checked it as luggage when I went back in August for a family wedding. So let this be a lesson to Guamanians that want a Macintosh; be prepared for troubles when the machine breaks.

Power’s Out

Hey hey hey! It’s Friday night and the power’s out all over the island! There’s something new!

I’m holed up at the office – don’t see much reason in going home to a dark hole in the wall to sit around by candlelight. At least here I got air conditioning, lights, and internet. Gotta love those big-ass backup generators.

Hey Jimbo, sit tight and enjoy your stockpile of homebrewed beer. Little miss Rita will mess things up in Houston, but I am sure you’ll be fine. You’ve weathered worse buddy. Paka was pretty damn bad, it’s just that there’s so much more shit to fuck up in the mainland when a storm comes ashore.