Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I saw a SPACE SHIP over Madison last night!

I did not expect to have such a fun evening last night.  At work this (and next) week, we are doing what we call our 'spring outage'.  In case I've never mentioned it, I work at a power plant right on the campus of the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  Being a power plant, (even though we don't run all the time) we can't just take apart our major equipment whenever we want. The people need the juice man, they neeeeeeed it. So, what we do is, usually twice a year (spring and fall), we have an "outage" where the powers that be, know we're not going to be available to run (or at least part of the plant isn't available).  Anyway, we just started our spring outage on Sunday.  For me, it means I'll be working a couple weekends, and longer days.  Because of this I try to keep my 'non-work' commitments light.  This is why I didn't expect to have such an eventful evening last night.  There's a lot of back story to this one, so hang in there.

Last week, on Monday, I finally got off my ass and got to work on my (humble for this year) motorcycle projects. They mostly consisted of repair and refinement stuff.  I replaced the stock starter with a heavy duty one. To do that I had to remove the oil tank.  Since I had the tank off, I no longer had an excuse not to replace it with one that I bought at a swap meet (for $20) last year.  The only reason I bought it was because the black paint (what else?) on the stock oil tank had started peeling off of it; badly, and that it was a great deal.  Under the peeling paint was chrome.  I'm no painter, but I can't fathom why the HD factory would simply paint a chrome oil tank.  It seems destined to do what mine is doing,  peel off.  Maybe I'll finish peeling the paint off of it (and recover the cool "patent badge" emblem stuck on it) and sell it on Ebay.  More likely, it'll get added to my ever growing collection of parts that used to be on my bike. 

I also managed to replace the gasket on the top of the fuel tank, where the fuel pump (it's fuel injected) fits into the gas tank.  Last year I had the mounting plate that the pump hangs off of modified so that I could install a different (cooler) dash board.  When I re-installed it, I ignored the service manual's warning to replace all 10 screws, that hold it to the gas tank, with new ones.  I also didn't replace the gasket. It was nice rubber and looked fine to me.  Oops! Of course what happened was the first time I filled up the gas tank last year (for my club's annual Pizza Run in early May) gasoline started running out from under my nice new dashboard and all over my shiny scooter. Of course it happened right in front of everyone because it was the first time I leaned the bike over, onto it's kick stand, after filling up. (Embaaaraasssssinnnnng)   I managed to siphon out enough gas so the level was below the leaky gasket and screws (when on the kick stand), but being the lazy ass I am, I didn't try to fix it until now.  I simply never put more than two gallons of  gas into it all summer.  It wasn't that hard. with the purchase of my new car last spring, my poor motorcycle was severely neglected anyway.  I'm hoping to ride more this year, but the allure of nice summer days with the top down in my Bimmer is still pretty strong. I think it may take a few years to come to a equilibrium.

I know that this post, so far, has not only nothing to do with a SPACE SHIP, but very little to do with last night.  Sorry, but it's my blog and if you want to hear about the SPACE SHIP I watched flying over Madison, then you're just going to have to read the background story.  Bear with me, it's not that bad.  (Hint: you can skip to the bottom if you want, but what fun would that be, you big cheater)

Just as I finished tightening the ten NEW screws that hold that plate down my phone rang. It was Kimmy, a friend of mine who hangs out at a bar I go to sometimes, The Sundown, near where Hwy 51 crosses Milwaukee Ave.  Kimmy, gleefully informs me that I they drew my number for the little lottery they do there on Mondays. It's one of those deals where each week (starting just after the previous drawing) you give them a buck and register for the weekly drawing, which is always at the same time and day (7:00pm Monday).  Every person who's ever given them a buck, has a number (I think it may be limited to a certain number of numbers, but I'm not sure) You have the same number every week. For life, I guess. (I'm #21 because I happened to be there when they first started doing it).  If you're 'signed in' (paid your buck) and you're actually present, you win the money and the pot goes back to zip.  If you're 'signed in', but not actually there, you get half of the pot, the other half carries over to next week.   And, if you're a putz,  like me, who is not signed in, and not there, then you get nada. Not one penny. You do get a heaping load of grief from anyone who is there, and has your phone #, not to mention random people for a week or so.  I told Kimmy over the phone, that I was on my way over and that I wasn't even gonna try and wash the smell of gasoline off my hands, AND that she was going to buy me a drink.  You see, I had doused my hands in the gas inside of my fuel tank while trying to weasel the awkward fuel pump assembly into it. Since I really was at a good stopping point, I put my stuff away, hopped in the car and headed straight over to take my medicine.  Of course, when I got there I was ribbed pretty well, but I got several drinks bought for me, which was a nice consolation prize.  The worst of it was, OK get ready for it, this is the SECOND time I was "not present, and not signed in". Nice huh?  This time the pot was just over $500, the last time I missed out, it was over a thousand bucks.  Ouch! Of course, many people, including Patty, the attractive (and fellow BMW driver) manager of the place, reminded me of that fact. Like I would forget.  Fortunately, I'm not currently in the financial difficulties a lot of people are, so I'm able to shake the 'loss' off pretty well.  At least I got a nice story about it.  And, Yes, I did stink up the place like gasoline.  You'd think I'd learned my lesson, but last night, instead of going to the Sundown to have my number drawn again (It wasn't), I was again working on my bike, and then, later, watching a SPACE SHIP zoom over Madison's pretty skyline.

