Friday, May 30, 2008

Why I love Jennifer's bike that she hates so much....

General Carlessness has a rant on her bike. I offer this counterpoint.

Jennifer's bike is awesome: it screams, "My rider is a hard-core commuter. She takes an off-the-shelf medium-cheap bike and rides the hell out of it. She's added the sensible accessories (fenders, rack, lights), and had the good sense to pick one of the few bike models off the shelf that will accommodate them. Check out these wide smooth tires, which everyone with any sense--and even the highest aesthetes in all of bicycledom--knows are the way to roll. Sure, I've got a suspension fork, but wer're too busy riding to spend hours agonizing over what to spend money on--and everyone knows that habit is just an ulcer on the world of cycling, caused by an infection of Consumer Culture. I take a little, and make it go a long long way.

"Besides, look at me: I'm a testament to engineering solidity--in thirty years, I'll have the bombproof reputation of a Chicago Schwinn, only I'm about a stone lighter and my brakes actually work in the rain. Shoot, she's trying to ride me into the ground so she buy something fancy, but I just keep on trucking.

"You, with the trucker hat--eff you, man! If you want to identify with the plebeian masses then you'd do well to recycle that PBR can (and the ends that you so stupidly cut off of your riser bars) into some mass-produced hybrid that will still be ridden after your knees scream for mercy and your fashion sense dictates that you leave your IRO in the garage.

"I'm keeping it real."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Why my CD drive won't open

Short answer: It's a POS, and it's started breaking after 3 years of pretty easy use.

Long answer (which is kind of neat, and also lets me know how to solve it): There's either crud on the lens of the CD, or it's scratched or otherwise failing, so it's having trouble reading the disc that's in there. The thing is, it keeps trying, spinning up the disc either every minute or continuously to see if it can get a read on it. Because it's 'active' it won't eject the disc, even when you ask it to through Windows. Windows used to time out when it failed to read a disc, but not any more.

The trick to getting the disc out is to do it while the computer's on but before Windows gets ahold of the hardware. Reboot, and while the "Dell" screen is still up, i.e., the hardware is powered but Windows hasn't fired up, hit the manual eject button.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Never too early

The alarm went off this morning, and Dr. Fledermaus said, "One snooze!" As I fumbled for the button, I said, "Not much; one snooze with you?"

Monday, May 5, 2008