Saturday, June 28, 2008

Eli was here

Think I won't tag you with a marker like you're my personal property? Think again:

You've all been warned.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Am I the world's biggest jerk?

I got on the train this morning and had a seat across from a middle aged woman. I had my longboard with me, and from the way she looked at me I thought she was annoyed. It turns out she was just excited to have some company!

"So, what's the point of those longboards? Are you trying to simulate snowboarding?" she said.

I mumbled something in response.

She continued, "That train over there is full of cars--automobiles. I can't figure out why people don't hijack those trains more often. I mean, I never would. I'm not of the But there's gotta be a couple million dollars worth of cars on there."

Despite the fact that I'm trying not to engage her, she continues to try and make conversation. As she droned on, I realized I needed to do something to make the pain stop. So, I pulled my headphones out of the backpack and slipped them on. Even though the other end wasn't connected to anything (I left it in the backpack), for all she knew it was plugged into some high-tech magical device that she would never understand. I did this mid sentence and she immediately stopped talking.

Remember this trick for the future, it just may save you. In fact, you don't even need headphones with a cord on them. Just get some old headphones and cut the cords. Crazy people will think it's some high end wireless doohicky. If they continue talking to you, just point to the headphones, shake your head slightly, and mouth the words "I can't hear you..."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Oh, *these* are the people in your neighborhood...

Just a quick note about some of the awesome people that I've seen around lately. These people are great and if anyone in these pictures happens to read the blog, I'm not making fun of you so please don't stab me.

Is this chopper style bike the coolest thing you've ever seen? I tried to get a shot of it but this picture doesn't do it justice. It doesn't have a motor, it's just a pedal bike. Pretty sure I need to build one, especially seeing how much the ladies dig it...

A little something for the ladies here. These were the guys sitting in front of us during a recent programming conference. No matter what you all think, trust me, we don't fit the profile of the typical programmer. These guys however, do. Sweeeeeeet skullet, bro. Really, just keep trying to hang on to that hair as long as you can...

Finally, sometimes when you're young a tattoo seems like a good idea, but remember: the time may come when your faded tattoo isn't quite as cute as it used to be. Don't worry, though--you can take the attention of the tat with a sweet pair of diamond studded crocs. Then all you need is a pair of plain denim capris and a PT Cruiser to roll in. Welcome to middle age. Ohhhhhh baby...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Eli isn't a woman

Even though I trim my eyebrows and use lotion, I'm 100% dude. Today's post may not help my argument though. I was on Trax a few weeks ago and my bike was leaning next to another. Looking at the bike, I realized that it was almost the same color as mine (which is not a common color for a bike). In fact, mine is just a little lighter and more feminine. In this picture, mine is in front:

You probably can't tell, but the other bike says "Blue Sky" on it. Here is the person who was riding that bike:

Yes, my bike is less masculine than a young asian girl's...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Book Review: Creepers by David Morrell

All right, time to actually review something on FrontRunnerReview! Yesterday I read a great book by David Morrell called Creepers. This suspense thriller was penned in 2005, so it's by no means new. I actually read it while I'm waiting for a copy of Morrell's latest effort, Scavenger (on a side note, David Morrell wrote First Blood, the book that Rambo was based on). The book deals with journalist Frank Ballenger who is on his first urban exploration with a group of seasoned explorers. Urban exploration, or creeping, is a hobby of amateur archeologists, historians, and thrill seekers. They enter buildings and tunnels that have been closed for years in the hopes of getting a glimpse into the past. Kind of like a large scale time capsule (incidentally, the subject of Scavenger). Despite taking all the necessary precautions for safety, the team runs into trouble. The author's suspense writing is so masterful that it takes a hold of you and won't let you go until the last page (notice that I read all 342 pages in one day). Morrell's writing leaves little to be wanted, except for the several times throughout the book that the voice of the characters tends to echo Morrell's syntax more than their own (imagine an 18 year old guy using the grammar of a PhD in English). Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone looking for a suspense novel as engrossing as any Hollywood movie (which I'm sure it will become at some point). I'm giving this book three cars.The subject matter of this book is one that can make you think of your own mortality and the roll you play in the course of history. In another hundred years, will your memory have been completely erased by the sands of time? Probably. Or, will someone explore the remains of your living space, getting a glimpse into the life you once led. John Linnell of They Might Be Giants wrote about the experience of taking a peek into someone else's life:

"My roommate was the landlord’s half-Greek son Chris, who had once played in a band with Flansburgh called the Turtlenecks.
Chris was also the building’s super and he and I spent a few days cleaning out several of the apartments. One of them contained all the possessions of an Eastern European couple that had lived there right up until they died, so many of the things we removed were the accoutrements of the last days of a person’s life, which was kind of disturbing."

Last year, I helped Dani's husband Tom clean out an abandoned storage unit at the storage facility they managed. The tenant hadn't paid rent and had abandoned the unit quite a while before. According to policy, we sorted through the contents of the shed to find anything of value that could be sold and dispose of the rest. I realized as we were cleaning out the unit that the things that could be sold were the things with almost no value. What we were loading on the trailer to take to the dump was the story of a woman's life, and the life of her two children. Pictures from family vacations, childhood drawings, letters (which you felt couldn't be read out of respect). There's no way that this woman left all of these precious belongings on purpose. I didn't know if she had died and her children didn't know about the shed, but today I feel like I should have kept everything and tried to track them down.

In the end, the best way to be remembered isn't through your stuff. It will rot, gather dust and get thrown away. The best way to ensure your memory lives on is through the people you touch. If you make a profound impact on those around you, especially your children and grandchildren, you will be held up as an example for generations to come.