Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Super-Ha'ole White-Skinned Hockey Boy Can Now Surf

Teaching Davis Cooper to surf. He learned the basics and was up on a wave about 3 minutes.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Throwing Tatiana Out of Bed (For Eating Crackers)

If you've read my previous couple of posts, you know I'm spending some of my holiday down time fiddling with two new toys: an IBM Ideapad S12 Nano netbook, and a Nokia e71 smartphone.

The Ideapad continues to impress. For a netbook that practically fits into one's coat pocket, it's pretty cool. The S12 definitely has a lot of weaknesses (way too much screen glare, for starters, and important keys in weird places for another) but for the cost and form factor, I'll accept those compromises to have an S12 (or several) in my quiver. I will probably buy a few more to put in my event inventory.

One thing absent from the S12 that I really miss from my notebooks, however, is the ThinkLight. Like most guys pushing 50, I don't see as well as I once did, and like many programmers, I'm a really lousy typist. I didn't realize how much I relied on the Thinkpad "ThinkLight" (and Dell's equivalent) until I started using the S12, which doesn't have one. I'd love to know the cost and weight penalty Lenovo would have been forced to pay in order for them to put a ThinkLight on the S12. I would gladly have paid extra bucks for one.

The Nokia e71, which I nicknamed "Tatiana" because of it's sleek, elegant, muscular resemblance to the gorgeous blonde Russo-Australian athletics star Tatiana Grigorieva, has revealed a couple of major faults. Faults so severe that I've read dozens, if not hundreds, of posts on various support and chat boards wherein furious Nokia users were resolving to switch phones. To wit:

1) The Nokia has serious bugs in its Brewtooth stack. I have 3 different Brewtooth earsets (Jabra stereo, BlueAnt, and Plantronics stereo), and Tatiana wouldn't stay connected to any of them. They would train and connect, but then go into an infinite loop of connecting, disconnecting, connecting, disconnecting...all day long. By rebooting the phone, I could sometimes get the connection to stabilize for a few minutes, but then it would go on the fritz again.

I Googled around for a while, finding maybe a zillion people reporting the same problem. Few suggestions were offered, and widespread fury at Nokia was ubiquitous. No wonder Nokia is losing market share hand over fist. One suggestion which seemed to solve the problem for most was to buy a Nokia-brand Brewtooth earpiece, but I really like all of my current Brewies, so I wanted to avoid that. Many suggested updating the Nokia's firmware, as listed among the recent Symbian OS revision histories is "better Bluetooth connectivity". I checked Tatiana's OS version and it was 200.something.something; the latest version availabe on Nokia's web site was 400.something.something.

So I updated.

No improvement.

At all.

My favorite Brewie is my BlueAnt Q1, which I believe is Australian-made. Although it's not stereo, it does have a voice command set which is trick as hell, and in general it really works well. I checked the BlueAnt web site, and my firmware was several minor revisions behind. I updated the BlueAnt firmware, and VOILA...Mr. BlueAnt now works flawlessly with Tatiana.

I think BlueAnt is perhaps in that rare place at which technology companies sometimes arrive, where they have indeed invented a better mousetrap, and are still small enough to respond to the marketplace and to problems. Sort of like Palm in 1998, before their world went to hell.

In any event, Tatiana's first eating-crackers-in-bed moment has been solved.

2) Nokia's sync support of anything other than Lotus and Outlook really is pathetic. I actually tried to work around this temporarily by exporting my Thunderbird Contacts DB (approximately 1800 records) into a comma-delimited file, and attempting to suck it into the Nokia PC Suite.

No dice.

The Nokia PC Suite is extremely picky about CSV files. It won't even suck in its own CSV exports. Even worse, the auto-suck will not tell you anything about what it doesn't like about your CSV files as it fails. I fiddled and fiddled, and Googled and Googled, and found nothing other than a LOT of really pissed-off Nokia customers.

After futzing around with my data for an hour using WordPad and OpenOffice SCalc, I finally gave up. Fuck it, for now.

I keep a list of procedures I perform on new Win7 and XP installs to turn off all the eye-candy bullshit, secure the OS, and get rid of performance-sucking, unneeded Services. One thing on that list is to remove the hopelessly insecure and clunky Outlook Express. I recently got a couple of new Dell ATG D630s for my event stash, and I hadn't had time to fully strip them of their Windows bullshit, so I grabbed one with Outlook Express still on it and imported my Thunderbird Contacts DB into it. Then I installed the Nokia PC Suite, and synched to Tatiana. Bingo. All 1800-odd contacts imported. Then I deleted Outlook Express. I'll give up syncing for now, until I decide whether I'm going to stick with Tatiana.

