Kentucky Powerboaters countdown til spring

30 01 2015

 

As of today, we have 51 days until spring. That’s D-day for a lot of us.  Not that it even means we can head back to the lakes because there will still be a snow day, severe thunderstorms and frost;  but to keep our sanity this arbitrary countdown means the best part of Kentucky will be coming back to life, trees and grass waking up and starting to turn green.  That smell of spring with pollen and you notice the bugs are back on the grill of your truck.  Soon the roar of thru-hull exhausts will roar to life with a cloud of sweet smelling white smoke followed by the first wake thrown by huge cleaver props.  The girls in huge sunglasses unload cart loads of designer bags as unique to each individual as the bikinis they wear below those cotton cover-up dresses.  You’ll hear the radio static on channel 14, 18, or 6, whatever frequency your home port uses.  The water taxi drivers ram the docks and grumble a “damnit”  because reverse on those Honda outboards isn’t just quite right yet on the first weekend of spring.  They’ll get it worked out before Memorial Day weekend and the real crowds invade, as of right now everyone is just as happy to be back on the lake.  Yea so what if the deep emerald green water is 54 degrees in the sunshine, we’re going skiing and water temp be damned, hey your only in the water for a minute anyway right? All the more incentive to not fall.

state dock

You know you have the fever if you find yourself making plans for the big holiday weekends while listening to snow reports on the radio, when your boat is in dry storage or under cover for at least another 3 months.  “We’re gonna do this”, “and were gonna go here for poker run weekend”.  “Lets trailer down to Nashville for the 4th of July fireworks and travel down river to lock-in at Old Hickory lake and spend a day or two”. Will those trailer tires make that kind of long  high speed trip?  What year did I replace those anyway?  Did I repack the bearings last time or did my dad?  If I install a power inverter on the stereo batteries I can run a electric space heater under the dash.  Better yet, If I finally pay for that marine AC unit I’ve been watching on Ebay for six months, we would have year round heat and air.  How many more blue LED lights can I install inside the cockpit, or below waterline?  Will the neighbors remember how drunk (I, she, brother in law) got during Raft Up and showed their ass?  Is that other boat identical to mine still slower than me? Or did he pull those engines and drop in something nasty just to smoke me on the main lake? What did we leave in the fridge? I guarantee the milk is bad by now.

 

snow dock

Or maybe your boat hunting right now in the winter months because prices are low and you have the “one foot syndrome” wishing you had purchased just a little more length when you bought your current boat.  So and So down on N dock has the same color scheme and engine that I do but his is the 30′ not the 27′ like mine.  Few places in America can you actually watch our economy work in real time, buying selling, and trading between friends and complete strangers.  This is what we do, we are boat people, the kind of guy who would buy less truck to be able to finance more boat.  The kind who will help tow in a stranded boater back to the dock and refuse any kind of payment, that same kind of guy who is going home from work this afternoon and will be out in the garage polishing fiberglass;  and plans family vacations around accessible boat ramps.

No matter how extravagant or old and cheap your boat might be the one thing they all have in common is that when your at the helm running wfo on a perfect day, right before sunset, and you look over to port and there sits some pretty someone smiling back at you, all is right with the world.  That’s why we do this, at that moment you are captain, you are in charge of everything in your world.  When you get back to work on Monday and have bosses screaming at you, customers being awful, maybe your worried your job could be replaced by new technology, this things you have no control over.  But when your on your boat, you are king of the world.

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Hey look, an asshole!, or hey look at that guy in the Hummer H2

23 05 2009

The Hummer, the iconic SUV that has now synonymous with the downfall of General Motors is reaching the end of its trek.  How the public came to see this frankencar built on the Tahoe frame as a car driven by right wing gun nuts and assholes across the nation is quite a story.  I have something to say about how I was introduced to the Hummer H2 and after falling in love with its design and look, now feel like I had an affair with a salvaged-title shitbox for a week.  I will admit that for a month or so, I wanted an H2 because their popularity was soaring and the Eco-green backlash had not gathered steam.  This was before gas was $4.59 in Maryland and $4.29 in Virginia, in fact no one even suggested that gas prices would soon reach record highs.

