Ducati held a test ride today at Atlanta Motor World, the Yamaha/Honda/Kawasaki/Ducati/Aprillia (yeah, that’s a lot of brands) dealership in Alpharetta, Georgia. I rode on over at around 9:00AM to sign myself up to test ride one of the 18 motorcycles they had brought out and to check out the open house at Atlanta Motor World.
At ~11:10AM I climbed onto Ducati’s fastest race bike, the 999 Testastretta…. a race-tuned V-twin with a 999 cc engine that puts out 143 hp and 112 N·m (82.6 ft·lbs) of torque that powers the 410 lbs machine. (For those of us not familiar with specs… its a wicked fast crotch rocket). I, and 18 other riders on Ducatis rode on a 20-mile loop with Ducati officials leading and watching over the ride. The particular bike that I rode was quite obviously a bike that has been on a racetrack or two (as evidenced by the wear on the rear tire and the presence of a steering damper). During the ride, I never got to put the bike through all its gears (to do so would probably have meant going speeds where you subsequently get put straight into either a jail cell or a cemetary plot), but I did get to lay on the throttle in a couple of places. Power everywhere… a deep throttle and a seemingly infinite well of torque. The 999 is quite easily the fastest vehicle (except for aircraft) that I have ever ridden.
Having just bought an R6, I am not really in the market for a new bike (much less one that costs ~$17,000.00).
Here is a photo of the bike that I rode right after I got off of it:
Today I got to flex my mighty linguistic skills at work. A fax came in from our French representatives with a question on a piece of equipment, and so I got to call their offices up to answer it. Armed with a phrase that I quickly looked up, I made the call. When the reception answered, smooth as silk I said “Je suis Kevin Wilson de (yes, I do rock).
Then, not five minutes later I was on the phone with the most excited and whiny chinese man I’ve ever met. Our Taiwan representative called to moan and gripe about wanted to get a deal on some prices. Ordinarily a mandarin phrase or two is enough to soothe the sensibilities, but this guy was having none of that. Probably the funniest phone call that I’ve ever taken (except for when our Austrailian rep calls… that guy sounds *exactly* like the crocodile hunter and its everything I can do to not laugh or imitate his accent on the phone 🙂
…and its only 10 o’clock! I hope my day hasn’t hit its peak too early.
-back to work
Back in February (around Valentine’s Day), I got a call from a photo acquisition service. They wanted to submit a 300 dpi version of a photo I took of Six Flags over Georgia (and had displayed on my web page) to their client for possible use in a middle school math textbook for Georgia. I sent them a copy of the original photo via e-mail and then heard back from them a few days later. Their client approved the photo and so they wanted to purchase the publishing rights from me! After doing some online searching and finding a guide for calculating freelance photography rates, we came to an arrangement. My check arrived a few days ago 🙂
Before any of this happened, a friend of mine once compared me to Peter Parker, the nerdy protagonist who has Spider-Man as his alter-ego. Well, I guess the description was more apt than either of us realized I am slightly geeky and enjoy looking through mathematics references and Facebook stalking famous photographers… and in the comic/movie, Peter Parker works as a freelance photographer. Hmm… I wonder if that means I’ll be crawling on walls at some future time & place 🙂
The photo I took was from my trip there in August, 2004 with Tony, Sarah, and Suzie (Rest In Peace 🙁 ). Here is a copy of the version in my photo gallery:
I have purchased a new motorcycle and upgraded from the GS500. Its really late, so I will keep this post brief. My new motorcycle is a 1999 Yamaha R6. Rode it home from Lawrenceville tonight (35 min in 49ºF weather). I’m going to try to get a tag for it tomorrow. Here are some photos:
Justified & Ancient.
(and bound for Mu-mu Land)
I might have some interesting news to report tonight. Stay tuned!
Today was a very run-of the mill day. The only extraordinary thing to happen was 3 of my tumbling students getting their standing back tucks on the spring-board at job #2 (the gym). Incidentally, this post’s icon was taken tonight at job#2. One of my students shot it with my digital camera (at my behest).
I have finished painting my bedroom 🙂 It came out quite nicely…. and I feel like the results were definitely worth the effort and almost worth the money. I learned two things: 1 – All coats (1st and 2nd) of thin paint colors (whites, blues) are best applied with *fresh* (unused) rollers and tins. 2 – Track lighting looks much better reflected off of a dark surface.
I now really enjoy being in my room during the evening. The cool walls give it a very nice ambience. I have 3 daytime photos, but only one nighttime photo of my room so far… I still haven’t cleaned all the clutter out of it from painting it, so better photos than these will have to come at a later date
My day went by alright…. but a special synergy of happenings has ruined my night and put me in a bad mood.