As I said, I didn't have any plans, to do anything at all after work yesterday, but it was such a beautiful day, I had the urge to finally get my bike running and on the road, for at least a test ride.

 Last Sunday (two days ago), after working all day, I went straight to the garage and finished up getting the bike, mostly, put back together> I installed the new battery, filled the oil tank, etc..... Even though I've had the battery on a trickle charger since it arrived a month or two ago, it didn't have enough juice to start the bike up. At least, I hoped that's all the problem was.  I was, at least, happy that the new starter seemed to function properly, but I'd be lying it I said I wasn't a little disappointed.  There's a certain amount of pride that goes along with pressing the 'start' button after completing some work, and having the machine roar to life. I didn't get that. Bummer.  Since I didn't have any jumper cables with me, I left. I wanted to get a good nights sleep, not only was I starting work an hour earlier than normal (outage hours), but the clocks were being sprung forward during my shrinking window of opportunity to sleep, shrinking it even more.

OK, we're finally up to yesterday, Monday.  Again, after a long day of work, my plan was to simply go home and zone out in front of the tube.  I coordinated, by email, with Lisa that she would hang out for a simple low key, no excitement evening of mindless TV.  That plan changed before I even left work.  Like I said,  it was such a glorious springlike day, that I decided I had to try and get the bike running right after work. I emailed Lisa and told her to meet me at the garage, instead of my condo. I figured I better show her how to install the back seat (P-pad) onto the bike, if she doesn't want to sit on the fender.  There was no time like the present.  She agreed.  Once I got there (with the top down on the bimmer. Hooray!) I took my jumper cables that I brought from home, and hooked them up.  The bike started on the first crank.  Like I said, Pride! I felt great. Not only was the bike running for the first time after working on it, but it was about to be ridden. On top of all that, it was helped to life by my other beloved vehicle, my BMW.  Now that my bimmer's jumped the Harley, I think they're some sort of blood brothers. OK maybe not, but they're definitely not strangers anymore, they've got a bond. Right? I know, I know, I'll stop.

While I let the bike sit and idle, I installed a long overdue set of passenger foot pegs.  I wasn't going to make Lisa put those on along with the token effort of putting on her own seat. The bike hasn't had any (official) place for a passenger's feet for quite a while now.  When I first purchased the bike, I had a set of passenger floorboards installed by the dealer.  After the feet they were bought for, left me, and town, I took them off. I eventually sold them (still the only thing I've ever sold on Ebay). Like a fool, back when I bought the bike, I didn't collect the original foot pegs that the dealer took off of it, so when I decided I better have someplace, other than around my waist, for passengers to put their footsies, I had to buy new ones.  It's been an unbelievable hassle getting these foot pegs. You'd think it would be simple.  If this post weren't already of epic length, I'd get into it, but I wont (your welcome).  After installing them (the right one, is still not quite right, and I need to fiddle with it a little more) I finally got to take that much anticipated test ride. The sun was getting close to setting and was really low in the horizon.  I could feel the warmth of this first really nice day of the year starting to fade away as slipped on a pair of work gloves, put my beloved scoot into gear and headed for the nearby clubhouse on my test ride.  Man, did it feel good!  A few minutes at the clubhouse and I turned around to head back.  Shortly after I got back and got my cycle situated back in the garage, a club brother of mine, Stench, showed up.  I had offered, to him, my old battery. I'm pretty sure it still just fine (I just wanted a higher capacity one to go with my higher torque starter, which I need because of my higher compression motor, etc..), so when I overheard him say he was about to order a new one, I offered it to him. He's my brother after all.  He and his "old lady" (I'm not terribly fond of that term, but it is what it is, and it's really not used disparagingly at all. Really) had been out riding around, enjoying the weather. I told him where it was, and that he could get it anytime, he just happened to show up when I was there. Nice, I like when things like that happen.  While I was talking to him I got a call from Lisa for final directions to the garage. I accidentally gave her the wrong street name, which sent her on a little bit of a wild goose chase, for which I later made up for. I manged to navigate her in.  After showing her how to put the P-pad on, and both of us sitting on the non running bike, to test her seat and foot pegs out (with me making engine noises and pretending to be riding down a country road), we left.  I had her follow me home to try and finally begin that relaxing night in.

