Bento Box Bits of everything

20Aug/063

New lifestyle, new car?

Within the past 7 days, I've mountain biked 4 days, and played tennis on 1. I've never been this 'active' before in my life. I guess Seattle really does turn people into outdoorsy yuppies. I normally don't bike this much but since this past week my brother and his family have been out of town on vacation so I had access to their minivan. It was great just throwing my bike in the back after work and hitting the trails for an hour or so. This spurred on my daydreaming about a new car and now it seems like the reality isn't as far off as I once thought.

I've been thinking about my current needs in an automobile. Do I need a semi-luxury sport coupe anymore? I barely do any 'spirited' driving anymore since I'm always in traffic during my commute; do I even really need my current 260hp? It sucks being a leech and having Pat pick me up to go biking since he's got a bike rack on his car (it would cost $600 to put a hitch rack on mine); and it also sucks not being able to drive in snow (sport tires) to go snowboarding. All the factors combined have been making me consider a 4wd box car (like an element), or a sporty wagon (legacy gt). I've been bouncing all over review sites looking at cars like the Honda Ridgeline, Scion xB, Volvo V50, Nissan Xterra, and of course my personal favorite: Audi A3.

With my personal preference of being able to throw a bike in the back of the car without removing any wheels has eliminated some choices; and I still want to retain a 'sporty' driving feel and some nice luxuries, so right now I'm leaning toward the Subaru Legacy GT wagon. A used model seems to be in my budget. I could probably afford it comfortably and get it paid off in a year if I kick down my 401k contributions a notch.

I'll work out some rough math and see if this would a heavy financial burden. I want to get it paid off in 1 year while I'm still working and not have to deal with a car payment if I'm still in grad school.

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16Aug/060

Videos

I've been lazy and sitting on these videos for awhile. The videos are from the Capitol Hill Block Party and the Dresden Dolls Fuck the Back Row Show. I had to compress them from the original 300mb+ file size to around 100mb for youtube. My favorite is Amanda Palmer singing "I don't care much". She sang many covers from films and musicals which I doubt will ever be released; a rare performance indeed. Here they are:

Tennis Pro

Dresden Dolls - Science fiction double feature

The Village Green - Plastic Women

Amanda Palmer - I don't care much

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11Aug/061

Sacramento, Velodrome

Last weekend I visited a friend from college in Sacramento. It felt like I was back in school again since the surroundings were familiar. We saw the movie "The Descent," which I thought was very good. Lots of atmosphere, suspense, and gore. Nothing tickles me more than an axe pick in someone's throat.

Another friend from college is about to interview at my company for a programming job. I'm trying to prep him the best I can because I want him to take the job and move up here to Seattle from Cali. It would be cool to have another buddy to do stuff with; and more importantly a gym partner. I haven't had a spotter since highschool. It's pathetic that I could bench more in highschool than I can now, and I was only 135lbs back then! I'm gonna try to get him to mountain bike with Pat and I this weekend and get him addicted to the trails up here.

Speaking of biking, on Wednesday night I went to the Grouphealth Velodrome at Marymoor Park in Redmond to check out the racing and practice some photography. Action photography was much harder than I expected, even harder because it was dark. I stupidly left my camera on auto ISO and many of my shots turned out to be excessively noisy. Out of the 296 pictures I took in the hour I was there, these were the only ones I thought were decent enough to post to my flickr. Check my flickr for the hi-res versions, but I warn you, these shorts are very 'soft' because I put them through a noise filter.