My ‘friend’ Verutzka seems to have come and gone from Atlanta without so much as a phone call, Rumbi (apparently in a bad mood) treated me like a stranger (even though we only bloody chat online), and my attempts to get out and make new friends don’t seem to be bearing much fruit (I had someone cancel on me).
I am pretty frustrated at the moment. The amount of energy I put into my efforts doesn’t seem to have any effect on their inevitable futility.
“Remember, remember, the 5th of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot;
I know of no reason, why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.”
Tonight I journeyed to the Medlock Crossing Regal Cinemas to see V for Vendetta, and WOW. This movie *floored* me. I have never read the Vertigo comic of the same name (upon which the movie is based), but I immediately took to the mysterious main character, V. He now stands out as the new standard by which I shall now regard all other heroes & protagonists, and not many of my now former-favorites can measure up to the high bar set. This movie has a lot going for it. Engaging clever dialog, action, plot twists, mystery and (dare I say it), the hottest, most alluring Sapphic character I have ever laid eyes on (I don’t usually get over-excited over something like that, but I will make a happy exception this time).
The rough plot follows the struggle of a citizen (Evey), and a revolutionary modern-day-Guy-Fawkes (V) against the future-set fascist regime that rules Great Britain.
If you are into mindless action movies, then you will fail to find anything particularly exemplary about this movie (except, perhaps for the 1812 overture 🙂 ). However, those among us who enjoy some ‘cereberal’ seasoning with some of our guilty pleasures (like action movies) will find much to rave about in this film.
I’d see it again in an instant. Well worth the price of admission.
I finally got sick of my el-cheapo little $2 desk lamp (which i got at a yard sale) with the popsicle stick lampshade that I cobbled together with elmer’s glue, so I went to the home depot and put some track lighting on the ceiling above my desk. This solved my lighting problem, but created another one… the increased illumination made my dirty walls more visible and bright… including the fact that they were in dire need of paint. So it was back to the home depot I went. I chose a shade of almost-blue purple for the walls (Gem). I have put a first coat on 1/3 of the room so far, but I am starting to toy with the idea of putting a lighter blue on one or two of the walls, or some kind of pattern.
Painting is fun, but it is also currently a pain in the ass because I don’t have anywhere to put my stuff while I am doing it. (My room is a disaster area x 3). At $24 a can, paint is also expensive if you choose a wrong color. I’ll run some photoshop simulations to see what colors I end up going with.
After inadvertently leaving my lunch at home today, I was forced to venture out at noon to find something to eat. I wandered about indecisively for 3 minutes on my bike until I decided to at least check out the menu at a Carribbean restauraunt about 1/4 of the way home from the office. I expected to find a very watered down, general menu with red beans and spanish rice or fried plantains being among the most exotic items, but it seems that Lady Serendipity is quite a coy mistress indeed :-). Much to my delight, I found ox-tail, Jamaican patties *and* cao-cao bread available for takeout! Previously, I had been making a 20-35 minute journey to Marietta or southeast Decatur to find such delights… but now that I realize that Carribbean Fiesta has them, I will be able to drive 10 minutes down the road from home, or 5 min from the office in order to get them. My only lament is that they do not also sell harddough bread and bun (not to my knowledge, anyways).
I got her email today! One of the first friends I made when I came to Atlanta for school. She’s coming back to Atlanta! … but only for a week. Even so, its been a long long time and I’ve missed her being around. Can’t wait to see her again 🙂 I wonder what we’ll talk about… I hope she’ll have time to hang out more than once 🙂 🙂 🙂
Hurry back, Veru!
Despite a really crappy Saturday…. thankfully, my Sunday did not hold any more direful surprises in store for me. I’ll did brood some, but a trip out and about the Atlanta metro area was enough to remedy some of my ailing spirits. I made my way to Smyrna (one of my old stomping grounds) to run an errand (*cough*buyacomicthatwassoldoutelsewhere*cough*), and decided to visit Valerie & Brannon since I was going to be within 1 mile of their house. Last year, I had promised to take Valerie out for a spin on the motorbike… but she had opted to wait until I had a few more months of riding experience behind me. So, since it was a warm Sunday, I strapped a spare helmet onto the bike and gave her a call to tell her that I was coming on over.
