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Sorry, it's time for me to do this, mostly because I have way too many moto projects going on that I should spend time babbling about.

325is - Slowly working on the S52 swap. The motor needs a bit some refresh work before I do the needful and drop it into the BMW. Not too much to report here since this a more long term project I've not significantly touched since getting the S52 mounted on an engine stand and inventoried for part replacements.

Passat - Couple of weeks ago I swapped the coils and plugs. Major difference that makes. No more CEL, misfires or rough idle. Feels like it's making a bit more power and the mileage has gone up a little. The old plugs were WAY out spec for gap, almost as if somebody had just taken them out of the box and screwed 'em in the engine without bothering to gap them.

Tiger - I need to refresh the fork oil and install the new springs. Should be easier now that I've got a real shop hoist. Just need to, you know, do it.

Golf - All peaches and cream here. Getting 40MPG while hooning around a bit is kinda nice!

This kind of makes my day.

swally@burrito:~$ traceroute -m 56
traceroute to (, 56 hops max, 60 byte packets
1 router1-fmt.linode.com ( 136.525 ms 136.525 ms 136.562 ms
2 10gigabitethernet2-3.core1.fmt1.he.net ( 10.519 ms 10.789 ms 11.032 ms
3 10gigabitethernet1-2.core1.sjc2.he.net ( 6.456 ms 5.579 ms 5.571 ms
4 10gigabitethernet5-3.core1.lax2.he.net ( 17.751 ms 9.220 ms 17.791 ms
5 10gigabitethernet2-3.core1.phx2.he.net ( 20.057 ms 19.994 ms 19.981 ms
6 10gigabitethernet5-3.core1.dal1.he.net ( 42.756 ms 42.678 ms 42.675 ms
7 10gigabitethernet5-4.core1.atl1.he.net ( 62.910 ms 73.496 ms 72.568 ms
8 ( 63.046 ms 63.100 ms 64.022 ms
9 ( 97.970 ms 98.482 ms 97.959 ms
10 Episode.IV ( 101.039 ms 99.099 ms 100.078 ms
11 A.NEW.HOPE ( 115.671 ms 131.356 ms 128.111 ms
12 It.is.a.period.of.civil.war ( 98.988 ms 104.337 ms 106.265 ms
13 Rebel.spaceships ( 128.586 ms 121.784 ms 124.074 ms
14 striking.from.a.hidden.base ( 114.497 ms 111.849 ms 103.657 ms
15 have.won.their.first.victory ( 109.377 ms 105.870 ms 106.142 ms
16 against.the.evil.Galactic.Empire ( 99.675 ms 103.005 ms 101.783 ms
17 During.the.battle ( 101.970 ms 99.539 ms 104.006 ms
18 Rebel.spies.managed ( 104.024 ms 101.194 ms 106.406 ms
19 to.steal.secret.plans ( 103.984 ms 107.281 ms 106.149 ms
20 to.the.Empires.ultimate.weapon ( 103.952 ms 103.372 ms 103.769 ms
21 the.DEATH.STAR ( 99.632 ms 103.503 ms 105.293 ms
22 an.armored.space.station ( 103.095 ms 108.986 ms 110.583 ms
23 with.enough.power.to ( 109.178 ms 108.321 ms 106.027 ms
24 destroy.an.entire.planet ( 107.772 ms 107.382 ms 117.573 ms
25 Pursued.by.the.Empires ( 109.126 ms 109.017 ms 110.122 ms
26 sinister.agents ( 114.634 ms 115.380 ms 112.015 ms
27 Princess.Leia.races.home ( 106.169 ms 113.202 ms 101.805 ms
28 aboard.her.starship ( 102.893 ms 99.108 ms 102.871 ms
29 custodian.of.the.stolen.plans ( 99.888 ms 103.325 ms 102.991 ms
30 that.can.save.her ( 105.413 ms 104.856 ms 103.400 ms
31 people.and.restore ( 102.455 ms 104.436 ms 107.156 ms
32 freedom.to.the.galaxy ( 106.895 ms 105.483 ms 106.806 ms
33 0-------------------0 ( 106.499 ms 104.240 ms 104.539 ms
34 0------------------0 ( 105.592 ms 107.317 ms 104.023 ms
35 0-----------------0 ( 104.440 ms 102.205 ms 102.921 ms
36 0----------------0 ( 100.857 ms 103.566 ms 103.754 ms
37 0---------------0 ( 104.409 ms 105.928 ms 111.257 ms
38 0--------------0 ( 104.103 ms 99.258 ms 99.395 ms
39 0-------------0 ( 104.241 ms 103.744 ms 100.772 ms
40 0------------0 ( 106.451 ms 114.367 ms 112.334 ms
41 0-----------0 ( 111.667 ms 118.979 ms 115.118 ms
42 0----------0 ( 115.457 ms 112.509 ms 113.615 ms
43 0---------0 ( 136.883 ms 138.038 ms 141.410 ms
44 0--------0 ( 109.314 ms 104.033 ms 113.229 ms
45 0-------0 ( 141.636 ms 133.377 ms 128.544 ms
46 0------0 ( 104.944 ms 105.993 ms 103.785 ms
47 0-----0 ( 118.558 ms 114.199 ms 113.885 ms
48 0----0 ( 105.257 ms 104.109 ms 102.879 ms
49 0---0 ( 101.540 ms 103.710 ms 103.739 ms
50 0--0 ( 109.638 ms 100.958 ms 111.303 ms
51 0-0 ( 110.642 ms * 104.598 ms
52 00 ( 103.724 ms 103.748 ms 100.409 ms
53 I ( 103.032 ms 103.291 ms 104.506 ms
54 By.Ryan.Werber ( 107.553 ms 103.346 ms 99.802 ms
55 When.CCIEs.Get.Bored ( 100.483 ms 101.662 ms 99.600 ms
56 read.more.at.beaglenetworks.net ( 106.364 ms 106.834 ms 108.033 ms