Once at my place, the weather was so nice we ended up on my balcony just hanging out and talking. We were both soaking up the remnants of a really nice day.  It was just starting to get dark (daylight savings time in effect and all).  A few minutes earlier, as we drove toward my place, the sky was still fiery red and orange on the horizon from what must have been a stupendous sunset.   We had a great view of the it, over Lake Mendota as we passed by James Madison park.  If it were 15 or 30 minutes earlier, instead of turning on Basset St, to go home, I would have gone up to the parking spots, by Washburn Observatory on campus, to watch the sunset, but instead I just went home, saving that treat for another time.  I think it was about 7pm or so now.  I happened to look up and pointed out that there were a couple stars out.  We were watching the sky and I realized that one star had that familiar reddish tint to it. I told Lisa I think that it wasn't a star at all, but Mars, our neighbor.  I went inside to find my nifty star chart to prove the fact but I couldn't find it. I thought I had left it inside of my stargazing book "Turn left at Orion", but it wasn't there. I'm sure when it turns up, I'll have a V8, "A-ha" moment. Until then, it's missing.  I did manage to find my nifty green (532nm) laser pointer.  This thing is so cool. You use it to point out stars to people, because unlike a regular laser pointer, with this one, you can see the beam. It's perfect for pointing out stars (or planets, or SPACE SHIPS). I also had a planetarium app on my iPhone, but for some reason it wouldn't load up. (I've since verified that I was right, and that was indeed Mars we were looking at.) Since I had the iPhone out, I decided to see if the International Space Station was due for a flyby, using one of my favorite apps "GoSatWatch". Remarkably, according to my app, the ISS was due to be visible from here in less than an hour (at 8:17).  I asked Lisa if she'd ever seen a space ship fly by before, and like most taxpayers, she hadn't. I then asked if she wanted to go see it. She said, sure.  I grabbed my camera, my remote release, and my tiny little tripod and we left for a nice walk out to the bike path next to John Nolan Ave.  After walking around, looking for the best place to view it (according to "GoSatWatch" it was going to break the horizon to the Northwest, get as high as about 1/3 of the distance between the horizon and straight up, and then disappear in the Northeast.  Once we found a place to watch from, I set up my camera on the rocks along the thawing lake. I tried to frame the shot to get the capitol building, the sky where the ISS would be, and the Monona terrace all in the view. In hindsight, I somehow cut the Monona terrace in half, but other than that I got what I wanted.  I tried taking a few practice shots, to get the camera settings correct. This was going to be a long, long, exposure. On the order of maybe two minutes (the entire flyby was to be 3 minutes, but my field of view was smaller than that).  After about four practice shots, and about a dozen queries of  "how much more time" to Lisa, who was holding my iPhone, and I think, starting to doubt she'd see anything at all, I made my final adjustments and watched the sky as cars, joggers, walkers, and bicyclists rode by, unaware that a SPACE SHIP was about to fly right over Madison,s pretty skyline. Then, just after 8:17 pm, I saw it and pointed it out to Lisa. Unfortunately, I'd forgotten my nifty green laser, but she soon saw it too.  There's a certain feeling of power that comes from standing  on the edge of a lake, and with nothing more than a gizmo, much smaller than a Star Trek tricorder, be able to confidently tell someone that something that looks exactly like a star, but moves across the sky, is going to appear.  And then it does.  I'm not sure, but I think she was a little impressed.  Once the SPACE SHIP passed by the  light pole that was just outside of my camera's field of view, I triggered open the shutter. The aperture was set to a little f-stop of 18. And I waited, probably with my jaw open until that moving star went past Monona Terrace, at which point I released the shutter, closing it after having had it open for a total of ninety two seconds.  Here's the photo. It's not perfect, but if you look carefully, along the top of the frame you can see a line that arcs across it.  That's the International Space station, A SPACE SHIP, as it flies at 17,500 miles per hour over the mid west, including Madison, Wisconsin. Living inside of that little line of light are five people. The crew of Expedition 22.  How cool is that!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bye Bye Blogger (and an apology to Miss Snips)