Hummer dealerships were popping up across the country, usually integrated into an anchor luxury dealership such as Cadillac, but sometimes Chevrolet dealerships, GM wanted to assign as much prestige to its new badge to appeal to the discerning customer.  One who didn’t want to choose between a Tahoe or Yukon because peasants could afford those, no the H2 even got diehard Ford customers to cross over.  If you could afford it, pulling up in one of the early H2’s was met with as much gawking and head-turning appeal as a Ferrari in rural Appalatchia.  The majority of the first production runs was the currently fading Yellow.  Yellow H2’s were the only Hummers you saw, until the even uglier Sand-beige metallic’s announced their arrival on the front lines of local dealerships.  The cool colors came out after the guys who paid 5-10k over sticker to get first shot at ownership were wanting to trade in their 2004’s to get a Red, Black, Blue or White model and unload the ugly yellow or beige.

The one right thing GM did to load their pockets was to have a stipulation in a Hummer Dealerships contract, its simply stated that if you want to sell and service new Hummers, you must build a dedicated Hummer dealership adjacent to your current Cadilliac or other GM showroom by January of 2007.  While these things were being sold and pre-loaded with up to 20k worth of accesories (real profit) dealership owners were jumping on board and spending millions to build the factory approved new car showrooms, the sybollic arch of white over a plate glass fascia that now sit empty across the country.

One example of Hummer=fail, and a keen deal for the win can be seen on Rt. 7 in Tyson’s Corner Virginia, one of the worst congested strips of four lanes in the country is home to over 16 new car dealerships, dubbed dealership row.  Dealership row is where Washington’s elite comes to purchase the latest and greatest vehicles, often above MSRP sticker price.  At the end of this strip was home of Moore Cadillac/Hummer, it had been there since the early 80’s Mr. Moore whom had done very well in this unique market area selling Cadillacs to diplomats, ambassadors, and normal customers alike.  Moore was a fine dealership and had earned a loyal customer base, and employed several people with well paying jobs.  Moore was one of the first big Hummer dealers in the Mid-Atlantic region, many salespeople got wealthy in a short couple years with H2’s and the flagship H1.  Moore spent some 15 million dollars on a new parking structure and another few million on a stand alone Hummer showroom.  Right as the gas crisis hit and sales plummeted, Mr. Moore accepted an $80 million dollar offer for his land for the future Tyson’s Corner Metro station.  What luck, the irony of a former Hummer dealership getting bulldozed to make way for mass transit is humorous at least, but taking the money and getting out of that terrible GM contract is a blessing in disguise.

Other less fortunate Washington area Hummer dealerships fell victim to the record gas prices and then the exodus of consumer credit on new vehicle purchases.  This was right after the rucus over the 12 mpg that the H2 gets on the highway, and advertisements around Washington were sprayed with graffiti proclaiming “real men die in their Hummers” in response to hundreds of soldiers in Iraq getting killed in H1’s by roadside bombs.  Suddenly the 7 bar Hummer grill was not so stylish to be seen behind anymore.  In some suburbs there were a few Hummers vandalized by so called “eco-terrorists” who think all Hummers should be crushed.  I will even admit that when I see someone driving an H2 I feel like “damn that guy has no idea how frowned upon those trucks are”.  H1’s are rarely sighted but when they are many are covered in mud as they should be, the ultimate offroad machine (sorry jeep guys, but you know its true).

The point of this Hummer story is that its perhaps one of the clearest examples of how GM has been shooting itself in the foot for the past 3 decades.  They spend too much building a niche product that has a VERY limited lifespan and saleability, and soak their dealers to aquire the product.  They build too many, and flood the market driving down the inflated sticker prices, and then are forced to unload the backstock with employee purchase programs making less than $500 dollars a car (again the dealer suffers).  So if you the angry consumer wonder why you are being forced into imports as GM begs for money to pay its pensions and other past screwups, remember they brought this ENTIRELEY on themselves.  Sweep the leg, no mercy.