This past weeked...

Since I wasn't running a convention, high on pain killers, or in barking mad pain from an ear infection this weekend was actually kind of a little productive.

Woke up early, chilled at home long enough to secure a room in the Westing for Anthrocon, then made it to work for a pretty straight forward if not busy day of the same-old-same-old.

Woke up early (as I'm want to do), scanned some TV stuffs and read a bit of BMW S52 service manual stuffs waiting for humblewolf to show up for breakfast and a Harbor Freight run. Picked up a 1-ton shop hoist and a 1000lb engine stand. Back at my place we spent a couple of hours putting both of these together, then cut the BMW S52 free of the pallet it's been living on for…well…a while. Stripped it of it's transmission, clutch and flywheel, then mounted it on the recently assembled engine stand making it vastly easier to work on.

Following that we caught up with some other friend for beer, food, and movie at Cupertino Square. Warm Bodies. Fun popcorn flick, great to watch with friends.

Woke up early, then went back to sleep for an hour. Got some coffee then made my way back home to photograph the hell out of the S52 so I'll have a good on-line visual reference of all the things that need to be worked on, fix or replaced on the motor. Also defrosted a couple of tuna steaks, poked away at FC work, watched House of Cards on NetFlix, did a few chores, cooked dinner, bought some BMW parts on eBay…you know, the usual.

So there you go, my boring Super Bowl weekend slice-of-life post. :)

Further Confusion 2013…

Been a couple of weeks since that little spot of craziness happened here in San Jose. 3380 people in total came together in Downtown for the 15th Futher Confusion and I was blessed with the opportunity to lead the incredibly talented and dedicated team that made it happen. It's only now that my head has stopped spinning from the madness of it all. Man, what a weekend that was.

I can not thank the volunteers who donated so much of their personal time to planning and operating the convention, words simply can't convey how appriciative I am. With out the energy of volunteers, past and present, Further Confusion would never have gotten off the ground and grown into what it is today.

Similarly, I can't thank everybody who came to Futher Confusion enough. We put this event on because we want to make a place where, for a short time at least, people can feel comfortable being their true selves in the company of friends. We're all fans of each other's creative inputs and man…just looking around the convention the array of talent we've got is stagering!

I've also got to thank our vendors and our partners for helping us along the way. Team San Jose, The Hilton San Jose and the San Jose Marriott went out of their way to help us make this year more successful than last. They've been fantastic in coming up with great ideas and ways to help us make the convention a better expeirence over all. The low priced food grab-and-goes in the Hilton and Marriott? They did surprised us with those! We couldn't have asked for more responsive, creative and fantastic organizations to work with.

I've also got a very special call out to Monoceros Media for all of the work done with Further Confusion this year. (And all years, actually!) tugrik's shop collaborated with our Masquerade and FC:U! leads to produce some of the best award trophies we've ever given at Futher Confusion. He also fabricated all of the fursuit tags we gave out and a number of other cool nicknacks and hand outs. We know that when we go to him with a kinda crazy idea chances are high he'll be able to make it happen!

