On this day two years ago, Christina and I were married.
It honestly does not seem that long ago. We've bought a house, had a child, been to Italy and, in general, had a great time.
I hope the next two years are just as much fun and filled with just as many adventures.
I love you Christina, and can't wait until Oct. 23, 2007.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Monday, October 09, 2006
Sunday, October 08, 2006
In happier news (unless you're a member of the North Korean military), William Gibson says he has a new book about to be published. All I know so far is that it's called "Spook Country." It's been way too long since "Pattern Recognition" and I can't wait.
Here's the latest post from Gibson's personal blog...
My new novel is being published as The Very Latest, The Most Recent And Terrible News. On the multiverse fork immediately adjacent , though, it's titled The Mongolian Death Worm. Utterly different works, of course, in spite their texts being exactly identical in every regard. For you, though, it's Spook Country.
Posted by Unknown at 10:45 PM
In 2002, President Bush laid out our strategy against the "war on terror" in his State of the Union Adress. In it he named three countries, Iran, Iraq and North Korea, to his "Axis of Evil." The president said, "The United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons."
Back in February of 2003, North Korea said it had the right to preemptively attack the United States if it felt threatened.
Monday morning, North Korea woke up, had some oatmeal, took a shower, fed the cat and then tested its first nuclear weapon.
''The nuclear test is a historic event that brought happiness to our military and people,'' Korean Central News Agency said.
And don't we all want the North Korean military and people to be happy?
So, Mr. Bush. When you're done cleaning up that little Iraq spill on aisle 4, you wanna just go ahead and work on that nasty nuclear vomit in the North Korean restroom? OK?
Stay tuned. It's about to get really, really interesting.
Posted by Unknown at 9:55 PM
Saturday, October 07, 2006
My parents came to Birmingham last weekend to keep Will while we went to Atlanta. It was our first night away from the baby in six months. Knowing he was in very good, experienced hands made leaving him much easier than I expected.
We went to Atlanta to drive cars fast, see our friends Vivi and Allen, visit the Georgia Aquarium and, of course, visit Ikea.
So, using the video and photos I shot on the trip I put together this short (1 minute, 43 seconds) video. Enjoy.
Posted by Unknown at 12:31 AM
Thursday, September 28, 2006
My good friend David over at All These Worlds is, apparently, bored. So, I shall entertain.
This is a cool video I found at autoblog.com of a Formula 1 race car engine playing "God Save the Queen." Be warned, it's loud. Very loud. Notice the people standing around the engine holding their ears. Oh, and be patient through the first couple of seconds of the engine tuning up. It does get better.
F1 Engine Song - video powered by Metacafe
Posted by Unknown at 9:06 PM
Sunday, September 10, 2006
That's right. After five years, Birmingham, Ala. is finally getting its Apple store.
Ok, who's camping out with me for a t-shirt?
This is probably the second-toughest secret I've ever had to keep. The first, of course, being Will.
Posted by Speed42 at 6:03 AM
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Almost exactly a year ago, I posted a series of images taken from my desk at work in panoramic form. That was in the old building.
A year later, we've moved into our fancy new building and here's another panoramic attempt. I still need practice it seems.
We've cleaned up the new place a little since these were taken. I'll try to do another soon and try to capture more of the concrete and steel architecture.
Posted by Speed42 at 8:13 AM
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Will loves watching our dog, Enzo, and our cats run around the house. He also loves watching video of himself on our iMac.
So he and I went looking yesterday for youtube offerings of animal videos. There's some funny stuff over there. Take this for example...
Posted by Speed42 at 5:26 PM
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
In my profile (upper right of the screen), I say I want to write for an automotive magazine. Any will do. It doesn't have to be one of the better ones, it could even be one of the less-respected rags.
Unfortunately, most of the top rack magazines are in Michigan where temperatures sometimes dip below -90 and it snows year-round and the sun never shines. Except in the summer (July 3-July 5), of course, when it's 150 degrees.
So I've been seeking other outlets for my thoughts on all things automotive.
While it's only a "reader report" (i.e. - this guy sent us a story and photos for free, heck yeah we'll run it!), I got a story and photos on Autoblog.com. Hey, it's something.
Posted by Speed42 at 10:27 AM
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Monday, September 04, 2006
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Saturday, September 02, 2006
I went to see the hundreds of Mustangs in town for the National Mustang Club's 30th Anniversary Stampede at Barber Motorsports in Birmingham.
After three hours of walking about as fast as I could, I had taken 127 photos and had only seen about 2/3 of the cars on display. It was an amazing collection of old, new, rare and beautiful Mustangs. Here are a few of the photos I took. More to come.
Here's a few minutes of the half-hour of video I have of lucky club members driving their pony cars on the beautiful Barber racecourse. The sound of those high-horsepower cars heading up that hill is amazing.
Hopefully I'll be able to edit more of the footage and have a few more videos online soon. I also have more photos I can share. I just, uh, overstepped my Flikr upload limit for the month. And it's only the 2nd!
