atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1144: Mumbles from the bunker

This afternoon I cut the grass. It started to rain--sprinkle--drizzle--just as I was finishing the back yard. So I waited about 15 minutes; the rain ceased, and I cut the front yard.

Other than cutting the grass--which I did entirely from the comfortable seat of the riding mower--I did nothing today besides eat, sleep, and play D2.

So why the hell am I so tired now? This blows.

* * *

Best Buy has Seagate 500 GB drives on sale for $90. I'm considering it. They also have 1 TB drives for $180, which makes sense--2x $90 is $180--but that's a bit steep for my taste.

* * *

The Steger "Summer Fare" had fireworks tonight. I was playing D2 when I heard various booms and bangs; realizing it was that, I went outside to have a look.

It started raining, of course.

If I'd been smart, I would have gotten into my car and driven a short way north on the next street to the east of ours. It would have gotten me past the trees and onto a nice hill where I could have seen the fireworks.

Maybe next year.

* * *

I'm hoping that I can watch fireworks from the parking lot at work like I did last year: I got there, and Orland Park was having its fireworks display, so I ate my food in my car and watched the fireworks. The show was over before I had to go in; that was pretty cool.

* * *

I'm not making a pilgrimage to Indiana this year.

* * *

It occurred to me last night that if I could get my hands on an old riding mower, I would have most of the mechanical parts needed to build a go kart.

Change the drive pulley on the engine to change the ratio between the engine and the transmission, so you get more speed. Remove the brake from the transmission; build "scrub brakes" instead, which press on the rear wheels to slow the thing down. (That way you can shift gears without worrying about accidentally engaging the brake, you see.) Build a go kart frame to which to mount the engine and transmission. Use the steering system from the mower. Etc.

...I then started thinking about a suspension--I want a softer ride. It's not all that hard to do, and if you're already building a go kart from scratch, why not? The only real problem is where to get coil-over shock absorbers with the right spring rates without paying an arm and a leg for 'em.

I can just imagine how awesome it would be to have a go kart with four or five forward speeds and reverse, with an 8 HP motor, and a proper suspension. It would be a blast to drive, but it would have to be built pretty strong.

(yeah, yeah, I know: buy a Honda Odyssey. But where's the fun in just buying one? Besides, they're expensive.)

* * *

It got pretty chilly last night, and it's pretty chilly tonight, too. Is this merely coincidental, that it's this chilly in (almost) July in a year when the global temperature anomaly dropped 0.75°?

Sunspot #999 disappeared, and I've been waiting several days for #1000...and nothing, yet.

I wonder what next summer's temperatures will be like in late June and early July.

* * *

Still, the corn won't be "knee high by the 4th of July" this year, unless it undergoes explosive growth in the next 5 days. I don't think this is a very good year for corn.

Meanwhile, the regular price for a carton of ice cream is about $6, and for your $6 you now get three pints of ice cream. The containers used to be half gallons--four pints--and now they're three pints. They made an intermediate stop at 3.5 pints (1.75 quarts) but now they're 3.

Sure, you can buy cheaper ice cream. But the majority of the ice cream at the supermarket near here is priced at $6. I won't buy it at that price, of course; I buy it when it's on sale "2 for $6" or, essentially, half-price...which seems to happen an awful lot. $3 for a half-gallon is good; $3 for three pints is...not as good.

This is how they increase prices without actually increasing prices: they sell you less product for the same price. And people don't complain about it, either, unfortunately.

* * *

I keep thinking I should write more lyrics for "Hall Effect, Girl", but it would mean actually having to listen to the song again. I'm not willing to suffer that much for my art.

* * *

It would be nice if someone would market an ebook reader that didn't cost $400. The careful shopper can score a basic laptop at Best Buy for about that much, for crying out loud.

No, I don't want to read text on a Palm Pilot. I have a Palm and a Handspring Visor, which are useful tools, but what I want is a big E-paper display like the Sony Ebook Reader or Amazon's Kindle. Something that doesn't draw power when the display isn't changing.

I want the thing to run on AA or AAA batteries. I want it to be able to display JPG images, too--such as manga pages--such that they're legible. I want it to be able to display Word documents, PDFs, and text files. I want it to have a gigabyte of internal memory and have an SD card slot or two for expansion.

Does a device like this have to cost $400? I fail to see why. Gateway routinely sells basic laptops for $500. An Asus EeePC runs under $300; why does a Sony Ebook reader cost more than a mini-notebook with a color display and WiFi?

* * *

Other than complaints and minor observations, I got nothin', so I'm just going to call it quits for tonight.

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