Tag Archives: music

Yay beer! And other things.

Just got back from the store with a new (to me) beer, Shiner Homespun Cream Ale. I have a new favorite beer. Seriously, this is the beer I have been looking for for years, slightly sweet and not over hopped with just the right balance of sweet and bitter. I must send a letter to Shiner and tell them this.

Work on the Mid-Bucket has slowed while waiting on the parts to arrive, some of which are still not made yet. I mostly have been analysing the frame for things to leave off and make it lighter. I have found 2 tubes that are redundant so far for a total weight savings of 5.5 pounds.

yay

On the Mini Sprint-T I’m almost done resizing the wheel halves for width after taking some time off for the Mid-Bucket. Filing the resin wheel halves is much quicker than the stainless steel steering arms on the Mid-Bucket, but because they have to be within a thousandth of an inch precision it’s only quicker in how long I spend actually filing them down compared to fitting the steering arms on the Mid-Bucket.

On the RPG front we are having some difficulty creating my character based on my life. Specifically my HP and natural armor or DR or in the terms of the game we are playing, Body and Hardness. Here’s the rub, the getting hit by cars doing from 25 to 30 MPH and walking away with minor abrasions is how Hard my body is in game terms. Getting hit by a truck at 60 MPH and barely dying is how much Body I have. Un-dying is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish that is covered by the rules but only for creatures in-game. And in-game I’m 129 years old, Mrs. the Poet has been dead at least 40 years, and I’m still living in the same house in Garland. I’m still mostly riding my bikes to get around except when I’m being a Runner when I have a couple of vans and cars. Also I’m an actual walking Urban Legend in-game having been a Runner since the events that created the game world. There are a number of people in law enforcement who don’t believe I actually exist, there are rumors I’m not actually human, that I’m some kind of avenging spirit, and even weirder stuff than that. This is going to be FUN!

On another front, my musical tastes are giving my YTM app apoplexy. So far on my saved music I have Jazz, Swing, Hip-hop, Classic Rock, Acid Rock, Electronica, Ambient, Trance… and whatever they classify Blue Man Group as. Seriously my tastes cut across so many genres My Channel is like listening to a radio that can’t stay on-station. If you can, do a search for Opus’ Fun Junk playlist. And prepare for your mind to get blown. 😀

And now I’m just doing the keyboard equivalent of babbling to hear my own voice, so I’m packing it in now. Happy Easter!

Weather has been here, wish you were beautiful

The title is the punchline to a very old joke from before I was born, and accurately sums up the situation here in The Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. The highs and lows have been swapping places with highs less than the previous day’s lows, and lows higher than previous highs. I went from long pants and long underwear to shorts and t-shirt for my daily walks on consecutive days and back again to long pants and underwear. Yesterday I went for a walk at night in shorts and t-shirt and was a little chilly, today I went in the middle of the day with a sweatshirt over a long-sleeve T and still my hands got cold, much worse than yesterday’s walk at night. Mrs. the Poet has a condition she calls “changing weather crud” that in the past she got once in the fall and again in the spring, this year she has had it the entire month of December with no end in sight.

In other news I spent the majority of my Xmas money buying parts I don’t have the equipment to fabricate to the level of precision required, at a reduced price because someone bought the wrong parts and returned them after trying to install. So I’m getting them at 20% off original price. Maybe more, there was a discount code I tried to use that wouldn’t work that would have taken another 10% off the already discounted price that will probably get refunded when they get real live humans reviewing the order next week. Anywho the parts are steering arms that attach above the axle on the reproduction early Ford spindles I got last year. The main difficulty with making these on my own is the thickness of the stock used, the arms made for bolting to the bottom of the spindle are cut from ¼” mild steel and bent so they bolt through tabs with nuts, the ones for the top look like they’re cut from 1″ plate and are threaded so they don’t need nuts or bent tabs. My cutting tools are pretty much maxed out at 3/16″ thickness plate or 0.125″ wall tubing. Sure they will cut thicker stuff but my ability to make the tool go where I want to go instead of where it wants to go declines sharply when I exceed those limits. And don’t get me started about my hole-drilling abilities with my 3/8″ capacity hand drill. And I picked up a big bottle of Shiner Holiday Cheer beer to toast in the New Year tomorrow for $3 at my local grocery store. Since Mrs. the Poet will probably only drink an ounce or two (30-60 ml) and I’m not a big drinker either so the 32 oz. bottle will be more than enough for our private little party.

Stay warm or cool as the case may call for this NYE, and consider every driver on the road a drunk stoner on 2 days without sleep, because they’re out there and you don’t want to be the one that gets hit. I’m an unkillable badass but it still hurts like a mutha’ to get hit. You most likely are not an unkillable badass. ‘Nuf said.

