on ze air

on the air tonight from 8-10pm. 88.7fm locally or wxdu.org non-locally.

also check wxdu.org for a link to my online playlist. just click the “now playing” link.

i feel reeeeeeeally tired right now but i usually perk up after i get on the air. here’s hoping.


“permalink to this week’s playlist”:http://destoria.bootp.duke.edu/djspace/plmanager/world/printplaylist.php?show_id=90


there’s a meditative quality to sanding a very large object, and something deeply satisfying about seeing a fine powder fly from the sanding wheel. one forgets about the vast job ahead and focuses on the moment.

nevertheless, it is strangely physically taxing.

i look at the van every time i go to the garage and think, “this is going to take _forever.”_ i’m pretty patient, though.


due to a Startling Revelation Cliffhanger ™ at the end of the last Alias of the season, i have been having an Alias season one marathon this weekend. i have two observations:

one, someone in the production department digs european vans. it being a spy show, they use a lot of vans for skulking about with loads of equipment. so far, in addition to the bare metal van that i believe i mentioned in an earlier blog post, i have seen “a citroen van,”:http://www.travel-images.com/france238.jpg a “spiffy new vw eurovan,”:http://www.edmunds.com/media/roadtests/spinaroundtown/01.volkswagen.eurovan/01.vw.eurovan.f34.500.jpg and, oh yes, a “lovely blue vanagon!”:http://www.geocities.com/harald_nancy/images/vw_vanagon.jpg and nary a boring american minivan, white panel van, or black suv in sight.

two, they have this little tiny spray bottle that knocks people out. you just puff a little in their face and down they go. i wonder if something like that actually exists? i totally want that.

queen bee is rockin’!

“queen bee!”:http://www.buyolympia.com/queenbee/sid=566932947/

i have a great queen bee handbag and wallet that i get compliments on all the time. i’ve also found that having a somewhat hip and edgy bag that is mostly silver vinyl is also very useful wardrobe-wise.

well, the bag is starting to wear out a little– one of the handles is starting to separate from the body. i keep thinking about buying another queen bee bag, but up until now i haven’t found the new designs and color combos compelling enough to make the high price tag worth it.

now yes, the prices are high, but hell if i’m going to put $70 into my wardrobe, i’d just as soon that money go to a bunch of creative people making cool bags in portland, especially given that i know that $70 is going to last me many years.

anyway, now they have _so_ many cute things i will have to choose carefully! i looove the “silver 45rpm bag”:http://www.buyolympia.com/queenbeehtml/images/45Bag2_lg.jpg but the handle is really too short… i need to be able to put my bag over my shoulder usually.

i could go with the “blue stylus trucker bag”:http://www.buyolympia.com/queenbeehtml/images/stylus_trucker_blue_lg.jpg but that would be a very large bag– bigger than my silver bag. and i have to admit that i find the record truckette a little awkward looking.

the “blue and white cloud clutch”:http://www.buyolympia.com/queenbeehtml/images/cloudclutch_white_lg.jpg is superadorable, though obviously not a day to day bag.

and the list goes on.

oh, one reader of this blog needs “the cupcake coin purse.”:http://www.buyolympia.com/queenbeehtml/images/coin_cupcake_lg.jpg i think she knows who she is!

is it still a pod if it’s all flattened out?

i wasn’t thrilled in 2001 when they changed the mirrors on the new beetle. the original mirrors, although less practical, were clearly drawn along the same lines as the original beetle’s mirrors.

i feel very passionate about the design of the new beetle. i think the _original_ design was a work of genius– a design that is so clearly _beetle,_ yet really, if you look at it, actually looks nothing like the original. every curve is a perfect circle, and every surface is a curve. the interior, far superior to all interiors in its price range and to many above its price range, is equally genius.

over the years, vw has changed the new beetle more and more. the mirrors were the first really big change. the new mirrors are safer and more practical (the original mirror design can block the driver’s view at certain critical moments if the driver isn’t very careful), but not at all in keeping with the original beetle’s mirror design. vw basically tacked modern car mirrors onto a decidedly retro car. feh.

well, now in the 2006 model year, they’ve started to flatten out the curves. i don’t hate it, but its distressing that the beetle strays further and further from the original design. the original designer of the car hasn’t worked for vw/audi since the beetle went production, and i’ve learned not to trust the people now in charge of the design.

curious? “someone has posted photos of the 2006 beetle to flickr.”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/oneighturbo/tags/2006vwnewbeetle/

i will say that the new beetle convertible is well-executed. the top, when folded, sits on top of the trunk, which is one of the things that gave the original beetle convertible its distinctive look. (modern convertibles almost never do this.) the color schemes introduced for the convertible have had a retro feel– soft pastels, and a limited edition with a black body and decidedly old-school red leather seats and red top.

as has been noted on the new beetle mailing list, the color scheme for the beetle sedan has lost a lot of its life. metallic neutrals are now more common, rather than bright crayola colors. the car looks good painted almost any color (except the appalling luna green– fortunately a limited run– basically white with just enough green to be confusing). but the spirit of the bug demands a certain color palette. it’s either got to be a bright little round jewel, or the color that truly makes it look like a jetsons car– silver.