Our AV vendors, Smashwolf Productions, Dynamic Sound and Light, and Legend Theatrical, also deserve a special shout. We put a lot of effort into being able to run fun, entertaining programming on our Main Stage, without their support our dances and stage shows wouldn't have been nearly as cool as they were.

Of course I can't forget to mention PS Print, Stuart Rentals (from whom we sourced the sofas for the convention center), Offworld Designs (they print our con shirts), and so many, many more.

Crazy special thanks has to go out to very awesome individuals who contributed to two very special programs, Street Banners and Lounge Lizards. We were surprised by the significant response we got to these programs and will be running with them again for Further Confusion 2014.

Massive props to SofaWolf and Kitty Loves Monster for their contributions to Futher Confusion 2013. SofaWolf was kind enough ot offer a 10% discount to all Lounge Lizards sponsors, made a bunch of throw pillows for the lounge and were generally awesome. Kitty Loves Monster contrinuted to the waterbottles we produced this, a donation of resources by very good people whom we are extremely apriciative of!

Then we get to our two most awesome Guests, Ursula Vernon and Christopher Savino. Personally, I didn't get to spend enough time chatting with them (curse of Chairmanship, I guess) but man were they great to have out. Ursula, of course, won a Hugo last year for her creative work and I could have listened to Chis talk about animation and cartoon production all day. It's going to be interesting trying to find GoHs who are as cool as they were.

I'd be remiss if I didn't also thank unclekage and 2_gryphon for again appearing on our Main Stage for a time, entertaining all of you with the interesting tales of their lives and unique observations on life. Sadly I didn't have the opportunity to see their presentations in person (and never got the chance to speak with either gentleman for more than two minutes at any stretch) but that's something for me to most seriously correct this coming July at Anthrocon.

We had a couple of other very special performances at Further Confusion 2013, as well. First by the amazing SuperPack Jazz Ensemble. Crazy talented group of Bay Area Furs who just last year came together as jazz enthusiats who started to play and…and good things happened. They were GOOD! One of the best moments of my day was ducking into their concert and getting lost in the joy of great music played for fun.

Next up we had Matthew Ebel and Runtt who kicked out one bloody awesome concert that was probably the most technically complex and challenging shows we've ever attempted at Further Confusion. (Matt has his own take on the challenges and complexity over on his blog - http://matthewebel.com/2013/01/25/on-the-culmination-of-a-technological-dream-gpe-live/ ) Syncronized lights, music, video, lasers, yarn cannons…and…man, if you missed it then you missed something truly epic!

I think one of the most sublime experiences that I had this year, though, was getting to spend a little bit of time with Mr. Frank H. Woodward, a writer, director and producer who came to our convention to host a screening of his documentary film Men In Suits. He gets it. He gets us. And lets face it, it's pretty damn cool that we can bring in screenings of interesting, professionally made documentaries about rubber suit monster movie actors like that!

There's so much good stuff from the weekend that I'm forgetting right now…

Chairing Further Confusion 2013 from start to finish, about 14 months of planning and effort in total, was a barking mad blur of an experience and one I wouldn't have traded for the world. For FC2014 I'll be working more directly on business related matters, I very much look forward to a more focused set of challenges. :)

Ear infection

It's actually quite difficult for me to express how much pain I've been in this weekend. Physical pain, mind you. Mind numbingly, blindingly searing pain. When I think about past things in my life that have been painful well...frankly, they just seem kind of annoying in comparison. You know, things like nearly cutting off my big toe with a rusty pogo stick. (That happened. I was...uh...six, I think.)

This agony started up on Friday morning as sort of a mild headache but by Saturday morning it was pretty clear that it wasn't just some work stress thing as I'd thought. By Saturday evening the right side of my face had become nothing more than a screaming bag of fuck you. Eye. Ear. Jaw. Teeth. Neck. Throat. All of them barking in bone deep agony.

I'd made an appointment for Monday morning but at the rate things were going I wasn't going to make it that long. I scraped enough of myself together, gave the last hour-and-a-half of my on-call shift the finger, and hit the local urgent care clinic 20 minutes before they closed shop for the night.

Upon sticking his scope in my the doctor remarked "Oh wow!" in a surprised tone of voice. That was followed with, "That's a pretty nasty viral ear infection. I'm surprised your not screaming."

I was. With my inside voice.

He set me up with a prescription for some bad-ass antibiotics, some oral pain killers that have been making feel a little loopy and some benzocaine ear drops to help quiet the Wrath of Khan sand-slug in my ear canal. Getting it filled at 9PM on a Saturday night was an adventure in and of itself.