Posted by Speed42 at 9:33 PM
Monday, August 28, 2006
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Monday, August 21, 2006
Thanks to our friend Jennifer, we finally go to see "Talladega Nights" Sunday night.
If you remember, Christina, Wade Kwon and I (and technically Will, since Christina was pregnant) were all extras in the film (photos here and here). While Christina and I didn't see ourselves, Christina is pretty sure she spotted Wade. We'll have to wait until the DVD comes out to be able to scan the crowds better.
Ironically, though the two of us spent long hours in the hot Talladega sun for the filming and didn't make it on the screen, Christina's stepbrother, Chris Dabaldo, gets a credit at the end of the film for use of his song, "Click Click Boom." Knew I should have learned to play guitar.
My review? Eh. That's it. Eh. Definitely not an award-winner for Will Ferrell. Definitely not a film I'd have seen had there not been a chance to see myself, my wife or friends on the screen.
So, will I go through the sleeplessness, the long, boring hours, the heat, the low wages to be an extra again? Heck yeah. Lots of fun.
Posted by Speed42 at 11:38 AM
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Our friend Amber says Will's name on Sunday race days should be Billy Wayne. Good name for a NASCAR driver, she says.
Today Billy Wayne attended his first autosports event. He and I had a boys' outing at the Bham chapter of SCCA autocross where amateur racers and anyone with a drivers' license can race anything with four wheels and a seatbelt.
He seemed to be a fan of the red ones.
Posted by Speed42 at 8:23 PM
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Had to go check a press run the other day at 5 a.m. Wanted donuts afterward. Stopped at the local Bruno's. Bought this batch of donuts...
I thought a baker's dozen originated because the baker wanted to make sure the king got enough baked goods and didn't get shorted. Therefore the baker would include one extra baked good to insure at least a dozen. So what's it mean when I buy a "Baker's Dozen Doughnuts, 13 count" only to find out I got only 12?
Does it make it better or worse that when I turn over the package I discover the sticker that says...?
Posted by Speed42 at 10:11 PM
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Saturday night, before Will's big day, Mommy and Daddy took Grandmother DiBaldo up on her babysitting offer and headed downtown for some sweeeeet southern barbecue.
We put our names on the waiting list (only 45 minutes on a Saturday night! can you believe it?) and walked down to Memphis' River Walk. Not much more than a lighted sidewalk along the Mississippi River bluff, but a good vantage point for the sunset.
Alabamians brag about Dreamland ribs, but they really know nothing of superior rib cooking. To get that, you gotta go to Rendezvous in Memphis. Christina estimates she was last there six years ago and I think my last trip was at least 10 years ago. Way too long to wait for heaven on a rib bone.
We finished off a whole rack, two orders of beans, slaw and a sausage and cheese plate then wished we'd ordered two racks. But that should do us for a few years until we can get back. Maybe Will can come with us next time.
After dinner, we then took a walk down Beale Street. Wow, that place has really changed since I was there last. Lots of new clubs, lots of people and a police blockade on both ends of Beale checking IDs and searching for weapons. Oddly, the checkpoints only made me feel less safe.
We can't wait to get back to Memphis.
Posted by Speed42 at 5:18 PM
Friday, July 21, 2006
So we took Suzuki up on their offer to drive their Grand Vitara small SUV. Heck, they're paying us $50, why shouldn't we?
We got to the dealership about 15 minutes before closing, but they were pretty good sports about it.
I stayed at the dealer with Will while Christina (who will be the primary driver of any new vehicle we get) took it around the block.
Her observations about the vehicle were roomy interior, good acceleration, acceptable turn radius, and, overall, a better choice for us than the Toyota Rav4. All for a price we can definitely afford. So we'll move it into the maybe list with the Volvo wagon, the PT Cruiser, the VW wagon, the Subaru wagon, the Honda Fit and the Lamborghini Gallardo.
Oh, wait. Scratch the Gallardo. It takes premium fuel.
Posted by Speed42 at 11:53 PM
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Monday, July 03, 2006
Last night, Will, Christina and I headed south to Harpersville, Al. to see a movie. Yes, it's more than 30 miles away, down the infamously clogged Hwy. 280 and in the absolute middle of nowhere. And, yes, we have a perfectly good fully digital theater only a few miles down the road from us.
So why Harpersville? To see "Cars." In a place where they don't mind screaming kids. In fact, this theater we visited loves screaming kids, barking dogs, and we brought our own food and drinks. And it only cost us $10 a car load.
Yep. Drive-in. We saw the movie "Cars" at a drive-in. Sure, the picture was scratchy and dim at times, the audio was not great (though the new subwoofer in the car really helped), and the big trucks passing on the highway just feet away were distracting. But it was, in my opinion, the perfect way to see that movie. I highly recommend it.
Great movie, btw. Will wore one of his many car outfits. This one especially fit the occasion since it had a tow truck on it.