DRM encourages software piracy

1 03 2009

Below is a cut/paste post from EA games user forums.  Its found under technical help which has received 800,000+ views since it was written.  It speaks volumes for the problems pc gamers face just when buying a new game.  Gamers, real gamers (consoles are for kids), typically face a mountain of problems getting the latest titles to start/run properly.  Driver conflicts, bugs and glitches have often made us reinstall an entire operating system to get a damn game to work.  I have been searching forums to find a fix for Crysis which is preventing me from completing the game because of repetitive crashing.  The antipiracy software (punkbuster,gamespy,VAC, and countless other bullshit ip/serial key loggers) that get installed when you load your new game is often the reason you cant play your new game to fruition. The packaged anti-cheat software is usually outdated by the game’s ship date, and almost always has conflicts with other software on your rig.  Problems ALWAYS occur with every new PC game released, some companies are better than others at getting updates and patches released asap.  If I buy an Xbox 360 game and load it up, it almost never has the fatal glitches and bugs that the PC version has.  Of course you sacrifice playability, speed, and frame rates by stepping down to a console, so we are forced to wait for  patches.  While I was digging for a patch tonight for my legitimate copy of Crysis I found this:

FYI: Warhead is the latest Crysis installment from EA games, EA has the WORST support and help of any of the major game companies.  And since EA keeps buying up every independent software companies, problems with new games are on the rise.  Its usually in the best interest of your personal sanity to wait a month until the developer has created the first round of updates.

Give me a reason not to pirate Warhead, since I bought it and it won’t run.

Here is the game, sitting on my desk. Staring at me, mocking me. Electronic Arts’ ridiculous and completely pointless use of DRM in Crysis Warhead is preventing me from playing the game I purchased.

Why do I know it’s the DRM? Because the exact same problem happens with my ALSO LEGITIMATELY PURCHASED Spore installation, and we (the users) have determined that it’s a DRM issue. This is further supported by the only possible solution to the problem yet offered by EA customer support – the uninstallation of the game, creation of a new administrator account, and the reinstallation within the new account. This doesn’t work, by the way.

What happens is this : The game doesn’t run. It installed fine, without any issues at all. When I double click on the desktop/start menu short cut, nothing happens. All that results is that crysis_activation.exe sits in the background in the task manager and runs indefinitely, eating up CPU cycles until I forcibly end the task tree.

This exact some problem occurs in Spore. Some people have been able to get around it by running the executable from the Spore root directly directly, or by simply replacing the Spore exe with a cracked version to get around the DRM. Of course, this isn’t a viable option in Warhead since apparently, crysis_activation.exe doesn’t exist

So, since I don’t expect EA to help me with this issue, I’m wondering/hoping that other people have encountered the same issue and might know how to fix it.

See, running the game off the copy I bought would be unless the desktop/start menu shortcuts are run. great, but if I don’t find a solution to this problem that is effecting BOTH my recent EA purchases, I see absolutely no reason to continue supporting this god damn company by actually buying their games when I could just get them for free and not have to worry about any of this DRM nonsense at the same time.

Message was edited by: Atheist_*** (Spore)


Of course this was edited by the thought police division of Electronic Arts, here was the reply to the above:

Go ahead and pirate it

DRM is a disease and BitTorrent is the cure

Search for it on ISOhunt. com and sort by the most seeders
the top 3 hits are working virus free copies.

Crysis Wars has also been released as a standalone copy
by PROCYON. It’s about 5.5GB’s….. works only on LAN though.

The more money EA loses as a result of DRM protesters the better.

So to all the software companies I’ve given thousands of dollars to over the past 20 years, drop the background bullshit that slows our fps, and causes frequent crashes.  We have legitimate serial numbers for our games and should not suffer the consequences of your virtual spyware that runs on our machines and essentially waits for us to do something illegal so you can revoke our serials and ban us from your servers.  Quit punishing your true customers.





Finding an apartment in DC

16 02 2009

I once had an apartment salesman show me a nicer place in cleveland park area and his sales pitch in the kitchen was “the designers are so attentive to detail that all the bolts and knobs in the apartment are all turned to the 6’olock and 12’oclock positions”.