One thing I did notice, however, it the Nokia seems to gag on punctuation in phone numbers. When you enter a phone number into the Nokia's Contacts software, it will not let you do this:

(504) 555-5555

nor this


nor this


nor anything else with punctuation. Phone numbers must be entered as one big unreadable blob, i.e.


Even the crude and user-unfriendly Windows Mobile allows you to punctuate phone numbers, and knows to ignore them when dialing.

I think some of my imported phone numbers had so much punctuation that the Nokia simply dropped them completely.

In any event, Tatiana remains gorgeous, sleek, and seductive to me, but her Windows Nokia PC Suite blows pretty badly. We'll see if I love her enough to stay with her, which will require an investment of $50 in a desktop sync workaround.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Nokia E71

Next on our tech hit parade is the Nokia e71. If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know my main phone is an AT&T Tilt w/Windows Mobile. I like the Tilt about 75 on a 100 scale. It's terrific for e-mail, calendar-ing, and pretty good for web stuff (as long as you use Skyfire rather than the crippled, pitiful IE Mobile). It's got a nice touchscreen and a half-decent slide-out kbd. (NOTE - I can't use an iPhone because (A) I'm hopeless with glass virtual keyboards (B) The phone part of the iPhone is scheisse, (C) the battery life sucks + the battery is not swappable, and (D) I'm not fabulous enough to use any Apple products).

Anyhow, one of the weaknesses of Windows Mobile is that WM phones are extremely cumbersome to use as phones. Try calling into a conference call (PIN required) or into your bank's telephony system with one hand, while walking, on a WM smartphone. Impossible, even if you've got hands like Chris Paul (of the New Orleans Hornets, arguably the best Point Guard in the NBA).

For Europe, where it seems I always need to talk to people on my phone while skiing down an injected race slope or while walking down the street (in both cases, while wearing gloves), I wanted to get a non-clamshell smartphone. I usually use a very cheap, very simple Nokia GSM shit-phone ($40 brand new) in Europe with my Austrian SIM, but I've become a lover of Bluetooth (pronounced "Brewtoot" in Japanese) earpieces, and the shit-phone doesn't have Brewtoot. With pre-paid SIM DATA plans getting more accessible, I figured what the hell, go for a smartphone.

Crackberry was out of the question, as the RIM OS blows chunks, and their browser is unusable.

After looking around for a while, it came down to either the Nokia e71 or the Nokia e63. The e63 is basically the cheaper, plastic version of the e71. I found an open-box new e71 on eBay for $200, so I went for it.

To my abject surprise, I love it. It is the most elegant phone hardware I've actually held in my hand. Light, slim, great kbd, great tactile feel from the metal case, nice click on the keys. I can type like a Tasmanian Devil on it. The Symbian OS is terrific. Browser is great. Tethering, e-mail is easy. And, unlike #$%^&*()@ Windows Mobile, you can do a lot of routine tasks with two or three keystrokes rather than the two or three DOZEN keystrokes required under WM.

Another thing I found really cool is that you can use the e71 to listen to FM radio (as well as internet radio). I know, it's dumb and I'm old...but I like FM radio.

It took me about 2 minutes to get it tethering to an XP laptop.

The e71's GPS simply ROCKS. My Tilt usually takes about 2 full minutes to find itself on the planet. The e71 found itself in about 15 seconds, and I wasn't even close to a window.

I find it incredibly annoying that my Tilt takes 3 minutes to completely boot. The Nokia cold boots in 30 seconds.

In a similar vein, the Tilt takes 3+ hours to fully charge, whereas the Nokia tops up in 15-20 minutes.

The Nokia camera is also way better than the Tilt's camera, although I rarely use a phone's camera. The Nokia camera has a flash, which the Tilt's camera does not. The rez seems much higher on the Nokia, although I will have to experiment further. Who knows, maybe using a camera phone will grow on me.

As with any phone (or unfortunately any girlfriend, as I've found), that initial rush of lust and fascination is soon tempered by annoying little shortcomings discovered in the course of a relationship (WTF - she leaves half-empty cat food cans in the fridge, stinking up all the other food to high heaven? Is sleeping with a Tatiana Grigorieva lookalike REALLY worth drinking tuna-flavored milk?).

