g r o t t o 1 1

Peeve Farm
Breeding peeves for show, not just to keep as pets
Brian Tiemann
Silicon ValleyNew York-based purveyor of a confusing mixture of Apple punditry, political bile, and sports car rentals.

btman at grotto11 dot com

Read These Too:

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James Lileks
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As the Apple Turns
Entropicana
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Capitalist Lion
Red Letter Day
Eric S. Raymond
Tal G in Jerusalem
Aziz Poonawalla
Corsair the Rational Pirate
.clue
Ravishing Light
Rosenblog
Cartago Delenda Est



Cars without compromise.





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10/21/2002 - 10/27/2002
10/14/2002 - 10/20/2002
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  7/1/2002 -   7/7/2002
 6/24/2002 -  6/30/2002
 6/17/2002 -  6/23/2002
 6/10/2002 -  6/16/2002
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 5/27/2002 -   6/2/2002
 5/20/2002 -  5/26/2002
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  5/6/2002 -  5/12/2002
 4/29/2002 -   5/5/2002
 4/22/2002 -  4/28/2002
 4/15/2002 -  4/21/2002
  4/8/2002 -  4/14/2002
  4/1/2002 -   4/7/2002
 3/25/2002 -  3/31/2002
 3/18/2002 -  3/24/2002
 3/11/2002 -  3/17/2002
  3/4/2002 -  3/10/2002
 2/25/2002 -   3/3/2002
 2/18/2002 -  2/24/2002
 2/11/2002 -  2/17/2002
  2/4/2002 -  2/10/2002
 1/28/2002 -   2/3/2002
 1/21/2002 -  1/27/2002
 1/14/2002 -  1/20/2002
  1/7/2002 -  1/13/2002
12/31/2001 -   1/6/2002
12/24/2001 - 12/30/2001
12/17/2001 - 12/23/2001
Saturday, December 20, 2008
14:20 - However, once home...

(top)
As long as you don't have to go out in it, snow is awesome.


Besides, shoveling makes a fine substitute for going to the gym.


Friday, December 19, 2008
18:44 - No business like snow business

(top)
Well! That was about the most interesting 5½-hour commute I've ever experienced.


In all honesty, I've driven in worse snowstorms. And it was a good deal more pleasant to actually drive in this one than in a Sierra ski-trip blizzard, since I was in a hairy-backed 4WD car with snow tires, as opposed to a gawky Jetta with chains on.

But what made this experience so much more endearing was the fact that the road was full of people who don't have 4WD or snow tires, and thus spent the whole afternoon spinning gaily about the lanes and blocking the rest of us from getting through.

My favorite part of the whole thing was finding myself in the Hackensack River valley, up whose steep sides every major and minor road in the area strikes a confident path. What this means is that as you approach the crown of the inevitable hill, you find yourself slaloming around dozens of econoboxes haplessly stuck at odd angles, headlights goggling in every direction, front wheels spinning uselessly in the blowing drifts. Those of us whose cars can make it with relative ease over such terrain can only sit and stare and fume (and watch in horror as an overambitious van comes hoisting its bulk over the crest of the hill, front wheels tracking well but rear wheels slewing wildly sideways into your lane and missing your car by less than half an inch) until enough people have come surging out of their own cars in a mass of furious helpfulness and heaved the stuck cars out of the path of travel so the rest of us can get through.

Needless to say, this saving grace doesn't always occur. For all I know, that valley is still full of cars who can't claw their way out without slipping back down the sides, like spiders trying to climb out of a toilet that someone keeps flushing.

I'm lucky to have made it out of there via secret back roads (none of which, no matter how obscure, was free of the sad futile clamber at the top). And with a freshly purchased snow shovel, no less.

Shoveling snow is not as fun as anticipated. And I wasn't anticipating a whole lot of fun.



05:44 - But in some cities, all the buildings are just gray boxes
http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2008/12/new_york_city_in_photorealistic_3d.h

(top)
Sweet. Big 3D buildings update to Google Earth, which makes New York look like this:



Granted, San Francisco has been about this complete for over a year. And New York's buildings perplexingly stop at 96th street, which, according to the commenters, is racist.

Can't do nothin' without someone complaining you didn't do more.

Via Mark.


Thursday, December 18, 2008
06:13 - No! Our evil plan!
http://ridiculousfoodsociety.blogspot.com/

(top)
"The Ridiculous Food Society of Upstate New York" is going firmly into my blog crawl, almost entirely on the strength of its topmost post's title: "Crab Pretzel, Crab Pretzel. Looks like Crab, Tastes like Pretzel."

Crab is an inherently funny food anyway. What other foodstuff is perfectly welcome in a gourmet context using vocabulary like "pure lump crab meat"? It's like going to Ruth's Chris and ordering a slab of Chunky Cow Meat.

Via JMH.

UPDATE: Hmm. After reading a bit more through it, it's getting increasingly tedious. Primarily because the author, while full of great vocabulary and visual imagery when he puts his mind to it, has a lazy streak a mile wide when it comes to finding synonyms for the word "nice". Seriously, "nice" appears on average at least once per paragraph. And then there's the overabundance of homophone guesswork ("dispersions" for "aspersions" and "preceded" for "proceeded", etc). Plus he misapplied the word "penultimate", which is a pretty serious crime in the Grammar Führer's Fatherland.

It's a petty distraction from what otherwise makes for some excellent and educational culinary reading. I've got to try a few of these Hudson Valley delicacies while I'm out here.

UPDATE: Uh, crap. I hope this wasn't my doing.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008
20:19 - First Manbearpig, now Gamblor
http://www.lvrj.com/news/36335684.html

(top)
Uh-oh. Las Vegas is snowed in. Someone should check the casinos for a suspicious pasty figure in a parka and dark glasses feverishly pulling levers and muttering about being super-serial.

Speaking of which, apparently the "respectable unbiased news organization" mask has dropped from the AP. Old news to some, I'm sure, but it seems they're falling like dominoes lately. This gaping retort makes a fun little point:

"When the Arctic Ocean ice melts, it never raises sea level because floating ice is floating ice, because it's displacing water," O'Brien said. "When the ice melts, sea level actually goes down.

"I call it a fourth grade science experiment. Take a glass, put some ice in it. Put water in it. Mark level where water is. Let it met. After the ice melts, the sea level didn't go up in your glass of water. It's called the Archimedes Principle."

Uh... oh yeah.


Monday, December 15, 2008
06:10 - That's what I'm talkin' 'bout
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13512_3-10122923-23.html

(top)
Courtesy of Peter N. Glaskowsky, a nice CNet write-up on PRI, our exotic rental car company, and our recently announced track fleet at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

(Yup, that's right—rentable track cars. At a phenomenal driving club. We might well be as crazy as people tell us, but I seem to recall some company or other saying "Here's to the crazy ones"...)

The economy might be down, but it's not hurting interest in motorsports, if the sold-out prospective member meetings at NJMP are any indication. It's shaping up to be a pretty sweet spring season indeed.


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© Brian Tiemann