Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Final Frontier?

I guess I must be more optimistic than I usually give myself credit for, because I am planning to go see Star Trek sometime during its opening weekend, the weekend of May 8.  I'm holding out hope that this will be the first good Trek film since First Contact.*  Anyway, I don't think Alison is very excited about seeing this flick, so I'm wondering if there are any trekkies** in the readership who might be interested in going with me.

Update:  I just saw that right now, with 15 reviews counted, Star Trek's Tomatometer rating stands at 100% positive.  That's good news. (Meanwhile, Metacritic doesn't have enough reviews to produce a score.)

*  For those of you keeping score at home, this franchise's record stands at something like 4 good, 7 bad, depending on whom you ask. 
** Don't give me any of that trekkie/trekker nonsense.  "Trekkies" sounds less self-serious, so it's the one I use.

Kung Fu Laser Pizzatron 3000

Have a product or service that you need to market?  Well, John Scalzi and company have discovered some terrifyingly effective marketing techniques.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Moved, Sorta

Thanks to Nick, David, Lisa, Ken, Charles, and Ashley---in approximate chronological order---Alison, Newton, and I have now been relocated to the Grondulbarn. Note that I didn't say we're moved in to the 'barn. Most of our belongings are still in boxes, scattered about the house, or stuffed into one of the two rooms that we don't plan to immediately occupy. I probably won't be posting much in the upcoming weeks; I'll be too busy shopping for home furnishings, covering the previous owner's terrible paint, and cutting our grass with my schmancy new manual lawn mower.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I recently surprised Joan a bit by pointing out that I was not a physicist, as she had just implied, since all my degrees are in electrical engineering.  She explained her implication by saying that I was "plausibly a physicist."  I took that as a compliment, since most of the people I work with, including her, are physicists, and not just plausibly.

PR: Angie

A couple of days ago, I set a new personal record for the workout known as Angie: 16 minutes, 59 seconds, about 15 seconds faster than my previous best.  Sadly, I can't attribute this new PR to improved fitness;  it was due to improved tactics.  For the past few iterations of Angie, I've been recordeing the elapsed time after each of the four exercises.  This approach gives me three intermediate times by which to judge---and adjust---my pace.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I recently came across this rather amusing Onion article about a cable channel that I can't seem to find on my guide.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Gronduls Have Their Barn

Alison and I closed on our townhouse today.  That's right;  we're homeowners now.  The structure is in quite good shape, for something built in 1973, but there are a zillion small things that need tweaking, and the previous owner was simultaneously very enthusiastic about painting and terrible at it.  So, I expect that we will be quite busy working on the house for the next several months.  After that, you'll all be invited over for a party.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Autocross, Yet Again

Over the last three weekends, I attended three autocrosses.  Two of those were this past weekend.  Clearly, autocross is an Easter activity, right?

That's a lot of driving around in parking lots.  And even more waiting around in parking lots.  I'm not sure if I'm learning to drive any better, but I am learning which organizations I like to run with;  those are mostly the ones with higher ratios of driving to waiting.

Plus, now that I have competition results, I can join Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development, which will allow me access to all sorts of performance parts. 

Friday, April 10, 2009

Dollhouse Episode 9

Tonight's episode of Dollhouse, "A Spy in the House of Love," was another really strong entry.  It was deliciously creepy, held a couple of good surprises, and offered one really poignant moment.  I suggest you watch it, however you can.

So, let's review. Episodes 6, 8, and 9 were easily the best so far.  Eps 5 and 7 comprise the next tier down.  Eps 1 through 5, the ones Fox ordained would be mostly standalone, were the weakest, though still wholly watchable.  What this means to me is that the series is clearly trending upwards in terms of quality.  Fox would be foolish to cancel it now, in my opinion.  Of course, it's not my turn to run the network this week.

By the way, I can say without revealing any spoilers that I learned a little during the week about an upcoming character and his or her evolution.  On this particular topic, the most eloquent statement I can come up with is, "Squee!  OMG ponies!"

In other Dollhouse news, the first season of the show is now available to pre-order, in DvD or Blu-Ray format, from Amazon.  I've already placed Team Grondul's order.  I'm hoping DVD pre-sales will help convince Fox to order a second season of the series.


Remember the gag* from Airplane! about Jewish athletes?

"Would you like something to read?".

"Do you have anything light?"

"How about this leaflet, 'Famous Jewish Sports Legends?'"

Well, if you enjoyed reading about semitic sports heroes, you may be glad to know that now, finally, you can read about the greatest jewish superheroes of comic-book-land.  

*For the record, as someone with substantial Jewish heritage and more than a little athletic ability, I feel perfectly comfortable with this joke.

Urgent Mission

As a person with three degrees in electrical engineering, I found that the latest xkcd hit home.

Friday, April 03, 2009


Tonights episode of Dollhouse was another good one.  If you missed it, check it out on Hulu.  And let's hope the series gets renewed.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

AutoX Photos

On the off chance that you care, I've updated my recent post about autocross school with a few photos.

Slouching Toward Austin

I'm horrified by the recent vote by the Texas Board of Education to include language in their teaching standards that encourages the teaching of creationism/ID. My "favorite" part of the article I've linked to is the Board Chair's statement that "Someone has to stand up to experts," presumably because experts don't know what they are talking about. I don't think this guy knows what "expert" means.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Google Autopilot

Google has once again raised the bar in online applications.  Their new Autopilot feature will automatically respond to e-mail and even chats, mitigating the communication overload that we all deal with daily.  Those folks at Google are a clever lot.