MY FRIENDS ARE ALL CRAZY

Wedding jittersI don’t know if it’s the kind of people I’m drawn to, or if I just got unlucky, but I seem to be friends with people who all want to get married in the next two years. Including myself. Hmmmm…

Anyways, what it means is that I’ve got seven goddamned weddings to go to this year alone, and already have three on deck for next year. What this means for me is that I am flying all over the freaking country dispensing gifts like Santa Claus only instead of saying ‘Ho, ho, ho!’ it’ll probably be ‘Can I sleep on the floor of your hotel room?’

I’m not trying to say I don’t want to go, I’m excited to go. Heck, I’m even the Reverend in one of the ceremonies this year. It’s just that my girlfriend only has one of her friends getting married this year and so far that’s it. So I have to ask myself: What is it about my friends that they just love to get married? Cause right now, I have no idea why almost everyone I know is taking the plunge.

I NEED A WORKSHOP

Every time I scour the Internet for the latest and greatest environmental gadgets to add to the house I want to build, I keep coming back to this website which gives you tips on alternative energy you can build on your own. Granted, you’ll need a welder (yes!), some thick clothes (arrr!), and plenty of elbow grease (yarr!). Just reading these do-it-yourself guides makes the hair on my chest grow thicker.

Can you imagine building a ten’ diameter windmill from scratch yourself? If you did that, no one could EVER give you crap about ANYTHING you’ll ever do for the rest of your life. All you would have to do is answer ‘I built my own ten foot diameter windmill’ and you’d be off scot-free. You could even eat a baby, no one would want to get near you for fear of accidentally catching the spray of testosterone coming off your body.

Now all I need to do is score some workshop space at a friends and I’ll be set.

WE’RE GOING TO BE FINE

Sure, global warming and rising pollution will get you down, but what about all the great stuff that is going on? It’s time to ignore the fact that the Northern Ice Cap is going to be gone in a few years and start hoping that maybe we can extend our existence on this planet just a few more centuries.

Stirling engines to the rescue!

Ever since I found out about this kind of engine at How Stuff Works I’ve been crazy for Stirling engines. What exactly is it? It’s an engine that runs on heat. In fact, the farmer who patented the invention in 1816 wasn’t exactly how his invention worked, just that it worked. Visiting professors were stunned that this farmer in the boonies could invent probably the coolest thing of the decade and not realize how it worked or why it worked. That would be like you inventing a hang-glider when all you wanted was some shade.

Now you might say, “But John, wouldn’t that heat source have to be burning fossil fuel?” Wrong.

You see, the Stirling engine can run on ANY kind of heat source. Be it the burning bodies of extinct polar bears or just the heat of your own hand, it doesn’t matter. No fuel, just air. Personally, I think this has the greatest potential to be the answer to our energy needs.

WHAT ABOUT POLITICAL ACTIVISM?

If there’s one thing I wish I could do, it would be to get people to do things. Have that sort of magnetic personality that would make my word be law. The reason? I want to bike across the Bay Bridge.

Once a month the bay area has a Critical Mass bike protest thing. Basically, leave your car at home and clog the streets with tons of bikes. Dangerous, I know, but kinda awesome at the same time. Imagine downtown wherever you live clogged with bikes. There’d be a ton of accidents I know – just about every cyclist would run all the lights – but an impressive sight indeed.

The Bay Bridge is a different kind of beast. It’s seven miles long, the Oakland side is sloped uphill like crazy, and to even get to the start of it you’d have to bike on the connecting freeway for at least a mile. The other issue is it’s the major thoroughfare for almost all of the jobs in SF (since no one can afford to live in the place, we all live in the East Bay) and therefore packed with cars. The slightest stall would send back a chain reaction that would clog the bridge up for hours.

So basically what I’m saying is this: Could someone please organize a ‘bike across the bridge’ event? I’m there, even if we all get arrested before we get on the freeway.

I AM NOT RUBBER

I was going for a bike ride yesterday to go deposit some checks at the bank when I was creamed. I was coming down the driveway of my apartment complex to go to the road when some teenager came screaming down the sidewalk on a mountain bike and T-boned me.

I haven’t been in too many accidents, but usually the people involved check to see if the other is okay and then go on their way. My guy stood there for a few seconds, getting his bike untangled from mine, and then took off DOWN THE SAME SIDEWALK. He bolted like a bat out of Hell. I don’t know if he though I was going to sue (I wasn’t) or might serve jail time (I burned a bug with a magnifying glass once and thought jail was a possibility) but he was GONE.

In hindsight, I should have been wearing a helmet. I was only going a few blocks so figured I didn’t need one. I probably wouldn’t have this stiff neck. My back would still feel like crap though. Oh, funny story. I got freezer burn on my ass. I put on an ice pack or two and 20 mins later I had frozen skin. It was creepy. I now have a hefty burn on my ass. Things just keep getting better.

ENOUGH ALREADY, WE KNOW IT SUCKS

There seems to be a neverending amount of Wanted trailers on TV, but it can’t get around the fact that you’d have to put my nuts in a vice to get me to watch the whole movie. I watched the first eight minutes or so online and it consisted of Angelina Jolie spreading her legs in James McAvoy’s face while shooting a gun, and him screaming non-stop like a little bitch. We get it, you’re scared, but at some point you have to gasp for AIR.

To top it off he was on the Daily Show last night and John Stewart kissed his ass big time, “This movie should suck, but it doesn’t!” Stewart just went down a peg in my book, but seeing as how he’s about five-hundred pegs above 2nd place Arrogant Bastard Ale.

ENGINEERS ARE IDIOTS

New Span of Oakland Bay BridgeAfter the collapsing of a small section of the Oakland side of the Bay Bridge here (no one went in the water, they just ended up going from flowing with traffic on the top of the bridge to flowing against traffic one floor down. Not exactly the kind of thrill ride you’d expect) the powers that be decided that a new bridge would be needed, a safer one.

I’m all for a new bridge. I have to admit thought that I preferred that the Oakland side of the span was sketchy as Hell while the SF side of it was pristine. For instance, in this weekend a bunch of people ate sourdough bread and spent tons of money. In Oakland this weekend, six people were shot and killed. Go East Bay, whoop whoop!

But the one thing about the bridge that’s bothering me is their new pedestrian addition. It’s a great idea really, walking or biking from one side to the other. Granted it’s seven miles, but it beats being sucked dry by BART. The only problem is that as far as I can tell, THERE IS NO PLAN FOR A PEDESTRIAN CROSSING ON THE SF SPAN.

Yep, when the bridge is complete, you can walk all the way to Yerba Buena/Treasure Island (Yay! Yay! Oh what fun!) and then, now get this, TAKE A BUS! This is awesome. Now instead of saving a few bucks and getting some exercise by walking across, now I can walk halfway and still pay a bus to take me to the City. Awesome. Way to go guys.