adrian is rad

3/31/2009

this morning’s timeline

Filed under: — adrian @ 10:10 am

I’m sharing this because I find it to be ridiculous.

6:00am: Alarm goes off[1]. Wake up. Think that I don’t need to be up until 8am. Go back to sleep.

6:07am: Wake up, realize the mistake I’d made. Re-set my alarm for 6:10am instead. Go back to sleep.

6:10am: Wake up, set my alarm for 6:22am because I didn’t want to get up yet. Go back to sleep.

6:22am: Wake up; get up.

[1] I wake up early on Tuesdays, because of my radio show.

3/30/2009

the mythical expanse of the karoo

Filed under: — adrian @ 9:07 pm

I’ve been reading the Africa is a Country blog recently. Honestly, it’s too frequently updated to really read most of it and some of the stuff is not particularly engaging, but there have been some interesting things on there as well.

The most recent thing of interest is this Guardian travelog across the Karoo, a pretty sparsely inhabited dry region of South Africa. Having heard descriptions from family friends and a book I read once, I’d already wanted to go there, but the article’s description is even more alluring:

We pulled up beside the church and the owner of the Die Rooi Granaat cafe, a smiling matronly Afrikaner, looked astonished that we might want food, but quickly prepared a delicious lunch of boerewors, literally “farm sausage”, and pumpkin cakes topped with brown sugar. Children circled the church on bright yellow bicycles. Loxton had almost died out before people in search of solitude turned up and remade it, apparently casting off the stresses that trouble other parts of the country. It was lovely.

We headed north to Carnavon, the very heart of the Karoo. Chris was driving, enjoying this last trip in a car he loves, while I gazed over plains of sweet thorn trees and aloe, spiny shrubs and fleshy succulents. Dassies – ground squirrels – bolted across the road and I searched for the heads of meerkats as the blades of the water pumps glinted under a sky awash with the colours of the dissipating storm.

It sounds almost mythical. Can it possibly live up to the description? I’d say it can’t, but my time in Blyde River Canyon, another mythical-sounding area of SA, proved that such areas can live up to promises.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll have to go see for myself.

3/29/2009

best wikipedia page (hours of distraction)

Filed under: — adrian @ 8:56 pm

Today I found the Wikipedia:unusual articles page. It’s an awesome way to sink many hours.

Leck mich im Arsch is a canon by Mozart. Yes, it translates to “Lick Me in the Arse”. It’s cited by some as evidence that Mozart may have had Tourette’s.

The Metric Marvels was created by the same people who did School House Rocks! It was not as successful. Did you know that Pres. Ford signed the Metric Conversion Act that made “the preferred system of weights and measures for United States trade and commerce” in 1975. Wow that’s gone well.

Resignation from the British House of Commons has not been legal since the 1623. To resign, MPs have to get appointed to an office under the Crown.

There’s one single-arch McDonald’s sign left in the US. It’s in Pine Bluff, AR.

Joyce Hatto was a pianist whose husband issued a number of recordings in her name that were stolen from other recordings and altered slightly.

Eric Moussambani was a swimmer from Equitorial Guinea that competed in the 2000 Olypmics. He took twice as long as anyone else to swim the 100m…and he still won his heat.

Scottish law allows for a third verdict besides conviction and not guilty: not proven.

And, finally, there’s an incredibly titled North Korean propaganda film called Let’s Trim Our Hair in Accordance with Socialist Lifestyle.

3/27/2009

camera phone pics

Filed under: — adrian @ 11:07 pm

Here are some recent photos from my camera phone.

tag in sunlight

The setting sun, some buildings and Caltrain managed to frame this graffiti mural on 22nd St. @ Iowa nicely.

1238191035099

An old-style garage door in Palo Alto.

1238100419446

It’s spring in Palo Alto. Flowers of all colors are out. Trees are green and grass is lush. In San Francisco, it’s still quite a bit chillier and it seems more like ‘winter’ still.

I lost on Jeopardy

Filed under: — adrian @ 9:46 pm

That’s not true, actually. But it might be some day.

I’ve been watching a fair amount of Jeopardy[1] recently. It’s one of the few shows I devote all my attention to; no emailing or blogging while watching, like I do with most shows. I play along–who doesn’t? I’ve been doing decently every day. I haven’t been keeping tracking of my score, but I feel like–in the comfort of my home and without needing to buzz in, mind you–that I’ve been holding my own. I’ve been feeling like I should try out for the show at some point.

The issue is the gaps in my knowledge. For every science or music category I run, there’s a Shakespeare or art category that I know zero or one question on. Ken Jennings, in his book Brainiac brings up studying for categories like these. It becomes a practice of memorization, of connecting words together that doesn’t have any other meaning or context. I like knowing trivia, but I’m not sure I’d like to know it in this way.

I day dreamed today about how to best make a practice buzzer, incidentally. Yeah, that’s the sort of thing I daydream about.

[1] Part of the reason why, oddly enough, is that my roommate got an HD tv and we don’t get all our channels in HD so I tend to watch the ones that are a little more.