I've had a Blogger account for almost a decade. Granted I didn't use it too much until recently, which is why it was a real bummer when I got a message from them a few weeks ago that they would no longer be supporting (or doing) FTP uploading to privately owned domains (like richyaeger.com).  They have some sort of work around that would enable it to feel the same for you (the consumer of my blogging) but I like the idea that MY stuff, is on MY server. It took a long time to cultivate that feeling of ownership of my little piece of cyberspace (is that word still used), so I don't want my blog living on someone Else's servers, just yet.

I've decided to try out WordPress. It seems like it's very nice with the quick look I've given it.  I have no idea how I'm going to relocate all of my past stuff to the new blog. If I have to cut and paste, one entry at a time, I guess that's what I'll do, but I have a feeling that someone who bleeds php, html, and more, may have ginned up some sort of migration tool. I'll let my fingers to the walking (Google should buy that marketing gimmick).

I was hoping to get the initial set up on my server done quickly, apparently WordPress is known for that, but my new mySQL database that I set up with my host is still listed as "pending" even though it's been a couple hours (they say it MAY take up to A hour).

Oh my! I just got an email telling me I got a comment on a previous post. Hooray! Let's see what it is..........

............It was one of the Peach Pies.  She liked the blog.....and corrected me.  Apparently Miss Ginger Snaps is really Miss Ginger Snips (as in the sound the shears of a professional hair stylist makes). Although thinking of the word "snap" makes me recall that at one point, the other day, around the traditional Schwaklakk cluster of tables  we all "snapped" our approval (mockingly) of something that was just too cool to clap for. I think maybe it was the poster for some performer.

Please accept my humble apologies Miss Ginger Snips. If I ever decide to bend to societies unrelenting pressure to get a haircut,  (I haven't been near shears, clippers, or even my dad's Flowbee (yes it's true) in at least 3 years now),  I will put my browny locks in your delicate, yet powerful,  hands.    Hopefully on stage, with you in your, yet undesigned, sexy hairstylist burlesque costume........Oh my........sorry, I got a little carried away there.  Anyway, sorry Miss Ginger Snips. 

Now I can't just go back to rambling on about SQL databases and FTP uploads. It seemed so interesting (and shiny) just a few minutes ago.

Thanks for the comment (and the content of it) Miss Kitty. You guys (and by that I mean gals) rock!

I'm out!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


How did the time get away from me. It seems that I'd barely gotten the soap out from underneath my fingernails when, BAM!, here it was again.  That's right, yesterday was  SCHWAKLAKK!  For those of you too lazy to follow a link to find out what it is, I'll oblige you. Schwaklakk is an invented holiday in which the only main purpose is to carve bars of Ivory soap into whatever thing (or idea if you're artsy shmartsy) your heart desires. From what I gather it used to be a family thing, but it's slowly grown into a 'almost' event. 

It's ironic that my very previous post was about the Peach Pies, because it was my two favorite pies who invited me to this wholesome celebration, last year, my first time.  Way back then, I had just gotten my beloved iPhone and through the use of Google and iTunes, I copied a bunch of images of things I though could  be readily carved from a bar of soap onto my phone.  I had photos of bath tubs, my ugly 'contour' chair (which I hope to introduce you all too someday), beds, and a bunch of artsy sculptures.  I ultimately decided to try and copy one of the sculptures. A sexy bronze (I think) semi abstract depiction of a woman sitting on the ground with her head resting on her knees.  Take a look at the original that I hoped to copy.

