Category Archives: SoCal

No more heroes?

Posted by lex on October 6, 2007

It’s getting hard to root for our heroes any more. At least for the sporting type. Barry Bonds breaks a treasured record in baseball and, seeing his freakishly overstuffed muscles, scarcely anyone seems to care. Every time the Tour de France comes up the unspoken question of “who’s doping?” remains on everyone’s lips until the first contestant dons the Yellow Jersey – then we say, “Oh. He is.” Ben Johnson’s had to give his Gold Medal back and now Marion Jones tearfully stands admitted of cheating. You could almost feel sorry for her, she’s ruined her life. The fastest woman in the world is now just another footnote.

Everyone is doing it the cynics say. It’s a victimless crime. Why should any of us care?

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Sunday Morning

Posted by lex, on September 30, 2007

And everyone is still asleep.

I’m wondering: Whip up a Sunrise Quesadilla? (I use two eggs and forgo the hash browns, myself )

2 thick slices bacon, halved
1 large egg
1-1/4 cups grated Cheddar or Jack, about 5 ounces
Vegetable oil for pan-frying
4 flour tortillas, about 5 inches across
1 cup favorite salsa
1 cup hash browns
Diced tomato or avocado, optional

Or bop on over to Nico’s for a breakfast burrito (hold the ‘taters).

I make a wicked quesadilla, but it does make a bit of a mess. And Nico’s has such good salsa.

Decisions, decisions…

Update: Nico’s, as it turns out. The salsa was a tie-breaker. Well, that and it turned out we didn’t have any tortillas.

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PSA on “Strawberry Quick”

Posted by lex, in May 14th, 2007

This will probably be regarded as intemperate, but as a parent myself I tend to think that people who sell drugs to children ought to spend the rest of their lives in jail. I furthermore believe that people who manufacture drugs explicitly targeted at children should too, but that the time from conviction to cold carry-out ought to be rather short.

I have no strong opinions on whether the vehicle for such sentence recommendations should be a hangman’s noose, the gas chamber or the electric chair. Any of them will do.

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Product endorsements

Posted by lex, on April 23, 2007

Not usually my type of thing, but I can tell you that if your electrical engineering student turns 21, you can’t go very far wrong by getting him a pair of remote control, laser tag shocking tanks.

In fact, the only real surprise is that he wants to play the game on the “high shock” setting, which chalk that up to the kind of confidence that comes with two decades worth of video gaming experience.

I’m a bit chagrined however, to report that the wooden model trebuchet was not quite the hit that I’d hoped for, itself being laid aside for “the summer, maybe,” even as the laser shock tanks made their eager way back to the dorm. Like anyone else on his floor had a fully functional, scale model trebuchet. That wanted one.

And while we’re on topic of “stuff you might buy”, if you’ve already got a Thule bike rack atop your daily ride and wonder if whether the optional wind fairing is a  good decision, I can provide you an enthusiastic pair of thumbs up. The reduction in wind noise is truly remarkable, and it is fondly hoped that gas mileage will improve as well.

Which, with hi-test going for $3.45 to the gallon on base, the thing could well be paying for itself.

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Posted by Lex, on February 1, 2007

Anybody out there know of a sound method of selecting a math tutor for this guy I know? He’s got a… son, yeah that’s it. A son who could use a bit of tutoring in Algebra II. In the house, like.

Seriously though, there a couple of institutions out there that seem to run this as a business, but how do you know who has the chops?

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Been wondering about that myself

Posted by lex, on June 10, 2006


Went to the range today (a lot of weekend entries seem to start that way, these days) – I shot the H&K .45 ACP again, while SNO went with his old stand-by. We had time and scratch left over for some riflery, and pulled down a CAR-15, just for the accuracy that was in it.

Couldn’t help noticing how small a 5.56mm round is, sitting in your hand. Nor how small the holes were in the target, no matter how tightly grouped. Especially as contrasted with the .45 rounds we’d only just been putting down range, or the 7.62mm rounds we’d fired through an M-14 two weeks ago. I’m only a sailor, so the fine points of the velocity/mass equation vs. how many rounds you can fit in your backpack are beyond me, perhaps.

But then the Salamander noted much the same thing as did your humble scribe.

Sort of makes you go, “hmm.”

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Plantar Fasciitis

Posted by lex, on October 11, 2005

Had a great bike ride Sunday, up the coast and through the hills. Took the big climbs with a little less stress than before, which I attributed to the fact that I’ve been raising the intensity of my running workouts (while reducing the frequency and duration) in preparation for this fall’s physical fitness assessment (PFA). You want to run faster? Run faster. Except that, ah…

I could barely walk this morning.

Guess I’ll be swimming the PFA this year.


This growing old thing? It’s not for sissies.


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California’s Problems Part 2



I had a friend with an interesting commute. He worked in San Jose for a now defunct disk drive manufacturer, Maxtor (bought by Seagate I believe). He used to write the system code for the drives.

He lived in Reno, Nevada and every Sunday night would start his long commute to San Jose. I would say that he drove almost 300 miles, down the Sierras, through the Valley, then into the Bay Area. This could be through rain, snow, traffic.

Every Friday evening, he would drive back to Reno. I can only imagine trying to navigate the Bay Area traffic gridlock on the way back to Reno after a week’s work – then, what has become common, Sacramento area gridlock.

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Filed under Politics, San Diego, Small Stuff, SoCal, Travel

Happy Thanksgiving


Posted by lex, on November 21, 2007


I really can’t do much better than does the WSJ this time of year, and has done since 1961 – so I’ll quote liberally:

Here beginneth the chronicle of those memorable circumstances of the year 1620, as recorded by Nathaniel Morton, keeper of the records of Plymouth Colony, based on the account of William Bradford, sometime governor thereof:

So they left that goodly and pleasant city of Leyden, which had been their resting-place for above eleven years, but they knew that they were pilgrims and strangers here below, and looked not much on these things, but lifted up their eyes to Heaven, their dearest country, where God hath prepared for them a city (Heb. XI, 16), and therein quieted their spirits.

When they came to Delfs-Haven they found the ship and all things ready, and such of their friends as could not come with them followed after them, and sundry came from Amsterdam to see them shipt, and to take their leaves of them. One night was spent with little sleep with the most, but with friendly entertainment and Christian discourse, and other real expressions of true Christian love.

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In praise of biology

Posted by lex, on August 14, 2006

Well, that’s a blow: Got a call back from UC Cyclery, where I’d dropped my bike off for a shakedown after my little car-vaulting excursion last weekend. It turns out that carbon fiber is susceptible to stress risers – bubbles in the frame – that can propagate over time into sudden, catastrophic failure modes. They’ve found flaws in the both the fork and the head tube, ugh:

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