Being a bit nervous, she opted for a quick spin around the subdivision before heading out onto the road. I gave her the spare helmet to wear and off we were for a spin! This post’s icon is a picture of her on the passenger seat wearing my riding jacket. We took a 3-4 mile loop past Cumberland Mall and over I-285. We passed 3 motorcycles and one police officer on the way. I made sure to take it easy since I knew she was a bit afraid since bikes are dangerous. Nevertheless, much fun was had.
Upon my return to her house, Brannon took her place and also got to ride on the back (which proved to be a formidable task for my poor 40 hp motorcycle). Brannon had a few questions about riding in general after his ride. He has been thinking about learning to ride, but wants to wait until he has more time and money to purchase a bike (there is also the matter of a deal he made with Valerie, his wife, about her getting to spend an equal sum of money on any object of her desire ). Ah, marraige 🙂
On the topic of motorcycles… I got to ride a 2002 Suzuki SV-650S that a co-worker rode in on today. Apparently it is for sale, and within my price range. I have been looking for a more powerful bike to upgrade to, but am very undecided about which model to get. The SV has a decent bit of power, but I think it inferior to my gs500 in terms of looks. Here is a picture of the the SV-650S that I rode:
Yesterday, a phone call that I got took a turn for the worse. One of my friends whom I have been trying very hard to keep told me point blank that all of the contact had to stop because: it was making her snap at other people, she begrudges any of the time she decides to spend with me, and she doesn’t think I make a good friend (for her). Needless to say, it was upsetting to me. I have noticed a marked definite change in her actions… literally overnight, just before she originally broke off our romantic relationship. For the life of me, I can’t understand why she has this disdain for me. She says that i’m the only person she’s ever wanted to cut off in this way… yet when I ask her to look inside to give a reason she claims that I am the problem. Not anything I do, but the way that I am. I can’t accept that, seeing the way that her actions and her attitude has changed…. and how different she is when even one other person is with the two of us.
I’ve never noticed a hint before of emotional problems, nor this flippant regard for what we’ve shared. Its hard to not be angry at being thrown away despite making your noblest efforts and intentions. Did I make a bad choice? Can her heart be so black, spiteful with conceit?
I’m out of my depth here. There doesn’t seem to be any way to make her come to her senses. Whether she needs to grow up emotionally or lose a few of her friends in the same manner, I hope she can grow out of such a narrow-minded sense of value and priority… and at last be earnest, honest, and willing to work through problems and issues rather than deleting the good with the bad.
Amazing. Here I stand the recipient of her offenses, and yet here I am wishing her enlightenment despite it. Turn the other cheek, indeed.
Today was notable for a few different reasons. First, both of my managers at my job are in Barcelona (the b@st@rds went to SPAIN and didn’t take me! I @#$@# SPEAK SPANISH!!), so the dozen or so phone calls have been fielding in their stead have kept me from completing my increased work load.
Second, one of the engineers I work with took me to have dim-sum for lunch! During my college years, even though I had a slew of chinese friends I had unfortunately missed out on two seperate dim-sum outings due to bad timing and other obligations/priorities. The engineer who brought me to dim-sum’s name is Paul. Taiwanese by birth, he speaks chinese (mandarin), english, and japanese. Only Diego down the hall (german, spanish, english, bits of portuguese and italian) eclipses Paul’s linguistic flexibility. (I guess I come in third with fairly good spanish, basic japanese and even more basic mandarin). Anyways, dim-sum was very yummy. It is a Cantonese custom and means ‘snack’ in that dialect . Although i passed on the chicken feet (perish the thought), I did try a few new dishes. My favorite was the various types of baozi (steamed sweet dough dumplings with goodies in the middle!). The icon for this post is the barbecue pork baozi (whose chinese name escapes me for the moment). Unfortunately, during lunch I clumsily knocked my glass of water over with the back end of my chopsticks (embarassing… but they were really long). Nevertheless, I’ll be headed back for some more dim-sum in the near future :-), hopefully with a friend in tow.
Third, was the weather today! 72-degrees and GREAT riding weather for the motorcycle. I rode it to and from work and then around and about on minor errands and to pick up dinner. I also got to jog at the park near here (East Roswell Park). I put in my mile-and-a-half at a good pace. I started my cooldown lap just it time to recieve a call from the very lovely Natalie Ramsey who was returning an earlier called to inform me that she’d arrived in Denver. I am not sure whether it was the endorphins in my system from the jog, but we enjoyed a really warm conversation and traded a heartfelt pleasantry or two. I haven’t felt like she was a buddy since waaay back in Harris dorm, so our chat left me in pretty high spirits. I hope it endures when she makes visits back to Atlanta.
Good Luck out in Denver, Nat!