I figured it was challenging, but doable. As I got there before the others, I got started right away.  The people who organized it had all the soap you could ever want, and a bunch of fancy artist tools, in addition to tons and tons of toothpicks, to use for carving.  One cool thing I disovered pretty quick, was that the screen of an iPhone is almost exactly the same size as a bar of Ivory Soap. so I simply placed a piece of paper over my screen, and traced it out (I never claimed to be original).  Then, on the advice of the lady in charge, I transfered the image onto my soap by poking holes through the paper, along my tracing lines. It worked just as advertised.  My goal was to get the profile carved out, and then work on getting the right thicknesses done. Unfortunately, I had another appointment (I, for the life of me, cannot remember what, but I think I was going to Chicago for something), plus this was now several hours later and there had been lots of fun conversation with my friends and some new aquaintences.  I got the profile pretty much done, which was a fine stopping point. So, that was it for 2009 Schwaklakk for me.  Here's a couple photos of my soap carving from last year.


Obviously, I didn't finish it, but I's still very proud of it.n (except for the fact that I broke the stupid base while working on it) As a matter of fact, I conscider Schwaklakk 2009 to be some sort of an artistic awakening for me.  Since then, I've felt myself becoming more creative. Maybe some special day, I'll use it to wash with, until then it's sitting smack in the middle of my fireplace's mantle.

Ever since last year I've been torn about whether to bring that one back to the next Schwaklakk, to try and finish it, or to simply leave it the way it is.  I'ts actually a little embarrasing how much I rolled that thought around in my head.  Ultimately I decided to leave it as is, and to do something different this year. 

I'd already decided to go (obviously) again this year, but it was still really nice to be asked, by the same people who introduced me to it, if I were going agin.  They're such a good group of free spirits. So much fun. I told them "hell ya",  I'm glad that they're doing it agian too, I was secretly concerned that they wouldn't be going this year.  I don't know why, maybe because I see similarities between them and myself.  I know I could easily have seen something new, shiny and interesting, and followed that particular rabbit wherever it led me (I just saw Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland last week).  But that didn't happen, for them or me, so all was well in the world.

Not only were Kati (she carved a very nice owl, in relief)  and Aaron (he made a fun moustache) already there when I showed up, but they, especially Aaron, were hung over from the previous night's festivities.  They were in attendence (and Kati performed) at "FILTH II", an erotic, boundry pushing art show held at the Inferno (where else).  I missed it last year, and had planned on going this year but decided, as I drove past commercial ave, that I needed a good night of sleep instead, so I flaked out on it.  Foxy Veronica's Peach pies were performing again too.  From what I hear, it was quite the event, with lots, and lots of shots consumed. I felt kind of bad to have missed out, but at least I felt well rested while feeling bad. Right?

Also there again this year was Megan (she carved a butt plug). I gather she's in their group of close friends.  I don't think she's a Peach Pie, but she's in that scene in some way.  Last year I couldn't get a read on her (beyond being cute), she came across as kind of cold (to me).  I remeber thinking that she may just be having a bad day. I like for people to like me, and she seemed indiferent (at best).  This year, I think I must have been right about her having a bad day, because she was a hoot.  A genuine pleasue. She definately seemed to thaw to me, and we've even become eachothers Schwaklakk nemesiss (what's the plural of nemesis?), even to the point that, while I pronounce it propperly, she (being my Shwaklakk nemesis) prounounces it Nem-eh-sigh. (Trust me, this is more funny than it reads).  She brought her boyfriend with her. I can't recall his name, but he was a cool guy (he carved a bunny rabbit), and was great with the movie quotes and other fun banter that made our table the one you would want to be at.  I just now realized that I forgot to ask him about the vintage 35mm camera he had with him.  I really like the simple, non ergomatic design of those things. I think it was a old Lieca, but I'm not sure. 

These people are great fun to hang out with, really fun.  I can't imagine "really" partying with them, I don't know if I could hang, or for how long.  It was a table full of independent, but like, minded folk. For me, it was a rare treat that I savored. I like that I can relate, and get along with all sorts of people, I really think it's my strong suit.  These people are some of the best I've met.