By far the biggest annoyance I've found is the Nokia PC Suite only syncs with Outlook and with Lotus Notes. Lotus Notes? What pathetic luddite is still using Lotus Notes? Maybe it's a Euro thing. And Outlook is, well, Outlook. Enough said. I looked on the Nokia Support Forum, and found literally thousands of Nokia users bitterly railing against Nokia for lack of Thunderbird / Sunbird sync support. I agree, but there's more than one way to skin that particular cat. Several 3rd-party sync products, such as Sybase's XTNDConnect PC and Mobile Master, will solve that problem for $50.

Another thing I find weird is that the e71 cannot be charged via USB. Another "WTF" moment. I actually prefer charging through A/C power for various reasons (don't need to keep your laptop on all night for USB power, for example), but why not give users the option? Nokia does make a medusa-head USB cable with both a power plug and a micro-USB plug (part #CA-126), so that strangeness can be worked around.

I'm sure I'll find a few more annoying things about the e71, but in general I like the e71 so much that I may just retire the Tilt and use the Nokia as my main weapon in the US as well. If I do, I will bite the bullet and buy Mobile Master Pro, since I manage all my contacts and calendar with TBird / Sunbird.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Back to August: Nevados de Chillan, Redux

Wolf von Lindenau, one of the CASA guides I skied with in Chile this summer, finally got around to cleaning off the SD card in his camera and found these photos of me cutting up the Pirigallo Valley, sidecountry of Nevados de Chillan, from the first week in August. He was kind enough to send them along to me today. I'm easy to pick out because I was the only guy in the group wearing white.

Wow. That was some seriously good skiing. Can't wait to do it again.

Thanks, Wolf.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Lenovo S12 Netbook

This photo was taken outdoors in afternoon sunlight. The Dell on the left is a mighty ATG D630, which has a 500-nit outdoor screen, so bright it can warm a bowl of soup at 5 meters.

After looking at Netbooks for a long time, I finally ordered up a Lenovo S12 with the VIA Nano chipset.

It's pretty cool. Wouldn't want it as my primary development machine, but it'll come in handy at events, and will be a fine alternative to a real laptop during a week away for checking e-mail, SKYPEing, etc.

In short, it's a fun little toy.

No horsepower problems. The VIA NANO chipset is considerably more powerful than the ubiquitous ATOM chipset on most netbooks, even though the VIA clock rate is slower than the latest ATOMs(1.3 vs 1.6). Even with only 1 gig RAM, it rocks. I've got another gig of RAM ordered.

The chassis comes with a 1 Gig SODIMM soldered in, and another empty slot. The hardware will only recognize 2 Gigs, so I ordered an additional SODIMM. Had I known it worked this well with 1 gig, I might not have ordered that additional SODIMM. But then again, for $60, WTF.

The S12's full-sized kbd is much better than other netbooks I've tried. However Lenovo made a few poor choices on their "combi" keys, in my opinion. For example, HOME and END require a combi; two keys I use a shitload.

Another thing I like far better than most other netbooks is it's got two Touchpad buttons rather than one. Thus, right-clicking is solid, not an adventure in guesswork.

Screen is 1280 x 800. The extra real estate over the ubiquitous 1024 x 576 on other Netbooks is a huge improvement. 576 is just not enough real estate for me, especially when I'm browsing or using a compiler IDE such as Visual Studio.

The screen is relatively bright, but it is also very shiny. It reflects a ton of glare. It's way brighter than the previous-gen laptops (T30), but I'd not be too psyched to try to use it outdoors. However, under normal lighting, it's great. I don't see that well any more, so screens are very important to me. This one is fine in any indoor situation.

The integrated SD card slot on the left side is really convenient.

Another thing I thought was weird is in addition to a hard wireless LAN on/off switch (left side), there is also a soft wireless LAN switch (FN->F5). When I first fired the little guy up, I couldn't see any SSIDs, despite the fact that Windows told me the WL card was on and operating. I feared I might have a dud. But a little Googling revealed that a few zillion other people initially thought the same thing. I turned the soft switch on and away I went, wirelessly. Kind of goofy to have both a hard and a soft WL switch.

It came with Windows XP Home. I will probably replace that with W7 at some point.

The integrated webcam isn't any great shakes, but it's good enough for Skype and it's, well, integrated.

One irksome detail I just discovered is the HDD isn't easily swappable. You've got to spring the keyboard off the chassis to get at the HDD. Not the most convenient thing for a guy like me, who incessantly fiddles with HDDs.

