Friday, October 31, 2008

Trying To Convice Myself That Ferrari != Happiness

It is said that possessions alone do not make you happy. This is true; sometimes you find the happiness through other people's possessions instead.

Another common belief about money is that the love of money is the root of all evil. This is also true - you should not love your money.

What you should do is give your money to Ferrari, in exchange for an F430. Or, make friends with someone who has a Ferrari, so their possessions can make you happy instead.

If you are like me, and you just can't find anyone with a Ferrari to be friends with (or, can't hide the superficiality of pretending to want to be friends with someone who has one already), the next best thing is to make friends with someone like Kyle who has a friend that will loan him his Ferrari F430 for the day in order to help Kyle complete his Halloween costume of "a successful person."

And then, of course, you have to be selected for a ride. Gratefully Kyle stopped by my cube first thing after he got to work this morning and asked if I wanted to go for a ride. When I looked at him, he showed the Ferrari key, completing the thought. A ride in a Ferrari? Is there really any other answer to that question than an emphatic "Of course!"?

When I walked outside this is what I found - a beautiful silver-gray Ferrari F430 Spider:

We got in, carefully, and gingerly - getting in is a bit of a feat, especially if you are 6'2". Kyle inserted the key, then pressed the starter button and that wonderful 480hp Ferrari V8 roared to life. We slowly pulled out of the parking lot here at Mozy and then onto the freeway.

If I had one of these, I might just drive it onto the freeway all day long, just pulling off so I could pull back on again.

This car is incredible. I must have said that ten times during the drive. The seats were incredibly comfortable; the side bolsters securely hold you in place, so much so that when going through corners you don't even feel the lateral g forces. The car is firmly planted on the road with no body roll through corners. And hearing that Ferrari V8 climb through the gears as you click them off with the paddle shifter - wow.

We cruised along the freeway at what felt like a crawl but was actually around 80 mph.

If you look closely you can see that we are well below the 8500 rpm redline, but at near redline for most normal cars. The engine sounds so nice you just can't think of shifting to a lower gear.

Oh, that black rectangle in the dash, pictured in the lower right corner? Yeah, that is the stereo. You don't really use that thing in a Ferrari - it muffles the sound system in back, pictured here:

You can see the cool air ducts in this rear view mirror shot at speed, and even some of the jealous people around us on the freeway. When you are in a Ferrari, everyone else on the road is jealous.

We're doing about 90 here, hoping to not find any cops. If I had this car, I don't know how I would possibly avoid getting a ticket. It is so easy to take it up over 90; this car gets there before you know it, without even thinking about it. And it doesn't even feel like you are going fast, other than the fact that you are blowing by everyone else on the road.

After leaving the freeway we went down into town to return to work via this nice curvy road called Pleasant Grove Boulevard. Speed limit on Pleasant Grove Boulevard is 40. We were taking those curves at 80 without even thinking about it. It didn't even feel like we were pushing it at all. Simply amazing.

Um, yeah. That plaque says "28 Formula 1 World Titles."

I didn't get to drive this car myself. Oh, I wanted to. But it wasn't loaned to me, it was loaned to Kyle. There's no way I'd even ask. Besides, even just getting to ride in it was awesome, and enough.
Still, here's a picture of me wearing a Ferrari. I think it looks pretty good on me.

That does it. Someday, someday...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

No More Caden Hadleys?

Racer X (the magazine, not the shred metal band) ran a press release from KTM that sadly announces the demise of the KTM Junior Supercross Challenge. I think this is too bad; I personally have quite enjoyed watching these little kids race the tracks that would kill me if I tried to ride them. I even quickly forgave them for deluding me into thinking that I, too, could jump a double. The logic went, "Sheesh, if a 9 year old can do this on a KTM 50, I should be able to do this on my KX 250 no problem!" And seconds later, my collarbone was broken.

But those guys were nothing compared to Caden Hadley (pictured), the guy I was reminded of when I read the press release. Back in 2003, Caden Hadley from Bountiful, UT, raced in the KJSC at the Salt Lake Supercross. I was there when Caden doubled the first part of one of the triple jumps, every single lap. That's about 35 feet in the air. That may not seem like much, unless you actually get out there and give it a shot yourself, especially on one of those little 50cc motorcycles. It sure impressed Steve Bruhn (photo source - and Jamie Little. I'll never forget that - it was awesome.

Friday, October 24, 2008

2008 US Open

Greg and I took our boys to the 2008 Rockstar US Open of Supercross at the MGM Grand a couple of weeks ago. Of course, I could not blog much about it then, because I would spoil the fun for the one person who reads this blog and also watches the races on TV, and of course it takes an entire week to edit the show, so we had to wait. Then I forgot.

Anyway, the US Open is a great time, there really isn't a bad seat and you can see two nights of racing for about $30/night which is not bad at all. Since Rockstar sponsors it they also bring their Rockstar Girls, which I don't personally care about, but some might, and if it gets you supporting the sport, then hey.

We stayed at the Travelodge on Koval street.
It has the advantage of being within easy walking distance of MGM Grand. But other than that, it was a complete dive. I would also say it had the advantage of being cheap, but they actually hit me with $40 of hidden "additional occupancy" charges that they didn't tell me about beforehand, making it so it wasn't even a better value than some other more upscale places. Avoid.
Also you'll note the Badda Bing girl on the billboard in the background, pixelated. Yes, they really have a new gentleman's club in Vegas called Badda Bing, of all the dumb names. The girl on the billboard has clothes on, but she is not wearing them, if that makes any sense.

At the start of the race the Rockstar girl (lower right) would hold up the 30-second board and do the requisite booty-shake. You might not be able to tell in this picture, but trust me, she's shaking that thing.