3/25/2009

a couple links about music and one about something else

Filed under: — adrian @ 6:37 pm

This guy does it every year: he rates and reviews–in exactly 6 words–all the mp3s bands post as part of SxSW. It was 1302 mp3s this year. It’s pretty fun to read through and all the mp3s are free to download.

NY Times reports that world music is expanding and using technology to spread itself. Amadou & Miriam, the band that they focus on, is pretty good.

This guy was on Jimmy Fallon last night. I went to high school with him, I think, but I knew his sister better–though, let’s be honest, she didn’t hang out with me.

I just remembered a funny story about him that a friend of mine told me. It’s a little bawdy–watch out. Andy Rock was his name. Funny funny guy. I wonder what he’s up to. Anyway. He was on the lacrosse team with Anthony. Around his 18th birthday, he got a tattoo of a sun on his right arm. He showed it to Anthony. Anthony said, “That’s a temporary tattoo! I’ll [vernacular for perform fellatio on you] if that’s real.” It was real. After practice Rock, as we called him, saw Anthony driving by and yelled out, “When are you going to give me that blow job?” Then he saw Anthony’s sister in the car…and her shocked look.

3/22/2009

planes

Filed under: — adrian @ 7:44 pm

I saw a door on the plane. It was marked:

Flight Deck
Authorized Personal Only

Why aren’t all doors on planes marked like this? Here’s one:

Airplane Toilet
Everyone May Enter

Or doors everywhere for that matter?

3/14/2009

I’m so proud of myself

Filed under: — adrian @ 6:38 pm

I finished my taxes! I rule!

Given how much actual work it is, it seems that I’m always irrationally happy when I finish them.

3/10/2009

3 folk songs I’m going to learn

Filed under: — adrian @ 10:19 pm

I’ve been interesting in traditional folk songs for a number of years now. I took a class on Anglo-American ballads in 2002 and I had some interest before then. Here are three I’m going to learn:

  • “Bury Me Beneath the Willow”–melancholy and gorgeous.
    This version by Almeda Riddle.

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • “Two Sisters”–a famous ballad, but I really like this version with a refrain
    This version is by Horton Barker:

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • “Stick to the Craythur”/ “Humours of Whiskey”–great Irish drinking song.
    This version by Tim Lyons:

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

I’m really bad at learning lyrics, so that’ll take some work.

3/9/2009

JFD

Filed under: — adrian @ 2:28 am

Jelly Donut

There’s a store called The Jelly Donut. I had a donut–a Chocolate French Cruller. It was outrageous.

3/7/2009

I still don’t know

Filed under: — adrian @ 12:09 pm

Pirate's Game

I’m just remembering going to a Pirates game at the old Three Rivers Stadium with a friend of mine, Josh L. I think this was in 8th grade. I think I’d won tickets from somewhere and they were good, 10 or 15 rows up along the first base side. Up until that point they were the best seats I’d sat in.

We got there early and the players were still out doing warm-ups. One Pirate came up to the wall and started signing autographs. We rushed down; we wanted his autograph! While he was signing my program, I asked him a question.

“Do you like playing baseball?”

“Yeah, I do. Do you?”

“Yeah!” I lied. I didn’t play baseball anymore.

Afterward, we tried to figure out from the scratch of lines on the program who this player was. There was definitely an ‘X’ in there. I’m still not sure who he was.

3/4/2009

once-Mexican cowgirl quits job, flies to Sweden.

Filed under: — adrian @ 10:42 pm

My old friend* Christine has a new blog about quitting her job (in Mexico), driving back to Pittsburgh, then taking a one way ticket to Sweden.

It’s one of the best written blogs that I’ve read recently. Flowing prose and narrative arcs guide one through each long and detailed entry. I also love her footnote flashbacks that she sticks at the end of each entry.

Here’s a quick quote from the most recent entry:

Before we go anywhere, however, I have an appointment with Al Garcia. He’s the body shop manager at Varsity Ford on Highway 6, and he’s promised to jerry-rig the driver side door of my car – the one that’d been broken into just a few days before in Austin. If done properly, the job should take four to five business days, but I’ve got a plane to catch in Pittsburgh, so there’s no time for a proper repair.

Al tells us that it will be a few minutes while he and his crew perform this makeshift surgery. As we wait in the lobby entrance, I hear the body shop employees singing along with an all too familiar voice. It’s Chente, my 69-year-old Mexican Sinatra. Two workers simultaneously let out a melodious cry into the morning warmth. It’s a sad cry, like a Johnny Cash caw only more guttural. Mexicans remedy this call with a cold gulp of tequila chased by one long swallow of an icy beer. I know this music very well. It penetrates me, and once more I reach toward something familiar, toward the past four years, until Al Garcia pulls me back.

“Ms. Waller?” he leans his head and shoulders around the corner from inside the workroom. “Your car is ready.”

*She’s actually fairly young, but we’ve been friends for a while.

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