Obama the Bike Geek?


Politics really piss (pisses? what’s the conjugation there?) me off sometimes. This picture of Barack Obama taking his kids for a bike ride has been roundly mocked as “nerdy” or “geeky.” The reasons given: the helmet and the tucked in polo. What the hell is the guy supposed to do? If he wasn’t wearing a helmet, he’d get absolutely blasted. No one looks good in a bike helmet. (Side note: it seems odd that he only has one strap going under his chin. All bike helmets I’ve seen have a triangle shape coming down from the helmet, meeting under the earlobe, then a single strap from there under the chin. Strange.) I suppose you could argue his fashion sense for tucking in a polo, especially into jeans, but damn people, I wear a freakin tucked in polo nearly every day at work. It’d look pretty sloppy if it wasn’t tucked in.
It’s unbelievable to me that this kind of shit is what people are focused on while the dollar is tanking, gas prices are through the roof, and soldiers are dying in Iraq. But please, let’s go ahead and criticize the man for wearing a fucking helmet and tucking in his shirt instead of focusing on the issues.

Bike geek side note: some people have noticed that the bike didn’t seem to fit him particularly well. I’m not totally sure on that, but I’m not an expert. In one of the pictures, his leg does seem to be almost fully extended at the bottom of the pedal stroke, so he might raise the seat only slightly. More likely, he probably just needed a slightly taller frame, and he would have been good to go.

Update: And yes, I am White and Nerdy.

Earth Day

From Michael Pollan’s piece in the New York Times:

The “cheap-energy mind,” as Wendell Berry called it, is the mind that asks, “Why bother?” because it is helpless to imagine — much less attempt — a different sort of life, one less divided, less reliant.

Go read, then at least make an attempt at imagining a different sort of life.

Amazon Rocks Again!

So not only is my Guitar Hero 3 for Wii arriving later today, but it was also a “lightning deal” on Amazon today. For $10 less than what I paid for it yesterday. Luckily, they were nice enough to give me a refund of the $10 after I called them up to request it.
Did I mention it’s getting here today? I’m on my way home now to go mow the lawn before it gets here.


Good: Evan, after having back-to-back sleepless nights thanks to a 102 degree fever, finally got a reasonable night’s sleep last night, allowing his parents to sleep a little better too.
Bad: I got paged for work at 4:30am.
Bad: My adopted daughter from the playground is moving to France in July. They had said there was a possibility of moving to Brussels in the next couple of years, but not Paris, not July! I will miss them.
Good: Guitar Hero 3, in spite of me choosing Super-saver shipping from Amazon, is being delivered today! Squee!


In sad news for the residents of Vienna, Va., the Examiner reports
that the city will swap out its traditional July 4th fireworks display
this year for a laser light show. An accident at the Vienna fireworks
last year injured about a dozen spectators, so city officials voted to
spend $22,000 on a non-flammable alternative. No word yet on whether
Vienna will also provide marijuana and a Pink Floyd soundtrack.

In other news, I noticed that Amazon had Guitar Hero 3 for Wii on sale today for $15 off the usual price, so I jumped at the chance to use my Amazon gift certificate (thanks bro!) and birthday money.  No Pink Floyd on there though, only Poison and Guns N Roses. 

Rock Band Casualty

So in spite of the fact that I missed out on eating a whole pig at a bonspiel this weekend, I was able to ad-lib a pretty decent alternative weekend. Drive to Chicago on Friday to hang out with my buddy John. We went to a place called Hopleaf for dinner, and I had moules-frites, very yummy, accompanied by a couple of Belgian beers (Tripel Karmeliet and Kwak, with Goose Island Bourbon County Stout for dessert). We went back to his place after and played Rainbox Six Vegas 2 and Rock Band for a little while. OK, so we were up till at least 1:30am (Central) playing. And I have the blisters from playing the drums to prove it. Fun though.
On Saturday we went to the Cubs game. Those rooftops have seriously gotten ridiculous. A couple of them even have luxury boxes built-in. Fun time, Cubbies actually won almost in spite of themselves. Afterward, we headed to Goose Island down the street, and I had the Dead Goat Porter (nice and chocolatey) and the Cubby Blue (with blueberries, not bad). Back to John’s for more XBox and more blisters, plus the Final Four beer tasting.
Drove up to Michigan on Sunday morning and met up with the family at Zingerman’s Roadhouse for brunch. Grillades and grits were delicious. Then it was off to the Tigers’ game for the nightcap. A bit chilly, even though they claimed it was 50 degrees. I managed to find a Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy (citrusy, I could dig it during the summer) at a beer stand, after bailing out from the beer hall after choking through the smoke for a few seconds. Come on Detroit, let’s go smoke-free like Wrigley! We stayed long enough to watch the Tigers give up 6 runs in an inning (followed by the now obligatory “Fire Millen” sign to send up a cheer), then headed home.
After a quick IHOP breakfast, I left Michigan at 10am, only to find the Pennsylvania Turnpike completely closed from exit 75 to exit 161. The detour naturally took us on a two lane road that narrowed to one as we drove through a 5 stoplight town. So instead of getting to curling at least an hour beforehand as planned, I arrived 5 minutes early after wolfing down a quick burger. Naturally, we won our first game only to lose the second, and I stumbled through the door after 1am and collapsed in bed after a long day.
Still, it was well worth the trip, and I had a very fun birthday. Thanks to all who helped make it a good one.

Coffee Cliche

Has “Starbucks coffee tastes burnt” become a cliche? It seems to me it has, when every person I know, even those who don’t really drink coffee, say that about Starbucks. I just don’t think all those people have actually drunk Starbucks coffee (coffee, not lattes), and even if they have, why don’t they try a lighter roast?
Discuss amongst yourselves.

Amazon 30 Day Price Guarantee

I just saved an extra $6 on my holiday shopping! How? By using Amazon.com’s 30 day price protection guarantee. I filled out a form, and literally 10 minutes later, I got an email informing me that I was getting a refund.
If you want to get a price drop refund, just follow these simple steps (blatantly stolen from FiveCentNickel):
(1) Visit “Your Account” and look at all invoices from the past thirty days.
(2) Click on the item names to pull up the current item description/price and compare to the price that you paid.
(3) If you paid more than the current price, copy down the order number and go to:
» Returns and Refunds Contact Form
(4) Check of the item(s) in question and then click the e-mail button. Select “Refund Inquiry” as your subject.
(5) In the body of the message, tell them that the price dropped and that you want to be credited for the difference. It might help to mention the item name as well as old and new price, but I’m not sure that’s entirely is necessary.
That’s it. And keep in mind that this even works if you used a coupon and/or “Buy Both & Save” deal and the regular price later drops, even if the new ‘regular’ price is higher than what you paid after the coupon/discount.
Here’s a tool to help you keep track of your purchases and any price drops: PriceProtectr (with the obligatory vowel dropped). You enter the URL of your item, and optionally when you bought it and what you paid for it (the tool will automatically fetch the current price for you), enter your email address, and they’ll monitor the price for 30 days and let you know if it drops.