On the up side, I'm doing better today but every so often the pain will flare up so bad I want to curl up in a ball and die for five minutes at a time. When it's not painful things are pretty groovie. (Go go Gadget Vicodin!)

God I'm so glad this didn't hit me last weekend at Further Confusion. I'd have been a complete wreck of a human being.

My 2013 New Year's Resolutions

There’s something of a love/hate relationship I have with New Year’s Resolutions. In concept I like the idea of taking specific actions to change ones being but in practice I’m just as bad as everybody else at following through on my own good intentions. Some years I don’t bother making public lists, some years I do.

Things I Resolve Not To Do in 2013

  • Purchase a smartphone, tablet, laptop, netbook, desktop or other form of computing device
  • Purchase a new printer, scanner or device encompassing either of those features
  • Purchase a new television, monitor, projector or other display device
  • Purchase any new cameras, video, still or otherwise
  • Purchase funny logo/graphic t-shirts without donating an equal number of funny logo/graphic t-shirts to GoodWill from my current wardrobe
  • Purchase a car, motorcycle or other motor driven vehicle--new or used
  • Purchase a costume or costume pieces that I can make myself

    Things I Resolve To Do in 2013

  • Donate non-costume clothes I’ve not worn in 6 months to GoodWill
  • Donate electronics I’ve not touched in 6 months to GoodWill
  • Donate console games/systems I’ve not touched in 12 months to GoodWill

A Small Charity Update

Regretfully, I must report that it is unlikely we will have feline (or canine or human) ambassadors from Cat House of the Kings at Further Confusion 2013: The Furbidden Planet! Due to personal emergency, our representative from this very fine organization has had to take a leave of absence and a replacement representative is not available. I know that many attendees at Further Confusion were looking forward to speaking with the representatives from Cat House of The Kings and meeting their fuzzy ambassadors, I am sorry that this does not appear as though it will work out for FC2013.

With that said, Further Confusion fully stands behind our commitment to support Cat House of the Kings as a one of our official charities, regardless of their ability to participate at our event in person or not. They're a great organization doing great work for a great purpose.

Our best wishes go out to the staff of Cat House of the Kings and wish them and their loved ones good health, speedy recovery, and long life.

Chairman, Further Confusion 2013: The Furbidden Planet!

Weekend in Vegas

Room 2005 of the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino is not the worse place in the world to wake up at six o'clock on a Sunday morning. I've woken up in worse, at least. My right shoulder ached from sleeping on it oddly most of the night, not in a painful way though and it made an enormously loud pop as I moved it for that first stretch of the morning. I lay in that warm bed on the twentieth floor for a good ten minutes taking stock of the weekend before rolling into the shower, rolling into some clothes and then rolling out grab a cup of coffee.

The past couple of weekends have been kind of a blur, first with Midwest Furfest and then with this excursion to Las Vegas for the wedding of two very good friends. Starting with this week and then chatting more about MWFF in post to follow, I think, is going to be the way that I want to approach this.

My Vegas weekend...Collapse )

But, of course, it has to be said that I do hope my friends a long and happy life together.
While cleaning up around the house this morning I put on the documentary Get a Life fronted by William Shatner as background noise. Ostensibly about about the 45th Anniversary Star Trek convention in Vegas, when you watch it the venier of Trek melts away to make visible precicely what makes fandom and fan conventions important to peoples lives regardless of genre. There are a lot of aspects of it that speak deeply to why people frame their lives in the context of fandom and the community of fan conventions.

It's one of the best documentary about fandom and fan convntions I have ever seen. If you've got aa spare hour in your life and a NetFlix account then go watch it. Go watch it before your next convention.

Similarly, if you're a film buff/fan, you REALLY owe it to yourself to watch the documentary These Amazing Shadows, a documentary about the National Film Registry, the art of film preservation and what it is that makes films great.

Nov. 8th, 2012

Tuesday night, almost immediately after his campaign went down in flames, [some of] the talking heads on the right started to say the stupidest thing I've ever heard: Mitt Romney lost the election because he wasn't conservative enough.

This was said more than once by similar talking heads during the campaign as well, that he wouldn't win because he wasn't conservative enough.

Frankly, I think that this is complete bullshit. He didn't lose the election because he wasn't conservative enough and to think that it was in anyway is world with red skies wishful thinking.

What follows are purely my own opinions, take them as that.

Read more...Collapse )

I'll wrap up this rant here, summarizing with the following:

The Republican Party lost because they just couldn't help but piss off the middle electorate.

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