Posted by Speed42 at 11:25 AM
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Suzuki's offering to pay you $50 to drive a 2006 Grand Vitara. Just visit this link, fill out the form and they'll email you a certificate you take to the dealer. Take the mini-ute around the block, tell the guy you're not interested and get your $50 gas card.
It really is that easy. We've taken advantage of several of these offers from other manufacturers and there's nothing to it.
Posted by Speed42 at 11:38 AM
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Today I took the family up to Trussville, Ala. to check out Mazda's latest tall crossover SUV wagon thing, the CX-7.
Walking up to the Copper Red Mica ute, I was impressed both by how big it was, yet how small it seemed. Does that make sense? It's tall. It's long. It's wide. But the Mazda stylists gave the beast some curves, some shapes other than rectangles. And, in my opinion, it works.
A turn of the key had the dual chrome-tailpipes burbling and us on our way. The throttle seemed a bit slow. By which I mean I stab the gas and...................get acceleration. An obvious lag between requesting ooomph and getting it. Turbo lag?
I drove mostly using the 6-speed Sport Shift, choosing to somewhat mix my own gears. It made the drive much more fun around the twisty course Stacy chose for us. Brake feel was touchy, but very effective. The four-wheel discs saved the life of one very frightened kitten early in the test. The turbo-4 had good pickup and felt quite powerful once past the lag.
I've read other reviews complaining of the CX-7's jolty ride, and expected something worse than my 1991 Camaro. What we experienced, though was closer to a tightly-sprung BMW SUV. Sure, the bumpy spots moved us around some, but Christina, who sat in back with Will, noted that it wasn't nearly as bad as my PT Cruiser.
Christina pointed the SUV in the opposite direction and took us back to the dealership. She said visibility was pretty good, no major blind spots. But she did complain about the huge A-pillar intruding on her left turns. She also commented on the touchy, but very effective brakes. She didn't experience as much go-lag as I did and didn't think it a problem.
So, all in all, the CX-7 survived and remains on the list as a contender. It's got the space we need as a young family, the luxury we so rightly deserve (right?) and it looks pretty damn cool. However, there are negatives. First, in a total slip of foresight, Mazda did not include an iPod interface or even a line-in plug. That's almost unforgivable in a brand new car. Somewhat below average fuel mileage isn't an instant killer, but that's on premium gas. YIKES! It's also at the tippy top of our price range and somewhat over-indulgent for a couple of fairly-liberal Democrats.
Next we may drive the VW Passat wagon or maybe the Honda Fit or possibly the Subaru Forrester. Stay tuned.
Posted by Speed42 at 4:55 PM
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Monday, June 19, 2006
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Since he was born, I've been fascinated by Will's tiniest little details. Like how furry the backs of his ears are. Or just how tiny his fingernails are. So I've been experimenting with how close I can get with our digital. If you're shopping, I recommend the Canon SD500. It's been pretty sweet so far. Here are some closeups I shot this morning...
Posted by Speed42 at 9:33 PM
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
No, not really. Just kidding.
But he is advancing rapidly, despite my total lack of blogging the last week or so. Here are some of Will's latest accomplishments:
1. Reaching - Usually quite easy for you (at least when you're sober) but a big leap for Will. Until recently, his arms seemed to flop and flail with no direction. Now he actually moves them toward objects.
2. Grasping - And, when said hands touch said objects, Will grabs them, holds on, and pulls them toward him.
3. Rolling - That's right. At just two months, Will has rolled from his back to his stomach. He doesn't do it often, but enough that we now watch him much more closely on the changing table.
4. Standing - Not by himself, but he will sit up with some help and has then pushed himself up with his legs.
5. Poetry - Somehow Will got hold of a pen and paper (we're blaming one of the cats) and was able to compose some poetry. Let's just say it's not as bad as Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings', but it's bad enough we're discouraging any more.
Posted by Speed42 at 10:55 PM
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Somehow (I know how, it's just too long to explain here) I found my way to The Derek Smith Family blog. Amazingly, they have a son named Westin who was born 7 weeks ago. Similar to our William, born seven weeks ago Monday.
It's just interesting to peek in on another family and see how very similar their experiences are to ours. Good luck Smiths! I hear it gets both more fun and more difficult here on out.
Posted by Speed42 at 9:52 PM
Adding two more vehicles to the list of possible future Tutor family conveyances.
The Mazda CX7 is officially a crossover vehicle but is, uh, about the same size as, uh oh, many midsize SUVs. IMO, it's sleek, sexy and oh so desirable. Unfortunately, it gets about 18 mpg on premium only and is on the far upper end of what we're willing to pay. Will and I drove to Trussville today to check one out. VERY sweet interior. Couldn't drive it due to having Will, though. Maybe next time.
And the other vehicle is the much more practical, economical and liberal Mazda5. It's basically a small minivan/tall wagon. But it looks cool, has lots of interior room (three rows of seats!) and gets about 26 mpg hwy. We drove one back before Will was born and I remember a somewhat favorable impression. No sports car, but nimble for what you get.
Again, we're open to suggestions, opinions, etc.
Posted by Speed42 at 7:00 AM