Get the fuck outta here.  Look dude, if you wanna blow smoke up some yuppie from Bethesdas ass be my guest.  But the ocd approach has no effect on me.  In fact, I know that ALL the knobs can’t be set exactly, they loosen up over time.  Just like the sales tactics in the office since 50 people a day are no longer beating on the door for appointments.





Michael Phelps-just a NORML guy

4 02 2009

Phelps, your friends are weak dude.  Whomever sold you out for a few thousand bucks to a rag mag is no real friend. You have just learned the hard way that drugs and cameras don’t mix.  You have to assume that everyone with a phone is a photographer and that there are hidden security cameras in every corner, waiting to knock you off the highest pedestal in the athletic world.  I am taking a chance with my own reputation even commenting on the situation, but I speak for those who are not offended by your latest screw up.  As terrible as this is going to be for you over the next few weeks (think sponsor money gone) you might have said more in that one picture than the thousand words you stumbled all over on your SNL appearance.  Proof that recreational smokers are not all unemployed bums living in their mother’s basement.   All the public service announcements about pot smokers never becoming successful have been debunked.  The new poster boy for recreational smokers everywhere is the most successful Olympic athlete EVER.  Zig-Zag is on line one.

For those of us who pay attention, we can spot a smoker on another continent.  The big indicator for myself was the media constantly saying:  “He listens to a rapper they call Little Wayne on his Ipod right up to the minute he gets ready to swim”.  Um, yea.  Stoner.  That Weezy album, The Carter III contains Wayne’s ten minute tirade about the decriminalization of marijuana laws.  In fact, Wayne is so stoned on that album the pro-toke overtone becomes monotonous by the end of the CD.  This seemed to fly right over the heads of every Olympic pundit for two weeks, but you have officially ended any speculation.  Square white people have never really understood their children.  They try, but they are so disconnected by the generation gap that the best they can come up with is “he must have had a momentary lapse in reasoning”.  I’ll say.  Before you hold a press conference and issue your second mea culpa think about what you really want to say.  Do you follow the script to satisfy the sponsors, or do you get real and tell the world to chill out?  I’m going to assume you’ll have to speak out against the evils of the herb and make a huge donation to DARE along with many hours of community outreach to youths with drug problems.  At least you get to keep the medals.  I know you’ve been underwater for the past several years but you have got to be careful, the DUI a few years ago brought enough negative attention to your alter boy status.  Enjoy your time in the off season but you should be uber-paranoid about whom you chill with, remember almost anyone has a price.

So the real question is: Is this a defeat for Phelps and his straight edge sponsers, or the gold medal for recreational marijuana smokers worldwide?





Richmond/Madison County = Massive Fail

30 01 2009

Richmond/Madison County = Massive Fail (+)

by: republicans4voldemort

Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 15:44:52 PM EST

I recently moved to Richmond from Lexington about three weeks ago.  The commute to Lexington every day was worth the few dollars saved until this week.  We lost power on my street on Tuesday and nobody will even give us an ETA on when they might come remove the tree at the end of the street that brought the line down.Every block around us has power, in fact the entire side of town has power.  The guy who has never trimed the tree in his yard has killed power for 50+ houses, all of which are new and only have central electric heat.  Thanks guy.

I had to go out and buy a gas heater that runs on LP gas $279, 60lbs of gas $100, and all the pain in the ass lines, fittings, regulators, etc to hook it up $79.  Destrying a new living room wall to install a temp fix to keep the water lines from freezing = priceless.

Tuesday morning it was a mob scene inside Lowes, TSC, and any related place that sells heaters and flashllights.  I didn’t go into Walmart because I knew better.  People fighting, running, throwing things at each other, everyone bought into the hype that impending doom is upon us.  Once I had talked to a few long time residents they told me that they went without power for 14 days following the ice storm of 2003.  Maybe the mob scene was neccessary.

Phone calls to KU and other public works will not even get answered.  The response of “hey buddy a lot of people’s power is out” is the default I should give a damn response.  My point is that ONE tree is knocking down ONE line, and if repaired 50+ houses would be off the list in a few hours, and residents could move back into their iceboxes.

