Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Groundhog day!

Holy bejesus.  What a day to have just, yesterday, put my new high performance 'summer only' tires, and shiny, brand new, wheels on my car.  I hope they'll do OK on the interstates, which should be clear of snow by tomorrow (I hope).  I'll tell you though, I have gobs of newfound respect for my Blizzaks, which are on the shelf  now at Terry's.  New respect; because these Yokohamas' have zero traction in ANY accumulated snow. ZIP! I would have been the focus of many evil thoughts and gestures, had I been on the roads just a handful of minutes later, when all the UW people pour into the campus area.  Luckily there was almost no traffic when I was playing the fool.  I had my hazzard lights on, and even the smallest inclines bogged down the traction control, I had to turn it completely off, which left me inching along.  I know these tires are not supposed to function in snow, but holy cow, what a drastic difference. I'll never take tires for granted again. Ever!

here's a photo I took with my iPhone, and uploaded to my Facebook page this morning. (no I will not be your FB Friend, I only friend (v) people that I know "in the Real world"). I then saved the file to this machine to try and post my first photo on this blog. Here goes:

That wasn't so hard, just a new photobucket account, and a new album there, just for this blog. In case you missed the travels of this photo here it is in brief:  iPhone-->Facebook-->laptop-->new Photobucket album--> being linked to my blog.

Isn't the internet cool! I remember connecting via SLIP/PPP from my first (owned by me) PC. It was a Comptrade 486/66 DX2 machine with a CD-rom drive, a built in 14.4 modem, and maybe 4 megabytes of ram.  You do not want to know what this, then broke, sailor paid for it.  There's no link to that company because, apparently, they're now defunct.  I think I may still have the advertisement, somewhere, that I ripped out of a Computer Shopper magazine. (the old school one, when it was Giant)  I first got on the internet with it, from a hotel room that me, and my shipmates, were staying in while the berthing areas of my ship were being renovated, or something. 

Usually for something like that the Navy would put us on a "berthing barge" (it's as appealing as it sounds), but for some reason we scored big time, and lived in that hotel for several weeks, maybe even a month.  Imagine, living on a padded shelf, in the bowels of a war ship on a Monday, and then on Tuesday you were in a real bed that someone else was paid to make for you, and playing roller hockey in the parking lot. Man, that was luxury. Luxury and good times.  I remeber, even before getting on the "internet" there, I would log onto Wildcat BBSs.  I bet people still use them too.  Why does this feel like a "war" story. Moving on...

This morning I ate at Mickeys Dairy Bar, a infamous restaurant just across the street from Camp Randall, where I used to eat breakfast almost every day. (I had to stop that nonsense when I nearly surpassed 300 pounds last summer). The place is the best, filled with great people. The cook, owner, and head bottle washer is a Thai immigrant named Peo (sp?).  He calls me "The Rich Kid" which was a name given to me by another morning regular there. John.  John is a Professor Emeritus of mechanical engineering, and  a very interesting old guy.  John and I do the Super Quiz (along with anyone else within earshot) whenever I happen to show up (John supplies the quarters to buy the paper, but I have to go get it). 

I try very hard to limit my visits to once or so a month now.  It's hard to describe the warm feeling I get when walking into that place.  (sometimes after riding my bicycle through freakin' cold and miserable conditions to get there).  It feels like home. I know that may sound weird, but it's coming from a guy who used to live out of hotel rooms for months on end.  Also, always there, is Sadie the waitress. She, until recently was an avid western dancer (the kind with the poofy dresses). She may be the best waitress EVER!  The snow plow crews and Camp Randall workers are also around, along with various construction workers, etc...  On the weekends the college crowd owns the place, but on early weekday mornings, it's Madison's finest.  On Fridays, there's another engineer ( of the civil flavor), along with a real life, IronMan completing, mountain hiking Judge (of what I'm not sure, I try to avoid talking about politics, so I never asked), who show up. I can't count the amount of times I've almost been late to work on Fridays because of the great conversations that erupt across the breakfast counter.  It feels like a time machine, in both decor and attitude at that place. It's one of my favorite things about Madison.

 Beware though, Mickey's doesn't have their own website (which is why all my links to it go to different and fun review, or articles about the place), and they don't take money that isn't either green or metal (titanium does not count). That means, no credit cards.  Fortunately, now,  the (almost) new hotel, in limbo next door, has put in a ATM right there next door (some Wisconsinites still call them Tyme machines, which always gets a smile from me).  With that thing in place, washing dishes for Peo, may not be as common as it used to be (just kidding).

Now, as far as that hotel is concerned:  It's currently on hold, due to funding issues. This place is going to be a $$$ money machine when someone gets it finished. I suggest to anyone with that kind of scratch, to buy it and give me a finders fee for this tip, and the occasional room, gratis.)

One fun thing of note that happened at Mickey's  this morning (beyond the fact that my slick tires actually propelled my car over the hill and through the light when turning left onto Monroe, from Regent to get there) was that I was able to explain the concept of the Uncanny Valley (as best, and flawed as I was capable) to John.  This topic came up after I suggested he see Avatar.  I even drew a graph (not perfectly, I now know,  though) on the newspaper with todays Super Quiz. I kept it.

At lunch today, as I said, I'm going to pick up my Burger Motorsports, DCI, and then drop the car off at Zimbrick BMW, my dealership here in Madison.  I'm so pleased that things are coming together (kow).

1 Comments:

At February 2, 2010 at 3:07 PM , Anonymous dragonlms said...

Amazing how a post about the snow fall just after the tire change can go off on such fun tangents.
Very enjoyable post.
(And yes, I'm definitely going to have to hit Mickey's in the near future)

 

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