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My Archives: May 2003

Saturday, May 17, 2003

This past week or two has been pretty exciting. I've built brand new computers for Paul and Jen and both are pretty darn spiffy. In fact I'm using Jen's new computer to write this in her new Brooklyn apartment, which in itself, is pretty snazzy. It's totally the neighborhood that the Huxtables lived in. Does it get much more exciting than that?

I had the pleasure of meeting Jen's sister and her sister's boyfriend which was a lot of fun. We went to the Empire State Building and to Central Park and looked at the Statue of Liberty from afar. It was pretty cool. When Jen's sister's boyfriend informed the security guard at the Empire State Building that he was wearing steel-toed boots (shortly before walking through the metal detector) the guard exclaimed. "Cool! It really completes the look!" He tried to explain again in a way that would make the security guard understand that "steel" is a form of "metal" and it might be detected by the metal detector. The guard just said "Yeah... really cool!" and another guard just looked confused as if he had no idea why this would be brought up. "Listen kid," he said. "Do you have cell phones, lighters--?"

"I have steel-toed boots!"

"Let me finish! Pagers, Altoid tins."

Steel-toed boots apparently weren't on the list so the guard was not concerned. Thankfully for midtown Manhattan Jen's sister's boyfriend was a shoe-bomber and all were spared a horrible fate.

Wednesday, Thursday and yesterday morning were taken up mostly by moving Jen's stuff from her apartment in Manhattan on West 34th street to her new Brooklyn residence. Having done the driving for all of this I have come to the conclusion that you would have to be out of your mind to own a car in New York City. You simply can't drive here. The block or two walk to get my car was invariably at least twice as fast as the drive back to her apartment. It should just be illegal to drive here. There's really no need for it and it causes nothing but sadness and frustration.

On Wednesday or Thursday we saw A Mighty Wind, the latest Christopher Guest and company offering. It was every bit as fantastic as you would expect from that group. Truly brilliant. Last night we watched Waiting for Guffman, so our appetites having been whetted sufficiently from the first movie. Again, brilliant.

This morning I seem to have come down with the obligatory New York illness. Flu-like symptoms abounded in Jen's apartment when I arrived and they have finally caught up with me. So this afternoon I went for a walk and ducked into a dark and comfortable movie theatre to see The Matrix: Reloaded. I expressed my skepticism three years ago when I found a sequel was being made. What more needed to be told? Neo became all-powerful, he got the girl, he beat the odds. What happens next was sort of implied by the ending of the first movie. Indeed I was right. Neo does a bunch of fighting and kicks a bunch of ass and it's all really visually stimulating but I can't help but wonder why this part of the story is being told. I don't know what the critics are saying and I don't really care. It's like making a Princess Bride 2 where Westley and Buttercup just kinda live out the kind of idyllic and ordinary life one would expect them to after the end of the movie. In other words: pointless.

Well, I guess I've made up for my neglect of this blog by saddling you all with an unnecessarily long update. I'll be back in This Glorious City in a few days where I can bore you all with tales of my biking escapades and my love for computers. Great for all of you!

Posted by chefelf @ 06:20 PM EST [Link] [10 People Love Me!]

Thursday, May 8, 2003

I tend to do my laundry once a week. Monday is my day of choice. Generally my biggest stumbling block is having to wade through two feet of clothing that lines the basement floor to get to the washing machine. This clothing has been unsystematically scattered about in some sort apparent cyclonic rage by my various housemates.

This Monday seemed to go much more smoothly. It seems that members of my household had gotten their act together and gotten their laundry in some sort of order. So I was able to do my wash without incident and bring it up to my room where it sat for three days. Which brings me to this morning.

I reached into my laundry bin when I woke up and put on a fresh clean shirt. As I checked my email I scratched my arm and felt a weird substance on my shirt. I looked down and it appeared that my shirt was covered with hard black crusty spots which was kinda cool because on an orange shirt it gave me the appearance of a sort of human-leopard hybrid.

When I returned to my room to investigate I found that nearly every piece of clothing in my basket was similarly ruined. The culprit? A piece of uneaten chocolate from Easter.