It’s really depressing to drive home blinded by the street lights until your dark street comes into view.  There is usually a cop or fireman parked in front of the guys house who’s tree caused the problem.  If we could get a ladder truck parked out in front that would be great.  The problem is that they are on a two hour lunch at Applebee’s.  They go to lunch in a large group, drop everything and go eat, all of them.  So many ladder trucks and contractors in white, there is no parking.  Maybe Applebee’s is having problems with their power too?

The only advantage is the light from the houses behind and in front of us help illuminate our dark rooms at night.  Prepairing to settle in for $40 a day expense of LP gas for the next ten miserable days.

And while I’m at it, I want to send a shot over the bow of the Herald Leader and their bullshit coverage of the aftermath of the icestorm.  The UK school paper has better information about what has happend and what might happen.  The Herald Leader is holding on tight to its complete dedication to UK sports, I know some washed out player gives props to Cash Money Newton already, who can I call to get some ‘lectric? Oh wait, a brown skin person dedicated $2 million to our great big proud hospital! Drop our dogmas until the check clears.  I’ve said it many times and am reassured with each day’s printing, the Herald Leader is a terrible newspaper.

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Whale Wars, These Eco-terrorists Should be Arrested

28 01 2009

We’ve heard of Eco-terrorists, Eco-porn, Eco-awareness, and good ol’ ecology.  What the hell are we watching on A&E?   The new series Whale Wars has reaffirmed my hatred of tree-hugging, whale-saving, environmentalist nut cases.  The shock value alone is undoubtedly why the series went to production.  The documentary film crew probably had no idea what kind of seamen they were going out with.

nutcase

nutcase

Eco-porn is the swag one receives by making monetary donations to wildlife preservation groups.  Calenders with baby pandas, big cats, and other adorable creatures are gifts one receives for financial donations made to these groups.  You can decorate your cubicle with images of cute creatures that would rip you in half in the wild, while giving your money to the “administration fees” of these non-profits.  These “Sea Shepard’s” as they call themselves, have a nice web page full of enviro propaganda that conflicts with the story you get from the TV show.

Terrorists exist on many levels.  Eco-terrorists like those who man the ship The Steve Irwin ARE fanatical terrorists.  I would never go out to sea with such a crew of noobs, there would be a good chance you won’t make it back to the harbor.   Imagine going to sea with a group of over zealous cub scouts, who have a mandate to put the lives of whales before that of their own crew.  If you need evidence of this, watch the second episode training session to learn how to launch Zodiac skiffs from the deck. The resulting ego contest ended in crew members becoming so upset over details of the procedure they went to their rooms to sulk.  Later several crew members were dumped into arctic waters when launching a skiff and almost froze to death before being fished out by the same incompetent crew that launched/sank them.  In a later episode the tiny boat was out of radio contact for hours after they attempted to chase down a Japanese whaling ship to serve one of their ridiculous cease and desist orders.  A skiff has little chance of survival alone on the open ocean.  The Steve Irwin is destined to have a real tragedy due to lack of experience of the Captain and crew.

Whale Wars is a perfect example of where donation money goes when you get that whale calender and matching tote bag.  Captain Crybaby (Paul Watson) lets his crew do as they please aboard the Steve Irwin, despite his long record of voyages on his bio sheet.  The exagerated Captain picks up the phone to manipulate the media when ever they get into an altercation with a whaling vessel.  In one show he claims to have been shot (despite no bullet wound) by a Japanese crewmember for trying to illegally board the ship, the  Japanese crew called this a complete fabrication.  Either way the lesson is don’t illegally board another ship, and don’t play on crewmembers emotions to do dangerous tasks that you yourself wouldnt do.  The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has a ernest and respectable mission statement, but these antics depicted on the television show are illegal and dangerous.  Wildlife preservation is important, and I think we should “save the whales” but in the words of an old bumper sticker: “Fuck the whales, save the humans”.  Nobody should die trying to interfere with a ligitimate fishing operation. With all the other problems the world faces, couldn’t this energy be focused on humanitarian efforts?