The conversaton was fun, varied, and interesting. All while carving soap, which for me, because I am not much for talking without having something to say, is perfect.  It allows you to simply carve away while the conversation may be somewhere in which I have nothing to add. Fine, just carve on.   Incidentally, that didn't happen often.  Topics ranged from:  possble new porn genres, including CPAP mask porn, and Single Penetration (SP) porn.  Or, the use of the term 'Al dente" (as in pasta) as a description of a state of male arousal (Unfortunately, I just checked, and it's already in the Urban dictionary, so we didn't coin a phrase).  I recall a discussion about a newpaper advice column that dealt with the uncomfortable nature of forgeting peoples names (which I am horrible at), WAY past the point where you should know them.  And countless other things. 

These are the kind of people who would be fun to have over for a dinner party of some sort.  Maybe, I'll think about doing that. It could be a great success!

Alright, back to the soap carving.  This year I decided to use another image from the ones I collected last year. In fact, I'm pretty sure the piece I used as my model must be by the same artist (If you know who it is, please let me know. Really.)  This is the image that I traced from my iPhone this year:

(actually,not that exact image, the one I traced was a front facing image of the same sculpture).

Here's some photos of this one being worked on.  Again, I didn't quite finish it. I had to leave (after over four hours there) to meet Lisa.  She was at some suburban event at a friend of hers, where there were a handful of people that she wanted to meet me (or, for me to meet).  I suppose it was convenient that they were all in the same place. but now I'm sure I'll have problems identifying who is who (much less their spouses etc...)  Oh well, at least I'm honest and upfront about the fact that I'm bad about remembering names.  From there, we went to my place to make homemade soft pretzels (now that I know how). I'd already done the mise en place, so I knew it would be easy, and fun.  Boy was it fun.  Anyway,  As you can see, I definately got farther on this year's sculpture, than last years bar. It's already on my mantle with the other one, although it wasn't that big of a hit with Lisas' friends, or their suburban, poker playing hubbies.  I was seriously tempted to leave my soap with with the Schwaklakk organizers.  They have quite the amazing collection of carved soap from over the years.  They were all on display on the stage (did I mention this took place at the High Noon Saloon ?). It was hillarious to see people pointing out their previous sculptures.  I, being my selfish self, just couldn't bear to let mine go. Maybe next year, I'll both finish one, and leave it behind, hopefully to inspire future Schwaklakkians, or to be discovered as a masterpiece (maybe)

I took a couple group shots of our whole table of carvers, but none of them turned out, too bad, they were fun shots with everyone holding up their creations.

Oh my Gosh, I just realized I completly left out my other favorite Peach Pie. The lovely Ralphie (that's a different story) who I've already introduced to you, as Moxie Rhodes (she carved a chess piece, a Bishop, I think).  She, also was drinking some hair of the dog yesterday.  Apparently everyone is in agreement that there were WAY too many shots taken last night.

Jeesh, I also almost forgot to mention that the adorable new (to me) Peach Pie, whom I neglected to introduce myself to the other night at the Inferno, Miss Ginger Snap, was there.  I'm drawing a blank on what she carved out of her bar of soap.  I must have been distracted, plus, she was way on the other end of the group of tables we had clumped together.  I feel much better now, because Immediately, when I saw her, I rectified my crudeness from the other day and politely introduced myself.   I love having the chance to recitfy the little things.  I was glad to have a chance to get to know her a teeny bit.  Like all these women, she is very comfertable in her skin.  She seems pretty cool.

OK, I hope to see you all out there for Shwaklakk 2011.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Foxy Veronica's Peach Pies

Last night, in an unusual late night out (on a work night) I schlepped myself over to Madison's local freakfest for some entertainment from some of my favorite people.  No, I'm not speaking of Madison's watered down, and declawed Halloween. I'm talking about the Inferno.  I went to watch Foxy Veronica's Peach Pies. They're a local burlesque troop I've become a great fan of. 

Quite a while ago I met two of them (Kitty LaRue, and Moxie Rhodes) at the Frequency. Back then I didn't have a clue I'd get to see both of them (and their friends) in garters, corsets, pasties, fishnets, and things I have no idea what they're called (but I like 'em). I only thought they were another in a long line of cool and interesting people I've managed to meet while hanging out there.  These women are the embodiment of empowered. Not in a man hater, old school feminist, sort of way, but in the true sense of the word.  When they are performing, they are in utter control of their selves. Not to mention downright sexy.  Did I mention they're sexy? Sexy, and sexy too!

