Halfway through Day One, we seem to have established a theme:
But I’m wondering: Until electricity is generated by converting your bad karma into good vibes, aren’t we simply transferring our energy demands to things like coal-burning plants (the standard in my part of the country), river-destroying hydroelectric or, gasp, nuclear? I mean, I’m all for zero emissions, but at some point it’s like squeezing the toothpaste around in the tube. Oh, well. Life is the journey, not the destination. Speaking of electric, here’s Chrysler’s concept:
It’s the 200c EV, another range-extending mostly electric hybrid like the Volt — the first 40 miles are all-electric, etc. What makes this car special — or horrifying, depending on your outlook — is its unprecedented digital FunPak, which includes onboard wifi, and I only wish I was kidding, but you’ll be able to access FaceBook from your car, and your car will have “mobile buddies.” I look forward to the status updates: Taking Fat Ass to Domino’s again. I’ll bet she orders the lowfat cheese. The Chrysler executive sketched out a scenario where you’d start your car via your iPhone, and if it gets stolen? You pick up the same phone and tell it to come home immediately, young man, and while it won’t exactly do that, you can disable it wherever it stands and take a picture of the thievin’ driver. It also has something called “teen mode,” to rat out your kid.
I don’t want you to think I’m obsessed with roller coasters, because I’m not. But I took this video, so what the hell. This is the Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point, a ride that lasts less than 30 seconds. They stretch it out with some recorded engine rumbling at the beginning and run the little Christmas tree lights, but it’s very simple — you’re blasted out of the gate, reach 120 mph in four seconds and climb 420 feet in the air, over the top and then 420 feet back down — straight down — with a little corkscrew twist thrown in, just in case you haven’t peed your pants yet.
Occasionally, when the track isn’t warm enough, it won’t make it over the top and returns to the station in reverse. This is called a “rollback” and is highly prized by insane coaster fanatics, who try to time their rides to get one — after a rain is a good time to be first in line. And in one terrifying case, it had the precise amount of momentum to make it to the top, and no further. In that case, they send a worker up in a basket to give it a push.
Some of you guys who share my coaster problems mentioned motion sickness. Not my problem — I’m a chicken about heights. And an experience like that? Being stuck? I would lay lie flat on the ground after disembarking, and I would probably still be there.
You people, always wanting more, more, more. And here I spent the morning trying to sleep carefully hand-crafting a video amusement for you.
After you watch that, a li’l bloggage:
One of the bright spots in an otherwise damp afternoon was catching this on one of my many trips up and down the Nautical Mile: Alix Spiegel’s fascinating look at two toddlers with gender-identification issues. From NPR/All Things Considered. Please don’t be put off by any ooh-ick feelings you might have; this is as intelligent and sensitive a look at the subject as you can ask for. You know all those transgendered people who say, “I’ve felt like I had the wrong body since I was very young?” These are those very young people.
Had lunch with JohnC Friday. Oh, I was so smug — rode my bike down to his house, and from there we walked the three blocks to the Thai place in the Village. Look at me, I am Miss Fitness, a little creaky from a winter spent sitting on my spongy bum, but otherwise ready to start the outdoor exercise season.
On the way home, I tried something I’d been thinking about all winter — affixing the Flip video camera to my handlebars with the Gorillapod. Bikecam!
Well, it didn’t work. I post the video below, because it gives the lie to two things: One, that you can put a video camera on your handlebars without some sort of damping system and expect usable footage, and two, that I am merely “a little creaky.” Granted, I grabbed this piece at the top of a hill*, but its most alarming feature is not the sickmaking image, but the rasping sound of my breathing. God, I am out of shape.
Next try: Helmetcam.
* The hill in this case is Grosse Pointe Farms’ famous hill, which usually takes the definite article: The Hill. Anyone who lives in a place with real hills would laugh at the name, because it could more accurately be called The Lump. Danny, you are now free to deliver a lecture.
Kate couldn’t stay awake for the eclipse the other night, so I taped it for her, lens flare and all. The Pink Floyd she just has to endure:
(It was about 10 degrees. I went inside between 30-second takes, and kept the battery charged with extra boob power.)
As for Friday night in the Fort, the plan is to meet in the bar at Catablu on Broadway around 6:30ish. Come if you’d like and don’t worry about the time; I expect we’ll be there for a couple-three hours at least. E-mail an RSVP if you get a chance and include a phone number, just so if the venue changes for any reason, we can alert you. Or call seven three four, five four eight, zero zero three three and get the update. Don’t abuse this information, although I’m sure somebody will. If disaster strikes, check this space.
Now I have to go write a big check for some Girl Scout cookies. Ah, parenthood. Have a good weekend.