Raising Dust

August 4th, 2009

I just had the damndest idea. What if I bought a long strip of land next to Interstate 5, out where the land is otherwise good for nothing (aside from possibly growing federally subsidized cotton using state subsidized water), paved a nice road running more or less parallel to the freeway for 30 miles or so, and charged admission to use that piece of road - with no speed limit whatsoever? So on that trip from LA to Sacramento one could drop $15 and hit 130 in their beemer for a little while without worrying about citation?

Would the CHP try to cite for reckless driving? (CA Basic Speed Law: "No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property". Which seems like a fine thing to post in large letters at each entrance, and I daresay 140 is not too fast on a flat road with sight to the horizon.) Could I get sued into oblivion when some idiot takes a text message, spills their latte, and rolls over? Would I make any money? How do the Bonneville Salt Flats do it?

From the most cursory examination of the vehicle code (Section 21107), it appears that the state cedes all private road regulations to local cities and counties. I daresay I could find a cooperative county around those parts in exchange for whatever tax revenue my hare-brained scheme might make.

It's an ill wind which blows no good

July 29th, 2009

Lifted from essentialsaltes:

A building in the 8900 block of Sepulveda caught fire this morning.

Of course, since the fire was in the medical marijuana clinic, things are pretty laid back here at the office this morning.

Sic Transit KWOD

July 28th, 2009

I have been a long-time listener to KWOD 106.5, based in Sacramento. They've been reliable for years in finding the best new music during the current dearth of anything really good.

In the last couple of weeks, however, I noticed when I flipped the dial to 106.5 that their music had suddenly taken a turn for the old and soft. Music for people not old enough to retire, but whose souls are pushing 75 and who are fearful of anyone yelling. And then I discovered:

KWOD is dead. I mourn.

When I was in high school - a dark period on Musical Earth, when Rock and Roll meant Spandex and Big Hair, and nightmarish "the black music white girls like" bands like Tony Toni Tone, Bell Biv DeVoe, and Bobby Brown dominated the top 40 airwaves - KWOD was the only station a Central Valley boy could turn to for refuge. Although afflicted with the aforementioned plagues, KWOD also broadcast the few bright spots in late 80s music: New Order, Depeche Mode, Metallica, U2, the Cure, the Police - sure, you say that U2 and Metallica and the Police were/are huge, but you are using hindsight and don't understand the total Orwellian domination "My Perogative" had over the airwaves in the late 80s. You've papered over the memories of flipping from station to station and finding only Milli Vanilli and Paula Abdul and New Kids on the Block. I don't blame you.

Anyway. Then the 1990s came and music (well, some of it) became good again, and KWOD helped lead the charge as one of the first "alternative" stations in the nation. And in the naughties, when these useless bastards who make up "Generation Y" continually failed to produce anything musically new and exciting, KWOD nonetheless kept on providing the cream of the mediocre crop.

But that's all over now. KWOD is gone, replaced by KBZC "The Buzz", playing the shittiest, softest music of the 1990s for all your pussification needs. This pretty much sums it up:

The final song played by KWOD was "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" by Sacramento's very own Cake. The first song of the new "The Buzz" format was "Summertime" by Will Smith.

Yes, the music of the 90s is best represented by Will Smith! Gods, shove a spork in my ear! Will Smith!

Fortunately for me, I have discovered 90.5 "The Edge", a student-run station in Concord. Their music errs a little too much on the side of guttural screaming, but I love student-run stations for their amateurish station breaks and general irreverence.

I will sorely miss KWOD. They were a bright spot for many years, and this KBZC garbage is a turd on their grave. Here's to you, DJs and programmers and station managers and everyone affiliated with that once-great institution. Thanks and farewell.

New Glasses

July 28th, 2009

My new glasses have arrived, and they look sharp! Kazuo Kawasaki rimless rectangular cut, made in Japan, and mostly paid for by VSP.

Say what you will about Sarah Palin - and I do - but the woman had some darn smexy eyewear.

They're also made out of some new wonder material that offers higher definition than polycarbonate but is much lighter than glass. It was called 'Phoenix' but, realizing that eyeglass consumers don't want eyes that burst into flames, it's now going by 'Trivex'. The optician who assisted me used everyone's favorite current analogy, that Trivex was HD to polycarbonate's regular television; that's certainly an exaggeration, but I have to say things are quite sharp, particularly at long distance.

Anyhow, my old glasses - which I am quite fond of - have not reappeared from the depths of BART, so it's nice to be able to see again.

Missing Out

July 22nd, 2009

Well, it's Preview Night.

I'm surprisingly depressed to not be going to the San Diego Comic-Con this year. In addition to simply missing out on The Happiest Place On Earth (for 4.25 days), I'm weighted by a real tangle of semi-solid bugaboos: Getting Old, Having Nothing I Really Like to Do Anymore, Chained by Responsibility and never Getting to Have Fun Again - and then the inverse, Being a Bad Person for Being So Selfish...

Shit, I dunno. Maybe its just reading too much Iain Banks. For a congenitally drunken people, Scots sure are morose (says the kettle).