Sunday, December 31, 2006

No Posts in How Long?

Wow. I'm bad.

But whatever. I'm in New England, fighting with my family for the use of the single underclocked Dell. And maybe you've never had to contend with fighting a fifteen year old girl for the only computer in the area that can reliably get her on MySpace.

It's a treat, let me tell you.

In the tradition of all blogs everywhere, I figured I'd post some resolutions here, in lieu of the more substantial recap of the holidays posts I'll put up once I get back to a computer with Photoshop on it. In addition to the more outdoorsy pledges on Modern Hiker, I will hereby add the following:
Maybe I'll think of more this week. For now, though, I have to get to bed. Lame-ass 6AM flight ...

Oh, one more thing. Next year, New Year's in California. Preferably on a mountaintop at sunrise.
that one guy you know, 7:03 PM | | | | | | | | | | link | 1 comments |

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Traveling Gear

So I had to get my Wii home so my family could partake in Nintendo-inspired madness.

This is what it will be traveling in:

Cons: Holy fuck, does this make me nerdy.

Pros: It doesn't say 'Wii' in giant letters on it, so I don't have to worry about getting mugged.

Also, the Hylian Shield emblem is fireproof, and won't break if I get hit with a flaming arrow.


that one guy you know, 7:04 AM | | | | | | | | | | link | 3 comments |

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Nintendo Wii Safety Video

I wanted to make sure no one else got hurt playing their Wii, so we whipped up this educational safety video for the Internets. Enjoy.


that one guy you know, 9:49 AM | | | | | | | | | | link | 0 comments |

Frisky Dingo

I know you've already been watching the Best Show on Television on a regular basis.

If not, you've got to do yourself a favor and track down all of the episodes. Watch them in order, then watch this week's. It has a scene where two adorable bunnies have knives strapped to them in a ring.

It also features an Agamemnon joke.

God, I love this show.


that one guy you know, 8:04 AM | | | | | | | | | | link | 1 comments |

Monday, December 18, 2006

New Hike Write-up and Pictures

From the venerable Sandstone Peak area in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Now with fancypants GPS! Go check it out, and let me know what you think. Keep in mind the site will be off Blogger as soon as I can get someone at RegisterFly to do their job.
that one guy you know, 11:04 AM | | | | | | | | | | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Everyone I Know Needs To Watch This

Share it with your family. Make it a new holiday tradition.


that one guy you know, 3:39 PM | | | | | | | | | | link | 4 comments |

Monday, December 11, 2006

Some Things Best Said Elsewhere

In an attempt to solidify and focus my emerging outdoorsy-type writings (and in an attempt to not confuse the people who find this site via outdoorsy-type searchings with Zelda rants and videos of Japanese mannequins riding skateboards), I have decided to launch a new site.

It's called Modern Hiker, and while it's extremely bare-bones right now, it will soon have lots more detailed information, reviews, news, and trail-related ramblings and meanderings. If I can straighten out some server-related issues, I may even get WordPress working before the week is out.

So like I said, there's not much on there now, 'cept a review of a new Yosemite exhibit at the Autry Center.

And for everyone else, Zelda is still awesome, this is a terrible rendition of a holiday song, and here is a trailer for an interesting looking documentary.

that one guy you know, 4:40 PM | | | | | | | | | | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Late To The Game: Podcasting

The concept of the podcast initially seemed very interesting to me. An explosion of user-created radio shows, narrow-casting to the infinite, bizarro underground wonderlands!

Unfortunately, most of what came out of the podcasting craze (2005 New Oxford American Dictionary word of the year!) was unremarkable. Much in the same way we're seeing with YouTube'd videocasts today, the first podcasts were too long, too self-indulgent, and not very interesting. So, as I do with everything I don't understand, I ran far, far away.

Until last night.

Earlier this week I'd read an article on a very interesting-sounding BBC podcast called "In Our Time," a sort of weekly audio documentary on the history and implications of a specific idea or set of ideas. I still haven't been able to listen to it, so I can't give a pass or fail ... but next week's topic is Anarchism and I am crazy interested.

Last night, on a whim, I decided to browse through the iTunes Podcast section, looking for some short, free 'casts of things that would be interesting to listen to on the drive to work. And there it was. Garrison Keillor's "The Writers' Almanac." A concise, well-produced 5 minute podcast that features literary birthdays, little-known historical events of the day, and a poem for good measure. And of course it's read by Keillor, which already puts it well above any other non-Keillor podcast.

It's the podcast designed for me, begun the day before I decided to start looking for good podcasts. Coincidence? OR FATE?!?

But seriously, it's great. And a very nice way to start the day. If anyone has other podcasts they dig, please share.


that one guy you know, 11:14 AM | | | | | | | | | | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Team of Rivals

Last night, I finished reading Doris Keane Goodwin's Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.

I admit, my knowledge of Lincoln didn't venture much further than the handful of facts and legends anyone who went through the American school system picked up along the way. I wanted to delve a little deeper into the mythical Great Emancipator's life, and when I discovered a book that was a biography of not just him, but of his Cabinet, I jumped at the chance to pick it up.

While it doesn't necessarily delve too far into Lincoln's early years and upbringing, it is an utterly fascinating investigation into Lincoln's shrewd political skills - something you really don't hear about too often.

Lincoln is, himself, a fascinating and contradictory man. But his Cabinet is even more interesting. Comprised almost entirely of people Lincoln had fought with for the Republican Nomination, on the surface it looked like the Cabinet would not only work against Lincoln, but also against itself - the Cabinet was completely balanced between Northerners, Westerners and 'Border Statesman', and Radical Republicans, Conservative Republicans, and Democrats. It even had a few Cabinet members with intense personal rivalries with each other, and one who was covertly campaigning against Lincoln before his re-nomination by the Republicans.

Very similar to the atmosphere portrayed in the also-excellent Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation, Lincoln knew he needed a variety of viewpoints and positions from the most able men in their field, regardless of their personal or political problems. The way he was able to corral and direct such a contentious group without ever making anyone feel slighted is brilliant. I've always thought creativity and brilliance often come out of in-group rivalries and competitions, and Lincoln's Cabinet shows you get much more from a multifaceted view than you do from a single, unified one.

Beyond an investigation into Lincoln's management style, the book also really brings to life the entire political universe at the time. We get great looks at the founders of the Republican Party, the opposition Confederate leaders, generals from the front line, leading abolitionists, and the members of the Cabinet themselves - who each have their own engrossing biographies. I know I'm already looking for more in-depth biographies for several of the Secretaries and Generals, which should be a good measure of how interesting Goodwin makes these figures in her book.

Of course, you know how it's all going to end, but it doesn't make the book's conclusion any less heart-rending. As you truly get to see how much his Cabinet revered him, and what a sympathetic figure Lincoln was, this book's account of the assassination is truly one of the saddest passages I've read.

If you're looking for a good holiday gift for that history / politics / Lincoln buff, this is a great choice. Very highly recommended.

Labels: ,

that one guy you know, 4:42 PM | | | | | | | | | | link | 1 comments |