Rain on Saturday with a trip down to Atlantic Station (where I met a fellow descendant of Jamaicans). My Sunday (today) was far more memorable. Rumbi invited me to watch a play with her down at on Emory campus. It was one that she was required to watch for one of her classes this semester, but I’m always glad for any time that I can spend with her as company. The play was a classic comedy set in the colonial period (though written and produced in Britain); She Stoops To Conquer: Or, The Mistakes Of A Night written in 1773 by Oliver Goldsmith. We had a quick lunch before buying tickets for the show. Rumbi was a little quiet with me (as she is wont be lately), but I really enjoyed the play and my afternoon out. The basic gist of the plot has much ado about mistaken identity, young love, and social class. The cast was excellent, though I felt that the opening monologue looked a little forced, and the performance in the inital scenes involving Mrs. Dorothy Lumpkin Hardcastle (a character) felt a little off. Rumbi said that she also liked the play a lot, but I didn’t discuss my opinion of the performers or performance with her for fear of any criticism making me seem ungratfeul for being able to see it.
I do hope she soon gets out of the rut she tends to get in with me lately… here’s to hoping! 🙂
I feel like this web log is a poor neglected child. The last post I made (*ahem* 3 months ago) had a quick rundown on a few of the happenings and goings on in the time leading up to that post, so I will do the same here.
*Late November: My parents have mov to Lockerbie, Scotland! They will be living there for two years as my Dad works on a project with his company. As a result I am forced to switch cell-phone service providers and finally retire my previous-century’s model Startac in favor of a Motorola RAZR.
*My Canon S410 Elph Digital Camera dies after my attempt to fix the retractable lens problem (very common Canon Elph problem, apparently). 1-2 months later I purchase a Casio EX-S500 as a replacement.
*In January, I got myself swept up in a whirlwind romance with a very lovely and intelligent girl. An Emory senior, at times she seems to be almost as fickle as she is pretty… and so our romance only endured for one month.
Today is a very chilly Sunday (30°) and the 2nd day of the annual Cheersport Nationals Cheerleading Competitionat the Georgia World Congress Center. I attended yesterday (all our teams in first except for coed, whom I did not hear news of), but I will not be returning today. The rest of the day’s plans involve some self study in Japanese (answer pen-pal email, try to transcribe lyrics in “My Back Pages” by the Magokoro Bros), and hopefully a bit of Chinese (practical chinese reader). I also have to make a trip down to Emory to return a scarf…. hopefully that trip will bring more good things than it portends 🙂
Iffy had a birthday party yesterday at his house. I met a few interesting folks (art students, I think… but older than me), but then I left about an hour earlier than I normally would have to catch the 2nd/3rd to last episode of Full Metal Alchemist (yeah, i’m hooked). I grabbed a few photos that I might put up later.
**PS** I forgot to add:
*Natalie ended her service with the Peace Corps in December. She is back in the States and is moving to Denver in a week to semi start anew/continue where she left off/find the love of her life. Here’s to hoping we can stay close( r) even though you’re going farther away.
Natalie and I (with Valerie) at dinner at an old college hangout (Eats on Ponce)
***Oh yeah…. bigger icons now! 150×150, baby!
By my count, there has been a 3-month hiatus since my last entry. It is probably a bit of a cop-out to chalk it up to being busy… but that explanation is probably closest to the truth. In my 3-month absence from blogging I have:
1. Gotten a regular full time job (I work in sales, but am still working at the gym 2 nights a week)
2. Taken up yet another new hobby…. motorcycling! (I got a Suzuki GS500 about 2.5 months ago). This includes a trip to a WERA bike race where my friend Keith took 3rd in the nation!
3. Found out that my parents are moving to LONDON in about 3 weeks (they’ll be there for TWO YEARS)
4. Made preperations to try to get my life in more general order ( finally got a GA license, etc etc)
5. Been *trying* to get out and make/meet new friends (very little success with this thus far… my experience has been that its a hard thing to do unless you bar-hop or already have a lot friends that introduce you to other people)
I shall expound and elaborate on my adventures since this past summer, but as I type this I am sitting in a Mayflower hotel room in downtown Washington D.C. (I’m here for work, so I haven’t had a chance to visit my old homes in Springfield and Burke), and I have to meet my managers and co-workers down in the lobby in short order, so time is fleeting at the moment.
Photos to come….