So, in conclusion...is this little thang worth $420? You betcha. It'll come in handy in a lot of situations. I'm glad I waited. The ASUS, SANYO, and Dell netbooks that preceded it were cool little toys too, but this one has way fewer compromises. It won't fit in my jacket pocket like one of the 9" netbooks, but it's much closer to being a real PC. I can type on it and I can see the screen just fine.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Another Batshit-Crazy Euro.....

From the guys who brought us the "squirrel suit" (cruel enforcer of the Darwin theory), another batshit-crazy Euro invents a better way to kill himself.


Thanks to my good mate Digger in Melbourne, Australia, for this link.

Friday, December 04, 2009

It's Never Windy And Cold in Lake Louise

Today's Womens Downhill was moved down to the 2nd bad weather start because it was blowing about 45 knots at the regular start. With a temp of -8, the wind chill index was approximately -100,000,000,000C. It's warmer in outer space.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Where The Deer and the Antelope Play.....

Drove down to Banff last night to do some laundry. As we pulled into town, a humongous elk crossed the street in front of us...obeying all traffic laws. He crossed squarely in the crosswalk, like a good Bullwinkle.

In the meantime, an extremely rare Canadian Alpine Lynx showed up briefly to watch the mens Super-G on Sunday. Lynxes are both extremely rare and extremely shy, so the locals here were blown away that they actually got to see one in the flesh, er....in the fur.

For those of you who aren't familiar with ski racing, the orange stuff partially obscuring the Lynx is a substance known as "A-Net", a type of safety netting.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Lake Louise Shows Off Its Tail Feathers

Lake Louise, Alberta may not be one of the more difficult DH courses on the FIS World Cup, but it's one of the best places to race. After a week of wild-ass weather, today is classic LL: cold as a witch's tit, clear, sunny, fast, great racing snow. Not a bad place to race, eh cowboy?

Gun Barrel, Claire's Corner, Finish. Once again, the "Sled Dogs" have come through, and yesterday's blizzard is but a memory.

The men at Crack of the Beave in Colorado have the early TV slot this week, so our training runs and races are starting an hour later than normal. Hence, a leisurely, civilized breakfast in the morning at the Chateau Lake Louise, followed by a little time to stretch and do a few minutes of yoga. Ahhhhhhhhh.

Walking In a Winter Wonderland, Part Deux

Got the mens races off, flawlessly. Great team effort by our guys, requiring a lot of work and a half-case of Gosling's Rum.

Monday was supposedly laundry day, due to the transition (men to Beaver Creek, women in from Aspen). However, the course was a mess due to another ton of snow, so we spent most of Monday digging our stuff out from under the blizzard and re-loading for the women. Never did get to the laundry.

My colleague Miguel Wakker snapped the above photo up near the womens DH start on Monday. Some of the course is under a half-meter of snow, so today's training run is iffy. Crazy weather for Lake Louise, as normally it's just too cold here for substantial snow to fall.

For the next few days, the weather appears to be getting back to "normal", i.e. -23C and clear.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Walking In A Winter Wonderland

Normally, Lake Louise, Alberta is one of the best places in the world for ski racing at the professional level. The weather is amazingly consistent (either very cold or unbelievably motherfucking cold), and so when it snows, the snow comes down as pixie dust and doesn't accumulate much.

Counterintuitively, fresh snow is bad for ski racing. Race courses are injected with water to make them almost as hard as ice, so any snow that falls after the course is injected must be removed from the course, either manually or by snow blowers.

Yesterday we got in a really smooth training run with 95 competitors. Very high number for a World Cup "speed" event.

It snowed all last night, and oddly, the temp is barely below freezing, so big flakes fell from the sky, and the accumulated snow on the course was knee-deep in places this morning. The race jury called it a day by 8AM, so we had nothing to do except clean up a few details in The Batcave and then go powder skiing.


The powder skiing wasn't that great, as there's very little snow under the fresh powder, so I gouged up my "work skis" pretty good on the rocks. But that's what work skis are for.

It's supposed to snow all day and then really snow hard tonight, so tomorrow might be another powder day.

Very unusual for Lake Louise. In all the years I've been doing races here (since 1994) I can only remember one other day off due to too much snow.

Friday, November 13, 2009

There's a Great French Joke In Here Somewhere

The script of Risky Business meets reality, and reality bites back.

"Who's da U-boat commander?"


Or maybe it's a Texas joke?

Or maybe it's a joke about guys with way more money than sense?