So I used up three and a half bottles of Shout and threw them back in the laundry. I'm sure moms and girlfriends around the world will be flooding the comments section to tell me of better methods soon. Since I don't give a rat's ass about my clothes it shouldn't matter too much. It can't get any worse I suppose.

Posted by chefelf @ 02:51 PM EST [Link] [22 People Love Me!]

Monday, May 5, 2003

Yesterday I moved a bunch of crap out of my computer room and this morning woke up with very, very sore legs. The four days of cycling last week hadn't affected me at all, but going up and down three flights of stairs all afternoon with heavy boxes, tables and couches certainly took its toll. I still decided to take a bike ride and now my legs feel as if they are filled with molten lead.

Out on the bike path I felt pretty good. I developed a sort of friendly rivalry with a gentleman in his mid to late forties. I was drafting* the guy for a while then I decided that I would pass him to, you know, show this older man who was boss. "Nice weather, we're having," he said as I passed.

"It sure is!" I said as I sprinted ahead.

A few minutes later he passed me. "It's supposed to rain tomorrow!" I announced.

"I know! That's why we have to take advantage of the nice weather today!"

"You said it!"

I then decided I would draft him for a while more until I found the right opportunity to make my move. The man was in good shape. I pedaled behind him for ten or twenty minutes, biding my time. His calves were bulging as if each was stuffed with a glistening roasted Thanksgiving Day turkey.

We came to an incline and I decided that I would make my move. As we pedaled up the hill I dug deep and passed him in a testosterone-driven fit of machismo. With this move there was precious little time to exchange pleasantries about the weather. This was my final move, my last heart-pumping drive for victory; this was the endgame that would turn one of us into a hero who would reap the spoils of war and the other into a defeated man.

I had done it. I was a champion. Some may say that I did nothing more than defeat a man twice my age who wasn't even aware he was involved in any sort of competition. I will not let the chatter of the naysayers cheapen what I have done. I have precious little time to be a macho man or best anyone in a physical feat of any sort so I will not let the haunting song of the critics wear at me. I got to be a manly man today. I won! I did it, Mom!

Now if you'll excuse me I need to go fix myself a cup of tea and settle down to watch The View.

*"Drafting"--for those not familiar with the term-- is when a cyclist rides close behind another cyclist. To put it in layman's terms: The cyclist in the front creates a turbulent wake behind him or herself. This, in turn, causes a low pressure area directly behind the cyclist. Riding directly behind another cyclist causes one to be able to exert less energy. The decrease in wind resistance is said to save a cyclist up to 40% in energy expenditure. * *

* *Taken from an episode of "Mr. Wizard".* * *

* * *Not ACTUALLY taken from an episode of "Mr. Wizard".

Posted by chefelf @ 05:14 PM EST [Link] [23 People Love Me!]

Thursday, May 1, 2003

I'm convinced that weather.com is entirely useless. It doesn't ever predict the weather. It makes really lousy guesses about the weather. Guesses that I could make more accurately. Yesterday it was telling me that it would be warm this morning and that there would be "PM Showers". Last night I was thinking: "Boy, it sure looks like it's gonna rain." I dismissed this because I figured that my eyes and my 25 years of experience of seeing what it looks like before it rains was probably not as valuable as the years of intensive schooling one must go through to become a meteorologist.

This morning at 8:15 AM it started raining. When I went to weather.com they had changed the "fore"cast to read "AM Showers". Great. There go my big plans for today's bike ride.

Meteorologists love to call it a forecast. Some have grown tired of that word and now actually call it a futurecast. It's neither. It's just a cast, plain and simple. They're casting the current temperature and weather conditions and nothing more. If the weather can't even accurately be predicted hours in advance then what's the use? I know that it's their job to do it and they do the best they can but the truth is that if I can't have an accurate prediction 8 measly hours in advance then I guess I might as well just wing it and hope for the best.

I know that predicting the weather isn't easy but they should just stop pretending to predict the weather and admit that all they're doing is telling you what the weather is currently like. I have a window on my house... I know what the weather is currently like. They're the fools that got me snowed in back in February so I'm not exactly sure why I trusted them this time.

In other news I am building a computer for Paul. It's gonna be sweet. The only problem is that once I build it I am not going to want to give it to him. He may have to fight me for it.

Posted by chefelf @ 09:01 AM EST [Link] [19 People Love Me!]

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