The last time I saw this particular dyanmic duo, was down at my clubhouse. They stopped in one night while I was playing bartender there. As usual they were having a gay old time, and brought some irreverent attitude into the joint. Often the place can get stuffy with a lot of posing and 'acting cool'.  I affectionately call these two professionally teasers, my "Cool mine Canaries", because they seem to be willing to push to the ultimate limit, for cool's sake.  If they're involved, chances are, it's something cool. (IMO).   Also at the house this particular night, were a handful of 1% club members (Google it).  My club usually has as little to do with that kind of crowd, but occasionally, they show up, and we try to be cordial.  They operate in a entire different world than my club does. They're all serious, while we're more fun loving with a side of serious. As I was getting ready to leave (I had plans for later that morning, and it was probably around 2 or 3 am anyway) I noticed that my perky pals were being chatted up by a pod of the 1% crew. They're big girls (I mean all grown up, you know), but before I left, I still took a moment or two to discreetly explain the broad differences between my sort of club, and their type of club. Very often, people think a biker is a biker, is a biker. That is simply not the case.  One of my pair of vaudvillian vixens happens to be married to a chum of mine (who was absent this evening), I felt it was the neighborly thing to do. Plus that chum, also happens to be a bartender that takes very fine care of me, and I'd hate to damage that relationship, by sending his spouse into a possibly dangerous situation w/o any warning.

OK, Back to last night. So, when I walked into the Inferno and sidled up to the bar to try and get a nice beverage among the uber cool crowd there, I hear a scream of "ZigZag" from none other than the effervescent Kitty LaRue. I barely had time to turn when she was in my arms and quickly remembering her intoxicating personality, I had her lifted into the air giving her a huge hug like we hadn't seen each other in years.  Just as quick she wiggled from my grasp and disappeared onto the dance floor. For a moment I thought, 'That's it" but then I saw her gesturing franticly in my direction. I followed her eyes to see that she was gesturing to me, for her bosom buddy, Moxie Rhodes.  Moxie, the pixie like waif, with a near perfect tush, may have the most expressive, yet adorable, face in all humanity. She conveyed a super clear message as soon as Miss Kitty LaRue managed to aim her friends eyes on me.  In maybe less time than it took the punk band that was playing to hit the next beat, her face lit up with recognition, surprise, happiness, and a little gratitude. All of it aimed at me. I was flattered. Now both of them came scurrying over trying to tell my jet turbine weary ears, things I couldn't hear.  I have to admit, I was soaking it up. Two smoking hot peach pies were treating me like a celebrity, and in front of all the super cool , coolios hanging around, seemingly afraid to show happiness, for fear that it would contradict their cool factor.  blah! . My over inflated ego couldn't help but to grow one more size right there. It was blissful. On top of that, my chum, spouse of the Peach pie, was there, and he bought my tasty beverage for me. What a guy, and what a catch he has. The good thing is, he knows it.

After a few minutes of me nodding, or shaking my head as seemed appropriate, the ladies realized that I couldn't hear squat, so they pulled me back, away from the very loud punk band, toward the back of the club. They had a tale they needed to tell.  They went on to tell me how they ended up leaving my clubhouse with the 1%ers and going to hang with them, at their place.  I'm not going to go into what they told me went on (nothing bad) because I told them that they could probably write about it and sell it, it's that good a story. I also told them that they probably would get some unwanted attention from that club, if they did that.  Needles to say, the girls, true to themselves (god bless 'em) seemed to (unknowingly?) walk a pretty dangerous line with the serious boys. Not only that, but apparently they went back again, days later, to recover a forgotten coat.

I still can't decide how much of their actions they knew were needling, and how much was genuine innocence, but they seemed to get out of it just fine, and with a great tale, not to tell too much.

Of course, the whole time I'm listening to their adventures with the underworld, I'm blissfully aware that I'm sitting in the back of an alternative club with, at times, up to maybe five super attractive burlesque performers, and for some reason, they're interested in telling me there stories. I was soaking it up. I love hearing stories. I so often am the one telling them, it's great to be on the listening side, and they were good stories too.

 There was another Peach Pie there, that I hadn't yet met. She sat primly and quietly nearby, while listening to the funny stories from her troop sisters.  In hindsight, I feel bad that I didn't introduce myself during this little BS session, but there was a lot of BS flying about.  But now, after seeing her amazingly spellbinding performance of a young lady dancing (maybe at home?), I'm worried I may only see the sexy character, and not her. Dratz!   She goes by the name Ginger Snap (correction: as you can read in the comment from Kitty, below. The lovely Ginger is a Snip, not a Snap. Got it. Good.), and she's adorable. I hope she's as cool as her partners in tease. Judging by a little facebook stalking, I think so.  I can't wait to find out her story.