Or maybe it's a joke about engineers who spend millions trying to cut a few kilos out of a supercar's design, and then said supercar is bought by a middle-aged fat guy carrying 100 extra kilos around his middle.

Enzo Ferrari had nothing but disdain for the people who bought his cars. He considered them all poseur idiots, a means to an end. The people who bought his road cars were poseurs with too much disposable income, and the people who bought his old race cars were even bigger idiots, because he'd since built a better one.

And so forth.

Here a video of the aftermath:


Monday, November 09, 2009

First iPhone Virus

Hoo boy. Here we go.


Winter is on our doorstep. Now that the gauntlet has been dropped, look for iPhones to be attacked relentlessly by 16 year old be-pimpled hackers all over the world, sitting around in their underwear with nothing better to do.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Windows 7 Doesn't Suck Too Badly

"Doesn't Suck Too Badly" is about the best we can hope for from Microsoft. Honestly, if Gates and Ballmer had to pay for the lost productivity we all suffer every time they totally change the Windows UI, then they'd be driving around in 1976 Pintos and living in crappy apartments instead of living large as arrogant fuckwad douchebag billionaires.

I installed W7 on one of my Dell ATG D630s. To my utter astonishment, I discovered there actually is a benefit to W7: Every single device installed perfectly, right out of the box. That, in and of itself, was amazing. I wasn't left with a Device Mangler full of question marks. Right off the bat, I saved an hour of futzing around on the Dell web site, downloading drivers and playing an infuriating game of "guess the hardware".

The default UI blows, of course. It took me about an hour of Googling around and futzing around to get the UI as close to "Windows Classic" as possible.

Start -> Control Panel -> All Control Panel Items -> Personalization -> Basic Themes -> Windows Classic will get your windows to look reasonably like XP.

Then you have to futz with the firewall and the Start menu.

Start Menu:
Notification Area: OFF
Taskbar Buttons: Never Combine

To get most of the M$ crap off your Explorer windows, open up a window and click -> ORGANIZE -> LAYOUT.

Unfortunately, the only way to get a Classic start menu is to install a free program called CSMENU.

-> Control Panel ->All Control Panel Items -> Performance Options -> Visual Effects turns off all the bullshit eye candy screen stuff like animations inside Explorer windows, fade effects on the menus and other assorted, needless crap.

Unfortunately, a lot of the hard-coded locations of vital stuff have changed, an unfortunate annoyance that has carried over from the hopeless Windows Vista. For example, you can't get to C:\Documents and Settings because it basically doesn't exist.

But the performance is pretty good, I can live with it. I'll wait for at least Service Pack 1 (if not Service Pack 2) before I use it for anything important.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

News Flash: The French Are Good for Something

OK, I admit it. I was wrong. The French are good for something.


The next time I am falling-down drunk and find myself with no corkscrew, I will think of how brilliant and creative French people are.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Three Weeks 'Til Downhill Season

Three weeks till the World Cup DH season kicks off in Lake Louise, Alberta. Winter doesn't even start for 7 weeks, but I'm sure The Sled Dogs will pull the races off. The Sled Dogs are a hard-working, hard-partying, loose confederation of course workers (most of whom are volunteers) who have been together since the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. They work their asses off literally around the clock to prepare the DH and SuperG pistes at LL.

A lot of people dread downhill season - the interminable weather delays, the changing snow conditions, innumerable course holds, the monstrous courses requiring huge infrastructure and setup. I, for one, love downhill season. You will not find a more entertaining display of athletic prowess, presented in a better natural venue. In short, downhill is the ultimate in sport theatre, at least as far as I'm concerned. As a fan, I simply dig downhill.

Another reason to love downhill season is, well, downhillers. To wit, they are (as a group) not screwed down too tight. Excepting the mostly straight-laced Austrians, your Kristian Ghedinas, your Tommy Moes, and your Todd Brookers are a batshit-crazy bunch.

Let's have a look at the basic concept. Go to the steepest, iciest, most dangerous mountain you can find. Snap a pair of devices to your feet, devices designed not to arrest your momentum, but to maximize it. Point the slippery devices straight down the hill. Shove off. Go like hell. Try to go faster than all the other guys, without killing yourself.

Perhaps now you can understand why downhillers aren't screwed down too tight.

My favorite ski racer currently competing on the World Cup tour is a guy named Rainer Schoenfelder, whom I've never met, but who became my favorite skier after I saw a video of him blasting through a slalom training run at Wengen last year buck naked. On a bet. Anybody that wacked has got to be a cool guy.