of course, these unfortunate changes just make the early models all the more special. i hope to keep spacepod for the rest of my life– and one day, long after he’s no longer my daily driver, he’ll go to a vw show and we will show them what a new beetle is really supposed to look like.

i’m not the only noisy one

so after a three week hiatus, i’m back in the sanding saddle and the paint is coming off.

my landlady’s kids and their friends have set up a computer in the other part of the garage, and it’s the hangout now. the noise would bug me if i weren’t making so much damn noise myself. between the sound of the sander and the earplugs i wear to protect myself from it, i can’t hear anything but myself swallowing.

i did stop the sander briefly last night to hear one of the kids yelling, “SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUTUP!!” he probably didn’t mean me. hope not. that’s the one thing i can’t do, much though i hate creating a racket.

i tried the wee small brush for the first time last night (having used the larger “cup” brush before). it’s easier to handle than the bigger brush, because less surface area is meeting the van’s surface, but wow is it a wicked little thing. it removes paint/rust/the racing strip very quickly but it also left some scratches in the metal.


a couple of days ago, MFM called me at work.

he likes to quiz me.

“do you know who this is?” (like i wouldn’t recognize that voice.) “yes!”

“do you know what this weekend is?” “BUGOUT!”

he and his wife invited me to come to bugout in Manassas, VA with them this weekend. he said i could even ride with them if i didn’t want to take the van or the bug. they go up every year on memorial day weekend, and her family has a reunion.

bugout, for those not in the know, is a large VW show that occurs on memorial day and labor day weekends. it’s probably the biggest vw show on the east coast barring waterfest, but as far as i’m concerned, waterfest doesn’t count since it’s presumably watercooled only. what the hell do i want to see a buncha riced out golfs for? it’s the _old_ ones that i want to see.

anyway, i knew i wasn’t going to go this year. besides the fact that i need to sit on my $$ and stay home and do useful stuff like sand my van, i feel like i’m taking a break from all vw stuff this year, and i’m liking it. obviously, i’ve met some dear friends through vw events, but there are some aspects of vw culture that bother me. watercooled drivers have a general tendency to want to spend money on their cars in a way that strikes me as being basically about bling. a lot of people are into “performance tuning”, which is basically a euphemism for “i’ll show you what a big man i am even though i feel small inside”. the 20-something guys who will spend an hour telling you in elaborate detail all of the grand things they’re going to do to their car are the most boring.

anyway. so i’m not going to bugout, but it was really, really nice of M & J to invite me. but i’m betting i’ll be going next year with a verrrry unique entry into the watercooled van & camper category.

a happy follow-up

i’ll be on the air as planned next tuesday night!


in completely unrelated news, i have a new favorite smoothie combination. admittedly, some folks might actually call this a “milkshake”, but it _does_ have yogurt so… i guess it blurs the line between smoothie and milkshake.

ingredients are as follows:

* plain yogurt

* milk

* low carb chocolate chip ice cream

* cappucino flavored soy shake mix

perhaps not something i should have _every_ day, but nice for a friday treat. the tanginess of the yogurt was odd for about half a second, then i realized that the tangy/sweet combination was really compelling.

no one was hurt / everyone was hurt

not exactly a great day in durham. there were three cross burnings here last night.


a member of my family– who is still alive to tell the tale– had an encounter with the klan when she was a child in rural alabama.

her father died when she was quite young, and after a while, her mother remarried to a divorced man from another town who worked on the rail lines.

she has happy memories of her stepfather– not just of the stability he brought to their family, but because he was a happy person, always singing and in a good mood.

then, one day, the klan ran him out of town. why? because he was _divorced._

her mother died of TB not long after. she and her brother were left orphaned at a time when few social services existed to care for them. certainly the men who had run her stepfather out of town weren’t there to take care of them. they were bounced from an orphanage to various distant family members, some nicer than others.

just a little tale to remind us that the klan are hypocritical bullies who heedlessly ram their ridiculous ideas of morality down the throats of others, at the expense of the community.

i just can’t think who they remind me of. it’ll come to me.


and backing up the concept of the klan as little, little men, we have “the pants-eye view of the matter,”:http://bunchofpants.blogspot.com/ which i particularly like.

i think burning crosses in durham ought to get ya a place in “the darwin awards”:http://www.darwinawards.com/ hall of fame.

it’s sooooo 1982

like my van!

i so totally want to see, possibly own, “the bbs docu.”:http://bbsdocumentary.com/

when i watched “the triumph of the nerds,”:http://imdb.com/title/tt0115398/ cringely’s documentary about the history of personal computing, i think my hair literally stood on end and i had goosebumps when i saw footage of the first windowing gui and the first mouse. i don’t know why, but i think historic computers are just really, really cool.

if i ran a movie theater… i’d do an early-80’s geekfest featuring ‘triumph of the nerds’, ‘bbs’, and of course the geek movie against which all other geek movies are measured– “war games.”:http://imdb.com/title/tt0086567 and then we could throw in a screening of ‘tron’ just for kicks.