 All the women that I've met so far, who do this burlesque thing, in addition to being extreme extroverts, seem to have somewhat mundane, or even normal, day jobs.  I like that my interactions with them is in kind of in the half way point between their stage persona's, and their 'regular' lives (although I've seen hardily none of their regular lives).  I've always like my ability to move among different "worlds", and I think I get on well with these ladies, because they also inhabit different worlds.  It makes me curious, if the darling Ginger Snap, will always be Ginger to me because that's how I first saw her? Hmmmmm. We'll see, I guess.

The performance itself was, as advertised, sexy (especially the belly dancers, and Ms. Snap) and hilarious.  There were cops, pigtails, belly dancing, light bondage, some great Samba dancing (which made me wonder as it was going on, how many other folks in that club had ever heard that music on Copacabana beach in Rio, like me), and even a history lesson. Unfortunately, for me, there is also a male (barely) member of the troop now, complete in high heels and pantyhose. Not to knock him, he's just doing like the girls, and doing what feels good to him, but it ain't my scene, for his bit, I had a drink at the bar.  Oh well, it can't all be perfect, right.

I highly recommend seeing a show, or even trying it out. It must do wonders for self esteem.

I only wish I had photos to put up......but I'm working on that. These girls love to be photographed.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bring Google's Fiber to Madison Wisconsin

I've been filling out the Google "nominate your town for Google's High speed fiber". (AS YOU SHOULD TOO)  While doing that, I came across the field in their questionnaire for a link to "supporting material". I figured that I better provide some of that to help ensure that my adopted home town of Madison Wisconsin gets this game changing technology, and that when it does, I can say I helped to get it.  Plus it may also get someone else to read my blog (Hi Google employee-- go ahead and read a couple of my posts while you're here, you may like them)

I've already posted about my idea for a Googe fiber mascot on the FB page  Bring Google fiber to Madison Wisconsin!  I want Madison to have a "Google bird" (think cross between road runner (fast) and Big-Birdish (fun) ,instead of yellow, it would be colored like the Google logo. I haven't decided if it should speak or not yet. We'll see.  Join the FB group, and do the survey for Google, the eggheads will, hopefully, want to see some enthusiasm.  In my opinion, Dane county is perfect for not only Google fiber, but for Googleplex II, but that's a campaign for the future.

Madison is perfect for this project, not just because we want it for ourself, which we do, but because Madison is the perfect place to us as a "test bed" for a technology like this. We have all the characteristics of a metropolis sized city (the good and some of the challenges), without the scale.  Madison is truly a small city, instead of a big town.  All within a very defined geographic area is a downtown area which is as urban as any, sub-urban areas, and rural areas.  Madison is perfect for this for many reasons

  • Geographically
  • Technologically (Home of a prestigious State university & a Google office)
  • Metaphysically (did I mention the Dali Lama is coming here soon)
  • Chronologically  (proven early adopter of technology with our wi-fi)
  • Governmentally (our mayor is fully onboard to get Google fiber)
  • Infrastructurally  (just the right combination of old and new neighborhoods to accurately asses the difficulty of scaling service up for the rest of the world)
  • Emotionally (Everyone I've talked to (who knows about it) is extremely excited, because they too know that Madison is the perfect place for it.
I hope to imbed some sort of funny video here, in order to garner more attention for Madison's bid, but we'll see how things go, before I start sewing a "Google bird" costume for myself.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

NON renegade radio

Thursday this week (March 4 2010) at 7:00pm I'll be doing my radio show, all about the road trip. Tune into WORT 89.9fm, or listen online at http://www.wort-fm.org/ . If you miss it, I'm sure I'll post it here, but you can also get it from WORT's archive page. I think they stay on there for like two months.

I just wrote out a real nice Facebook Event invite. It's called "A live radio show, all about my NASA road trip of a lifetime." Search for it, and get onboard. How else do I know if you're out there?

I build a Picasa photo album. I have a link to the photos on my homepage http://www.richyaeger.com/ but I'm going to put a slide show in here.  It's most of my favorite photos from the trip (except the ones I cant find). Tell me what you think.