One of the best ski racers in the world, the defending World Cup Overall champion in fact, is a Norwegian named Aksel Lund Svindal. I've met him briefly a few times, and he didn't seem to have much personality. Just goes to show you.....first impressions can be deceiving.

Check out this video of the Norwegian DH team, shot at Portillo this past summer, about three weeks after I skied there.


And that's just one of many reasons why I love downhill.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Royal Pains

Don't know if you've seen the TV series Royal Pains on USA Network, but it's very entertaining. It concerns a "concierge doctor" on call to the rich, famous, zonked-out, and totally psycho in a Richistan haven called The Hamptons, which is out on Long Island.

The Hamptons is a real place. I spent this weekend visiting friends out there.

Nice little $28,000,000 beachfront love shack

Another one.

One thing money cannot buy is good surf. This blown-out lumpy mess is considered epic conditions by the local surfers. Guh....ross! I wouldn't paddle out into this sick blecccch for all the tea in China.
It's October here, the water is about 54 degrees and the air temp is about the same, so the hearty, brave souls around here paddle out into this dreck wearing 5 mil wetsuits, complete with balaclava hoods, gloves, and booties. I shot the shit with a few of the local boyz down at the beach this morning as they waxed up their boards, guys who were stoked to surf in this. Nice guys, but crazy as shithouse rats.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bexel Flypack. Don't Leave Home Without It

Obviously, floating a production truck to Bermuda is impractical. Bexel's FlyPack solves that problem. Very cool.

Audio world.

EVS World

Not a bad place to hold a golf tournament.

Most of the crew is staying next door at the Pompano Beach Club. Five minute walk to work.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Lost in Translation, Miami Style

I'm sitting in the American Airlines Admiral's Club at Miami Airport.

En route to Bermuda for the PGA Grand Slam of Golf.

The date is October 17. Autumn has barely begun. It's snowing to beat the band in New York. Here in Miami, it's 92 degrees.

In the AC, there's a room called "The Bose Room", where the chairs are wired for satellite radio. Each console has a variety of stations.

I'm guessing the guy who programmed the abbreviations into the consoles is either extraordinarily dumb, an extraordinary smartass, or, as is the case with a very high percentage of Miami residents, English is not his 1st language.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Orianthi Panagaris



As Carlos Santana says, "seriously ass-whupping".

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Canadian Showjumping Masters @ Spruce Meadows, Part Deux

Rubbin' Is Racin'

In a clash of culture perhaps unprecedented in the history of sport, I have brought together NASCAR and the, shall we say, upper crust of professional sport, showjumping. In my own subtle way, of course.

Worlds Collide.

The Spruce Meadows Canadian Masters is the home of the CN International Grand Prix, the world's only million-dollar showjumping class. $350K to the winner. The scoring format is FEI Article 273.3.1, which means only the top 12 finishers from the first jumping round are given a shot at the big bucks by coming back for round 2. Hence, like Sprint Cup qualifying, there is a "Bubble". The SJ world doesn't call it that, of course. But after today, they might.

These Canadians love their showjumping. Packed grandstands for every session.

Rolex gets in on the action.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Canadian Showjumping Masters @ Spruce Meadows

Spruce Meadows. Some of today's action at the Canadian Masters. Note that I spend more time shooting photos of video walls and photocells than I do horses and riders. Yes, I'm a psycho.

Follow the live action here.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Not Missing The US Hopeless

I've been waylaid for a few days with a stomach virus. Finally was able to eat about a quarter of a meal this evening. But (trust me on this) no matter how sick I could possibly be, it's a pleasant walk in the park compared to spending August at the US Hopeless.

Check out this photo of the sidewalk in front of the new squillion-dollar USTA indoor courts / corporate hospitality.

I see not much has changed since my foaming-mouthed rants of 2007:



One of the few things I do miss about the US Hopeless is hanging out (misery loves company) with the IDS crew - Slaw, Lloyd, 'Neck, Dingo, Trampass, Boris, Leroy, Cockroach, Bug, Don Key, and of course my assorted CHUMP Bitches.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New USB "Thumb Key" Form Factor

Holy Jeebus. This little doohickey is a 4 Gig USB key. $16.95 at crucial.com.

I guess you can't really call them "thumb keys" any more. More like thumbnail keys.

I better go put it on a lanyard before I lose it, or it drops down between the seats in my car into a place where I'll have to unbolt the seat from the floorpan to retrieve it.