BTW I have a playlist loaded to You Tube, labeled “Opus’ fun junk”. It’s 71 pieces of all kinds of music with electronica, EDM, trance, Classic Rock, New Wave Jazz, and some stuff that just defies classification other than the origin of cartoon music themes.

Peace out, Opus the Unkillable Badass Poet

Working off two screens today, and the Feed

Hey! As I type this I’m looking at my TV with the links displayed on my laptop screen. Meaning I can read what I’m posting about as I post it so I can paraphrase more accurately and type while looking at a screen closer to my eye height so I have less neck strain. Yay! less neck strain.

First link is a little music to improve your mood a bit. Walk Cycle : animated music video : MrWeebl Trust me on this one, your mood will need improving. As a matter of fact I suggest you come back to the top of the post after you finish reading and click this link again…

More links about that [$DEITY]-awful bill proposed in CA to make every cyclist wear a helmet. California Mandatory Bicycle Helmet Law Would Make Riding Less Safe, Advocates Say and Cycling experts split on proposed helmet law

Our Daily Ted, round one. 47-year old bike rider killed in Escondido collision

And Daily Ted round two. Morning Links: The Tour of California comes back to LA; Calbike petition opposes mandatory bike helmet law I have signed on to that Calbike petition.

Still in CA, they arrested a hit-and-run driver. Man arrested on suspicion of killing bike rider in crash I think I have mentioned before what I feel about hit-and-run drivers, but for new readers it involves a car crusher and two pair of handcuffs, combined with the weapon vehicle from the incident. Use your imaginations.

OK I don’t know what to say about this except Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, Interrogative. Trial set for Utah man accused of hitting cyclist with SUV Not once but twice, having circled back around to take another swipe at him after knocking him off the bike. And he might have gotten away with calling it an “accident” if he had stopped at one hit, idiot. Gigi will love this link, it has her two favorite human failings, H8 and Stoopid.

Speaking of Stoopid. Prosecutors: Driver in Key Biscayne cyclist’s death legally drunk What I said about hit-and-run drivers also applies to DUI killers. Except the car should also be on fire before the crusher starts.

It is possible to convict a driver of homicide in New York, he just has to kill people inside another car. Driver Who Killed Williamsburg Family Convicted Of Manslaughter & Homicide This driver was doing about twice the posted limit of 35 MPH at the time of the wreck.

And NYC is trying to do something about traffic homicide. Here’s NYC’s Ambitious Plan To Protect Pedestrians In Brooklyn Now the problem is getting NYPD to enforce the laws against cars hitting pedestrians.

And in London in Jolly Olde, cyclists are getting tired of their friends getting killed by crappy infrastructure that makes them ride next to blind semis. ‘Enough!’ Cycling activists demand action as rush-hour collision with lorry claims woman’s life Four cyclists have been killed by HGV (semis, mostly) since Jan 1. At that rate they will eclipse the previous annual record of 14 some time in late July.

And I’m finally out of links.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet

I’m having a case of the Mondays, and the Feed

Mrs. the Poet being home throws my mental calendar all off. I make my beans and rice every Monday (except the weeks when I have to make it on Tuesday) and normally start right after breakfast, but because she was home I was not thinking “make beans” I was more like “we are having roast veggies tonight with dinner”. So having Mrs. the Poet around is like “Mrs. the Poet =/= Bean Night” in my head even though I know it is still Monday. And I have to say having my MP3 player hooked to my sound system is something of a revelation for me. I have been browsing by albums lately and for some artists I have as many as 6 separate albums loaded. The depth of my music collection even surprises me on occasion. I just wish I could have gotten my Pink Floyd converted and loaded before I ran out of space, I really want to be able to hear “Ummagumma”.

Amazingly enough I don’t have many links this morning as most of what populated my Feed Folder was motorcycle wrecks, and almost all the wrecks were from North of the (Canadian) Border.

Speaking of that, first wreck is a SWCC two links from East Canuckistan. Cyclist killed in morning crash and Cyclist Dies After Burning Red Light And that’s a bit of slang I haven’t heard before for going through a red light. OK, intersection protocols to avoid with emphasis on not running red lights to avoid or reduce damages, assuming it was the cyclist that ran the red and not the sole surviving witness and operator of the weapon vehicle, and get the infrastructure “up to Dutch” to prevent.

Next up another demonstration of the destructive power of motor vehicles as NJ shows NY how it’s supposed to be done. Woman Fatally Struck By Driver At NJ Farmer’s Market Victim was dragged 3 blocks by the weapon vehicle after it went through barricades denoting a pedestrian-only space (motor vehicles allowed for deliveries and trash pickup outside of pedestrian time). Yep when idiots drive light armored vehicles they do idiotic things. Still, the fact that a sober driver killing a pedestrian can be charged under NJ statute and caselaw that would have only gotten a ticket in NY because of their statute and caselaw, just goes to show how seriously warped out of normal NY statute and caselaw has become.