P.S. YOu know, i might write more if i heard from you guys more often 😛
My weekend was saved from inevitable boredom by Sarah, who called me up earlier in the week to let me know that she had recently arrived in town from her soon-to-be-ex-home in Virginia Beach. The last time I had seen Sarah was at her wedding, 10 months ago. Our schedules didn’t allow us to hang out and catch up until the weekend, so we decided to meet up on Saturday (yesterday) and to start things off with lunch. We met at Aaron & Iffy’s apartment, visited with them for a while and then headed out to Thai Chili for lunch just after noon. Since we both had the entire day to do whatever, I went with her to spend the afternoon looking at and test driving cars. Sarah and Tony are moving to Utah, and she is thinking of buying a Subaru Forrester to replace her ailing ’92 Honda Civic. The Forrester is so popular out in the midwest region of the US that they actually mark all of the cars up at the dealerships, so checking the prices at a dealership here in Georgia seemed like a good idea.
The first of our two stops was at the Subaru dealership located on Satellite Blvd in Duluth. We test drove an ’06 Forrester and then an ’06 Outback. After leaving Subaru, we went to the Carmax off of Beaver Ruin Rd in Norcross. There, we test drove an ’05 Honda CRV, an ’02 RAV-4, and a Honda Accord. They didn’t have any Forresters in stock so we didn’t test drive any of them there.
After an exhausting few hours of car shopping, we met back up with Aaron and his girlfriend, Katie and went to the Marble Slab Creamery in Buckhead for some ice cream. The original plan was to go to a Coldstone (which I prefer to Marble Slab), but the directions we had took us to Marble Slab instead. I had a scoop of key lime and one of sweet cream on a waffle cone. Aaron and Katie had plans to head north to Reed’s house for some buffalo wings, but Sarah and I opted to see a movie instead. We decided on “The Island” since I vetoed “Fantastic Four” (seen it already), and “War of the Worlds” (looked uninteresting).
Unfortunately, we sat through about 30 MINUTES of ads before the movie started. The movie itself was pretty entertaining, especially the first half. There was quite a bit of eyecandy (Scarlett Johanssen notwithstanding) and the script sorted of dumbed itself down towards the end, but no movie is perfect (though Spiderman 2″ comes close!).
After the movie I took her back to her poor, beat up Civic with no AC and we went our seperate ways. She’s supposed to be in and out of town for the next month, so perhaps there is more hanging out to come!
Although this movie is based upon the comic book of the same name, I can’t help feeling that the title is misleading as I found little fantastic about the movie at all.
I saw this movie Friday night at Regal Medlock Crossing (just a few hours ago) with a group of 4 other folks (Susi, Dane and 2 other people). If you are planning on seeing it in the theater for the experience, then I would strongly advise you save your money and add it to your Netflix/rental rotation instead. Unfortunately, the movie has little to offer and pales….just PALES in comparison the likes of Spiderman 2 (best superhero movie ever) or even X-men 2 (best sequel to a movie I’ve ever seen). The technical productive aspects are all there…. special effects, CG animation, great sets and competent actors. In my opinion, its mostly the script, and partly the execution that is to blame. The first 40 minutes of the movie are pretty interesting, half of the characters have thinly (if at all) veiled issues and resentment with/of one another which helped to make this part of the very-predictable plot a bit less bland than it could have been. However, after they quartet discover their new powers… the characters all run around not doing much of anything. Bad guys (Dr. Doom) do bad stuff without a logical/apparent purpose, and the good guys walk around not doing anything worthy of mention. There are (of course) scenes where their powers are used, but only in very contrived and underwhelming circumstances that are so forgettable that they are already fuzzy recollections to me.
If you haven’t been able to tell yet, I was very unimpressed with the movie. Unless you have some sort of irresistible compulsion to see it no matter how trite and average it is, I would wait to borrow/rent it… and even then only if nothing better were immediately available.
I tagged along with Nicole and her new roommate, Shannon to a birthday get-together at a restauraunt in the Poncey-Highlands (El Azteca) last night. It was alright. There were two people there that I hadn’t talked to in a little bit. All the girls there were former University of Alabama cheerleaders, so there were some stares when they toasted the Crimson Tide (I think all of the guys there were former cheerleaders as well, but not from Bama). Nicole and her new roommate are both Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders and get to go to Japan this August with the football team! It seems that almost everyone I know besides me has made it over there at some point or another. One of these days, hopefully.
As for today, I don’t have any plans whatsoever. Its been rainy here, maybe partially because of hurricane dennis which is out and about in the carribbean. Natalie was supposed to fly out to Jamaica tomorrow, but the weather will probably delay her flight. I’d like to call, but her phone is probably already ringing off the hook with folks she’d rather talk to than I. Maybe….