Friday, October 14, 2011

Guinnessing Up: Fallon's

Apparently, cleaning one's own pipes IS better than having the Guinness guys do it. To quote Chandler, could it BE more tasty?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch

Guinnessing Up - Kehoe's

I've managed to survive a phenomenal meal AND the exhausting Dublin Writer's Museum and am now having my first Guinness of the day. Better than working? Damn straight!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Bottom Of The Friend Barrel

Apparently, I've either accepted or rejected all my legitimate potential Facebook Friends. Now Facebook has started to suggest that I befriend random people -- no friends in common*, they don't work or study at places I have, nor are they ultimate players (we always have ultimate-related photos handy). Who are these strangers that Facebook thinks I should know? * I would guess that we might have friends in common but that privacy settings prevent me from being told this. So I'm getting anonymous friend tips -- Facebook has morphed into some sort of friendship hotline.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

It's About Damn Time

As I've mentioned before, there are shitloads of rabbits in the parks of the 'dorf (not so much in the surrounding fields). In almost 6 years, I've seen ONE real predator* -- a grey (well, it looked grey in the dark) fox. Until this morning on my regular** Saturday morning bike ride when I saw ... a hawk. And it was prettyyy, prettyyyy prettyyyyy badass. Of course, being the only one of its kind in the area meant it was too skittish to stick around for a photo. But I've seen it, so now I know why the rabbits prefer an urban setting to the lush fields filled with veggies. Because they're scared. Of one hawk. Ugh. Is anyone else in the mood for Hasenpfeffer?

* And don't give me any BS about crows or other birds being predators because they eat worms. If it doesn't eat mammals on a semi-regular basis, then it's prey not a predator. And, yes, I consider my vegetarian, vegan and pescetarian friends to be prey. ** Once every six years is "regular", right?

Saturday, October 08, 2011

My Superpower Is...

knowing EXACTLY how many bags I need for the groceries I'm buying -- and then bringing one fewer to the store. I'm expecting the X-Men to call any day now. Watch it Magneto, I'm coming after you -- with arms full of groceries

Monday, October 03, 2011

Happy German Unity Day!

Today is a holiday in German -- German Unity Day. Or, as it's known in Poland and France, "Civil Defence Readiness Day"*. So, sit down, pour yourself a Tegernsee, grab a brezel** and a bratwurst, and say the sacred Siegfried Oath. As for me, I'll be wearing a scarf with my lederhosen and complaining about how I can't go shopping on a holiday. It's called assimilation, baby***. 

* In Greece it's "Just Send Another Damn Check! Day" and in the USA "You Kids Better Not Make Me Come Over There Again Day" (in some areas it's "Suck it, Commies! Day")
** Or a pretzel, it's your call
*** Yeah, I'm using your "baby" now.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

All Nickelback, All the Time

Well, that was humbling -- within 30 minutes of posting the entry mocking Nickelback, I had 7 pageviews -- about normal for weeks for a post. It's soooooo gratifying to know that referencing Nickelhack is more appealing to the public than my usual self-centered whining.  What do I do now?  Pander to the public.  It's going to be all Nickelback, all the time.  Set your browsers to, 'cause here I come!

Book Review: Reamde

OK, I'm a HUGE Neal Stephenson fan. It's been three years since his last novel, and I was pretty, pretty, pretty excited to see a new one in the book store.  I've read all his books (save "The Big U" which has eluded me so far), and "Snow Crash" and "Anathem" both are among my favorites*. So when his newest, "Reamde" (no, it's not a typo) came out, I was on it** immediately. I tore through it (all 1000 pages) in a few days, and it was both great AND a disappointment.

At his best, Stephenson is a whirlwind of action and big thoughts -- "Anathem" is as much about the Platonic theory of ideals as it is about a first encounter with aliens, "Snow Crash" mixes Sumerian mythology, swordplay and a pre-Matrix Matrix and "The Baroque Cycle" covers the discovery of calculus, monetary theory, metallurgy, alchemy*** and some cryptology to keep you on your toes***. But "Reamde" is more of a straight-up techno thriller. The characters are Stephenson's usual mix of naïveté and extreme competence*****, but the ideas that keep you engaged when not reading are much further apart (aside from his ideas on using MMORPGs to solve real-world problems).

So, is it possible to be disappointed in a book I repeatedly stayed up til 2am reading? That's the problem with following up a great effort -- it happened with Barbara Kingsolver after "The Poisonwood Bible", M. Night Shyamalan after "The Sixth Sense", George Lucas after "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (I thought his movies from "Return of the Jedi" until "Revenge of the Sith" were, at best, meh), and Ricky Gervais after the "The Office" to name a few. Creating greatness is tough; repeating it is a bitch. 

The Verdict: 8 (out of 10).

* To be honest, "The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer" and "Cryptonomicon" aren't far behind, either.
** Like Oprah on the proverbial ham
*** Did you know Isaac Newton spent his last 30 years investigating alchemy, specifically looking for the Philosopher's Stone? I'll bet your math and physics teachers never mentioned THAT 
**** To be fair, he had 3 really large books to do all this 
***** Pretty much the exact opposite of Belgian Beer Fest organizers

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Mmmmm... Street Gummi...

Biking home this week, I saw the saddest Gummi ever (FBers go HERE for photos and video):
It's the polar opposite of the Gummi Venus de Milo:

Aaaannndd Now I Hate Nickelback Even More

Let's be honest, Nickelback sucks. All their songs sounds alike*, and they all, well, suck. I don't think there's much way to get around this. You may disagree; of course, you may also have bad taste in music. Anyway, I wanted to hear "Super Bon Bon" and clicked on the first video that popped up. As it began to play, I noticed the word "Nickelback". I got the same feeling that I imagine a man** gets when he leans in to kiss a woman for the first time and thinks "wow, she really has a prominent Adam's Apple". And my fears were justified -- it was as shitty as I thought it would be. So, thanks, Nickelback, for once again resetting the standards for suckage. FBers go HERE for videos: -- Ugh! And here are 2 far superior live versions by the dearly departed Soul Coughing: * And some ARE the same -- their FAN CLUB was pissed off when they released songs 2 years apart that are exactly the same. Well, not EXACTLY. A defender of the band on youtube claimed "These two Nickelback songs played together do NOT match up perfectly as if they were the same song. They aren't exactly the same length, the choruses don't start at the same time, and it doesn't sound like 1 song playing when it's both of them." Unfortunately, it just sounds like the vocals for another shitty Nickelback have been played over this one. ** Well, a homophobic man. Just go with me here.