o canada

Over the weekend I attended the Formula One Grand Prix of Canada in Montreal. I went with Hollie’s brother and his friends who have been going annually for ten years. Ten years of experience resulted in a well-honed fun machine of a weekend. Virtually no decisions to be made and lots of “stay to right through the turnstyles” and “this bartender pours the best drinks” etc.

Like many venues, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve gives out the good seats to loyal fans and our seats were fantastic. This picture is on the cool down lap after the race. (I could only take pictures of the slow down laps with my point-and-shoot digital camera) ((also, what is it about pictures that we feel we must take them from our own cameras? There are hundreds of pictures from the race that are so much better than mine, shot by professionals, but still I post this crappy one just because *I* took it.)) We were at a 180 degree hairpin turn which means the cars go from around 180 mph, down to around 40 (in around 70 feet!) through the extremely tight turn then hard on the gas and back up to near 200 in a flash.

It is pretty difficult to describe the controlled violence of a modern F1 car. When you see it on TV you only get to hear the high end whine of an engine turning at 19,250 rpms, what you miss is the chest rattling thunder-like low end. The other major difference from on TV is the sense of speed. You simply can not imagine how late a driver can brake for a turn in these cars, how fast they can accelerate out of the turn and how quickly they can change direction.

Update: more pictures from my camera here


michael jordan sucked at baseball

This is what happens when people repeatedly tell you how great you are… (you start to believe them).

Last night Hollie and I went to see Matthew Dear perform at Joe’s Pub. Going in I had been a huge fan of his work. Get a sample of his tune called Dog Days here.   The guy has a gift for creating intricate, beautiful techno/minimal songs.

So what does he do? Comes out and sings. One song even featured him with one of those Richey Sambora, circa 1987 plastic backed guitars. Quote “I’m not even making that much electronic music anymore”. Granted some of the backing music might have been ok, but it was totally lost.

Now I can understand being a performer is much more satisfying and much better for picking up women if you are able to stand out on stage with a mike, lift up your shirt, writhe around seductively than the previous time I saw him on stage with a bunch of laptops and knobs that looked remarkably like he was up there checking email. Of course the laptop event was fantastic and memorable. 

The crowd was primed to start dancing. One girl could barely contain herself and was dancing furiously for the warm up acts. Matthew was unable to get anyone to budge from their “what is going on here” disbelief poses. I even heard a “man, that sucked” as it was wrapped up.

I was so disappointed.


zagat news

Newsworthy stuff from ZAGAT’s newsletter.

  • BED: The trendy South Beach restaurant and lounge where patrons eat their meals on beds is readying a Chelsea offshoot located above the club Spirit, in a sixth-floor space that leads to a roof terrace (530 W. 27th St.).
  • New York Burger: This modern-looking Park Avenue South fast-food shop will feature high-quality ingredients, including burgers made of Coleman all-natural beef, homemade dipping sauces, freshly cut fries and real fruit smoothies (330 Park Avenue South / 24th street).
  • Starwich: The first of four branches to open by the end of the year, this hi-tech sandwich shop on the far West Side will provide patrons with optional smart cards to pre-program their orders, which can be customized from over 100 ingredients, including luxe items like lobster, lump crab meat and pomegranate duck. The space itself will feature Wi-Fi, complimentary cell-phone chargers and original artwork (525 W. 42nd St./10th ave).

    Comments: What separates a gimmick from just a good idea? BED sure seems to be a gimmick since I can’t think of a good reason to eat on a mattress. But then again, who knows maybe I’d like it. I don’t immediately discount stuff that’s trendy as much as many of my peer group naturally would.

    Virtually any establishment can lure me in with technology. Starwich certainly sounds like they fit that bill. Except with 100 ingredients I’m already feeling a stifling Paradox of Choice. For the lazy non-link followers, Paradox of Choice is a book subtitled “Why More is Less” and is about how consumers today are often faced with too many choices. The constant drive towards more options has left us overwhelmed, stressed, and unhappy.

    UPDATE: I didn’t do the book description justice, here’s a better one.

    … as choices proliferate, people have a harder and harder time making decisions. And they end up less satisfied with the decisions they make. They are filled with regret over those that turned out well but might have been better; they develop unrealistically high expectations; and when decisions disappoint, as they almost always do because of these expectations (we bought a terrific stroller and left the store dissatisfied that we couldn’t find the perfect one), they blame themselves. The result is stress, unhappiness, and in extreme cases, clinical depression.

  • Published

    ear spam

    When receiving an unsolicited call I have found the absolute best response it to quickly, politely cut the person off and say “I’m sorry, this is a mobile phone, please remove it from your list.” (yes, even if it is a land-line)

    They are surprisingly courteous and willing to get off the phone quickly in this situation. I believe there is some kind of rule about calling mobile phones since the customer is paying for inbound calls.

    I learned this after I had forwarded my home phone to my mobile and was receiving telemarketing calls on it.

    (sorry about the following extraneous finger photos, but I was google-imaging for a middle finger and I just couldn’t pass these up)

    1) Extend either arm at an approximately 90° angle perpendicular to the body.
    2) Bend arm at the elbow. Position it parallel to the body, forming three sides of a perfect square.

    3) Close palm tightly.

    4) Fiercely upturn digit between pointer and ring finger.

    5) Hold approximately 10 seconds to a minute for emphasis.


    Beard Papa’s

    • Off to find dessert. Any storefront with a line out the door and is not in a primarily tourist area demands to be investigated further. We came upon one of these a block or two North of Fairway on the upper west side. It’s called Beard Papa’s. They basically sell one item, a super-special creampuff. They are backed in front of you and filled by hand only after you’ve ordered them. The recommendation to eat them immediately was observed exactly.

    [Hollie covers this territory here.]


    rance ish

    Well this isn’t quite bulletproof, but it is good sleuthing.

    via Boing Boing, Alex Boese of the Museum of Hoaxes may have solved the Rance mystery.

    I think Rance is a cartoonist/filmmaker/screenwriter named Keith Thomson. Here’s my reasoning. What immediately struck me about Rance’s weblog was that it attracted a very high number of comments from very early on. Within two hours after Rance posted his first entry on December 29, 2003, four people had left comments on his site. Most weblogs, by contrast, struggle to get anyone to read them, let alone leave comments. So how was he attracting so many visitors to his site straight off the bat? What I discovered was that immediately after Rance posted his first entry on Dec. 29 at 4:49 EST, someone going by the screen name ‘InvaderFromPluto’ began posting messages about his weblog on various fan discussion groups. For instance, at 5:52, about one hour after Rance had posted his first entry, a message from InvaderFromPluto appears on Yahoo’s thematthewperryplace message board. It reads: “i read slate reported a famous tv actor keeping a weblog under pseudonym ‘rance’ at http://captainhoof.tripod.com/blog/ it’s hard to know if it is him, but it might be as it is funny and seems witty in his sort of way”

    Obviously Slate hadn’t written anything about Rance’s weblog. Rance’s weblog, at that time, was only an hour old. So how did InvaderFromPluto know about Rance’s weblog so quickly, and why was he so interested in promoting it? Perhaps InvaderFromPluto was Rance himself. Makes sense to me.

    Personally I’m not convinced it is him, but he may be in on the rouse.

    My own post’s on the subject has a healthy comment area where someone named moonlitsun is sure its ‘ryan ebner’