Road rage on the bike path in the UK. Witness appeal after cyclist assaults man who was on bike ride with daughter I’m going to file this in the folder labeled “Cyclists are human beings”. And then try to forget it.

Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: Unlocked bike recovered in SaMo, PCH bike lane in the ‘Bu, major Riverside hit-and-run

Infrastructure! news via Facebook, link is supposed to be visible even for people not on FB. A Bicyclist in a travel lane is not an emergency! Advice to drivers to not call 911 if someone is riding a bicycle.

From the cops-getting-it-wrong-again department. Montreal police warn cyclists to stay off road at St-Denis underpass For those not clicking, this is the underpass where a female cyclist died after getting a ticket for riding on the very same sidewalk cyclists are getting ticketed for not riding in now. This is one of the few sidewalks that is legal for riding on in Canada.

And Lifestyle from Canuckistan. Two years after cyclist’s death, Edmontonians plan to honour him with unique memorial A tiny parklet made from a converted parking place to honor a cyclist? Brilliant!

Proving that bike bigots are no easier to change than race bigots. Washington Post columnist takes bike ride through D.C.

And those are all the links about bikes that I could find today that were not hopelessly out of date.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

A post about music, not bicycles

Yep, I’m staying up late with a bad backache listening to full albums on YouTube, and what I have been listening to lately has been Gorillaz. While the best stuff is from the second album Demon Days, the best album musically is their most recent studio release, The Fall. No hits, just a steady sonic wall of awesome. And a narrative of sorts as the songs track a journey that meanders across the United States, starting with a phone call to Arizona from somewhere in the hills and moraines of Michigan, that tracks through Detroit, Chicago, Joplin MO, Southern OK and far North TX into Dallas, then back northwest to Amarillo and then on to the Speak It Mountains and a quiet glade of Aspens. From there they meet up with Bobby in Phoenix, slide on over to California, then up the coast to Seattle. Nothing that screams “hit single” like “Clint Eastwood” or “Kids With Guns”, but just a mellow trip with smooth sounds. All together it sounds like a trip through the late 1960s and early ’70s country blues rock. I wouldn’t buy any song from the album as a stand-alone, but as a sonic unity I like it. I would buy the album if I could find the CD.

Now having said that about The Fall, the album that has the best songs is Demon Days, but those are all just songs, not a sonic unity. My particular choice from that album is a tossup between “Dirty Harry”, “Kids With Guns” and “DARE”. I mean none of the songs are clinkers, they are all pretty decent pieces of music, but those are the 3 that top my list. “Dirty Harry” particularly sounds like something that was rejected from the soundtrack to a Mad Max side story for being too good compared to the rest of the story (and now someone is going to make that movie in some alternate universe because I wrote about it here). “Kids With Guns” has one of the better bass lines ever, what else can I say? I mean there is the socially relevant lyrics, and a decently catchy tune, but that bass line >shiver<. And something that foreshadows The Fall is the pair of tracks "Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head" that tracks right into "Don't Get Lost in Heaven". The thematic thread that runs through Demon Days is a bass-heavy mix with the bass line carrying the melody in several of the songs. That is to be expected with a front man (Murdoc) that is the bass player for the virtual band. I know the front for the real band is Damon Albarn, the voice of 2D in the virtual band and singer for the group Blur when he's not a Gorillaz.

Now my vote for "worst" Gorillaz album is Plastic Beach which just goes to show that with a good songwriting team and good musicians even the "worst" is pretty good. It just doesn't have the sonic unity of The Fall, or the consistent single quality of Demon Days. The best tracks on that one are "Stylo" and "Melancholy Hill", with the one I like the least is "Superfast Jellyfish". That song sounds like a 3 minute commercial. Ugh!

Well I’m not a music guy, so I’m going to let this one end here.

PSA, Opus

Listening to some awesome music

Yeah, I know you were expecting to find stories about dead and/or injured cyclists here, but I decided to give it a rest today and Stumble some music. Well I found a flash video from a group called Evil Nine, which while it’s a cool name there are only the two of them and they aren’t evil. Anyway the name of the track was “Crooked” from the CD You Can Be Special Too. (shhh, don’t wake the baby)

So I Googled the band name and found the CD on Last.fm I think the best tracks are “Crooked”, “Restless”, and “Earth”. I had heard “Restless” before somewhere, but it doesn’t ring a bell as to where, probably some commercial somewhere. The CD is all over the musical map, mostly electronica, but “Earth” has a distinctly ska flavor, and “Restless” is like a new Classic Rock song from 1973, plus other tracks that sound more hip-hop. Whatever they are these guys are versatile. “Hired Goons” is a pretty good instrumental that sounds even more like 1973 than “Restless” but isn’t as good as that track. But really there isn’t a bad track on the CD, just some that are less to my liking than others.

Well that’s about enough on this topic.

PSA, Opus