Saturday, January 31, 2009

To the Middlemobile!

The Middleman was a brilliant television series, and it was canceled very prematurely.* If you missed it, shame on you. But you do have an opportunity for redemption; The Middleman is coming to DVD this summer.

* See also Firefly, Wonderfalls, and Pushing Daisies.

Tripods Walking

It appears that a Tripods theatrical adaptation may be in the works. I enjoyed the books as a kid, so I'm interested to see if and how the movie develops.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Half as Much Effort

If I put half as much thought and effort into my job as I do into whatever my current hobby, sport, or other addiction is, I'd be one of the most productive people at the lab. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Have you been waiting impatiently for my latest language rant?   Well, here it is:

I dont understand why people feel the need to use a dollar sign or a series of dollar signs to stand in for the word "money."   The dollar sign has a specific use:  to denote a currency unit.  It does not represent the concept of money in general.  

PR: Thruster

It seems like it's been ages since I posted a PR, but I managed to put up a 169-pound thruster today, 2 more than my previous best. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

100,000 Years

If you thought climate change was something we could reverse in a few years---or a few decades---you were mistaken.  Sorely.


ABC has ordered a pilot for a series reimagining V.  Regular readers will know what question springs to my mind upon hearing this news.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Car Specs

I'm sure no one cares about these specifications, but a recent discovery inspired me to collect the following specifications about the vehicles I've owned. Keep in mind that these numbers are quoted by the factory, so they may not be entirely accurate at the time of manufacture, and they probably were less accurate during my ownership of the car. (All power and torque values are measured at the crankshaft, not the wheels.)

Specifications of the Automobiles I've Owned
Year, Make, and ModelCurb Weight* (lb)Power (BHP)Torque (ft-lbs)Power-Weight Ratio (BHP/ton)Torque-Weight Ratio (ft-lb/ton)
1977 Datsun 280Z2875149163104113
1980 Honda Prelude202072947193
1991 Honda CRX210392898785
2004 Mazda Mazdaspeed MX-5 Miata2530178166141131

I should point out that the Miata is now about 40 pounds heavier (when wearing the stock wheels), because I added a 50-ish-pound rollbar and removed about 10 pounds of material from the car. Additionally the Miata probably puts out something like** 182 horsepower and 170 ft-lb now, since I'm getting about half a PSI more boost due to the larger intercooler.

Anyway, the discovery that prompted this post was the true weight of my old Z. I think, when I went looking for it before, I read the value for the 240Z: 2355 lb. (The 280 is 500 pounds heavier because of the larger engine, beefier bumpers, stronger structure to support the bumpers, thicker carpet, a heavier dashboard, and other, more minor changes.) This means that Mia is not the heaviest car I've ever had, as I previously claimed. That makes me feel better. However, I'll miss the looks people give me when I tell them my Miata is the largest car I've owned.

* Curb weight includes all necessary consumables, such as lubricant, coolant, and fuel.

** To make this calculation, I assumed power to be proportional to oxygen consumed, which should be proportional to intake-air pressure. The total pressure is the boost (about 8 PSI, stock) plus atmospheric pressure (about 14.7 PSI). That's all very rough, as is my assumption of a 0.5-PSI increase in boost.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I'm Selling my Soul on eBay

Up next:  my conscience.

Dodge F430 SRT8 Scuderia? No.

Very interesting news:  Chrysler has sold part of itself to Fiat, and the two companies will be sharing products in both directions.  Just don't expect any Dodge-branded Ferraris anytime soon.

Square and Round

Do you find it ironic that some square numbers are also round?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dogs at Dad's

(I seem to be in a Newton-photo mood, so I'll continue the trend here.)

We spent Christmas and Michaelmas in Atlanta last year.  We stayed at my father's house, and Alan* brought his dog Marley over to play with Newton.  Newton enjoyed the interaction, as was expected.  We don't have any photosvideos, orother photos of them playing this time, but we did get take a couple of good canine photographs.  

Here's a pic of Newton sleeping off a play session on my dad's couch.  Compare it with this one from 2 years earlier.  (Note that you can see photos of Alan and me in the frame in the background.  I'm the one in the little-league-football uniform, aged 8 or 10. 

The second image shows how much of a cuddle pup Marley can be.  He's resting his head in my lap.  (Note Newton sleeping in the background.)

* Alan is my half-brother.  He's tall, blue-eyed, and blond-ish.  What's that about?

He Loves His Auntie Ashley

Apropos of nothing, here's a cute photo of Newton wondering why his Auntie Ashley has stopped petting him.

Whoa. Good Bible.

Alison is visiting her mother fora couple of weeks.  During my fortnight of bachelorhood---between scratching myself and eating over the sink---I'm re-watching Firefly.  The experience is reminding me of just why I love this show so much.  Even the episodes I remember as being my least favorites are teh awesome.

He Thinks He's a Husky

Readers in the area---and those watching pre-inauguration coverage---are aware that it snowed 2.5 or 5 cm today.  Since Newton loves the snow, I was sure to take him for a long walk in it.  Here are a pair of photos documenting our outing.  Nothing makes a "white" dog look dirtier than fresh snow.



31 Days in Office

Given the weather expected in the District tomorrow, let's hope Barack Obama doesn't follow in William Henry Harrison's footsteps.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Here's a word Alison made up some time ago:
Bikeling, noun.  Biking or cycling.

Seasonally Disaffective Attention Deficit Disorder: SDADD

Over the last few days, I've been feeling the urge to start bikeling again.  Clearly, my particular incarnation of Attention Deficit Disorder, the one that drives me to switch hobbies or sports every 6 to 12 months, is not seasonally affective.  I mean, the high was like 25 degrees today, and that's Fahrenheit

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Congratulations, Dr Alison

My lovely and brilliant bride successfully defended her doctoral disertation today.  So I'd like to congratulate Dr Alison on her acheivement.

Friday, January 02, 2009


I learned from Alison tonight that she can actually hear me make The Face.