Here's a shot of the start of a race. Yes, there are actually guys racing in this photo. See that blur in the first corner? That's them. I realize now that my camera phone is just not cut out for this kind of stuff.

On the way home, in compliance with custom, we stopped at Applebee's to eat, in Cedar City, near the lighthouse. Because of the extensive rocky coastline and high sea traffic around Cedar City, it is a good thing they have this lighthouse.

It was a great time. I got to meet Supercross Lites and Motocross champion Grant Langston, and he is really cool. Chad Reed sported Grant's number 8 for the weekend. We saw Reed on his new Suzuki and Stewart on his new Yamaha. Stewart mostly dominated the weekend, but Reed holeshot the main event on Saturday, spoiling Stewart's run at the trifecta in awesome fashion. Then those two ran an awesome race for 16 laps before Reed made a mistake and crashed. It bodes well for the upcoming Supercross season, and I can hardly wait.

By the way, Greg said I should mention that, other than spending money on gasoline, tickets, hotel, and food, we gave a lot of money to Charity while we were down there. Faith and Hope were also options, but Charity is the greatest of them all and never faileth. So we gave loads of money to Charity. Besides, she was the hottest by far.

Just kidding. Her name wasn't Charity.

A Surly Ad

Coolness is seeing an ad you created on Google (highlighted):

Here's a close-up of the ad:

We did this one also:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

MP3 Management and Tidbits

I've just finished going through my MP3 collection, trying to make sure everything is tagged with an appropriate genre, correct album release dates, cover art, etc. It seems like this is much harder than it should be. Is it really so hard to create a decent MP3 library management tool that doesn't make things worse once it is done?

I guess if I think it isn't so hard, I ought to write it myself.

Anyway, there's some interesting tidbits at this point, worth noting:
  • There is not a single MP3 in my collection that was illegally downloaded, RIAA dorks.
  • There's about 250 artists and about 650 albums. That averages out to about 2 1/2 albums per band, an even more curious statistic considering I have 11 Def Leppard albums, 15 Dream Theater albums, 12 Megadeth albums, 12 Motley Crue albums, 12 Ozzy albums, 13 Pink Floyd albums, and 15 Van Halen albums. Of course some of these are multi-album compilations that sometimes show up as multiple albums in the filesystem. Hmm.
  • There's a pretty wide range - alphabetically (A-Ha to ZZ Top), chronologically (The Bee Gees to Saving Abel), and stylistically (Cacophony (shred) and Megadeth (thrash) to Enya (new age) and Seal (soft rock)). However, not much country - and what is there is Amber's. I still don't like country.
  • The bulk of my music is probably centered around my high school years, and that is still the stuff I like most. This is odd though, because I don't listen to the same stuff from that period as much as I used to, but instead listen to different stuff from that period. It is also odd because I like that music a lot, but I pretty much think high school sucked significantly in nearly every possible way.
  • I have a lot of 80's pop but I don't listen to it. In fact I hardly dare even admit it, especially on the Half Bad Boy blog. I take it back, I do not have any 80's pop at all.
Another thing I just thought of. Back in high school, when I wasn't half bad or even 1/10th bad, I was in a show choir; I sang and danced in this show choir. I thought I was pretty good at it too. I'm older now, and married, so I'm obviously half bad now (nice guys can't even get a girlfriend, let alone get married). I realize now that I wasn't any good at that show choir thing. I realize now that I sucked. I also just now realized that a lot of what I listened to back then had to do with that. I listen to a lot more interesting musical composition and guitar work now. Also now, instead of singing, I play electric guitar. I still suck, but you can suck at electric guitar and still be a half bad boy.

Monday, October 20, 2008

What's Kimi Thinking??

One of the most entertaining things about Formula One is the rules. There are many really dumb rules; new rules can be made up in the middle of a race, meaning that at any time a new stupid rule might crop up; rule enforcement is selective, meaning that depending on the driver or the team, the rule may or may not be enforced; and you never know what the penalty might be for breaking a rule. Every day is a new adventure in Formula One!

One of the dumb rules in Formula One is the prohibition of team orders affecting the outcome of the race (see the Formula One Sporting Regulations, article 39.1). How you prove this is another question, but there is no question that it happens, especially in obvious situations like last Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix, where Kimi Raikkonen allowed teammate and title contender Felipe Massa to pass him in the closing laps, trading second and third place. Since Felipe is in contention for the championship, and Kimi is not, obviously Ferrari would want the two to exchange places and allow Felipe to take second place, earning more points in his quest for the world driving championship.

The pass was admittedly a bit dubious. Massa, who was several seconds behind Raikkonen in third place entering the final stint, suddenly was making up several tenths per lap on his teammate, and passed him with ease on the back straight with just a few laps remaining. I suspect nobody watching had any doubt that Raikkonen slowed up and allowed Massa by intentionally. Although this appears to be against the rules, it is only actually against the rules if the team ordered Raikkonen to let Massa past (perhaps he did it out of the goodness of his heart?), and it is only enforceable if it can be proven, i.e. the FIA would need evidence that Raikkonen was ordered by the team to do so.

So, all of that seems pretty hard to come by, and it seems that Ferrari should be in the clear. Which is why it was pretty surprising to me to hear Kimi's post-race press conference comments, wherein he pretty much openly admitted that he was following Ferrari team orders to let Massa take second place.

Whatever Kimi is, he's no dummy. He knows the rules; and even if he didn't, Peter Windsor very clearly, if indirectly, reminded him in a follow-up question. So the conspiracy theorist in me started thinking: Did Kimi actually do that on purpose? Did he intentionally "accidentally" let it slip out that Ferrari gave team orders in this case?

Consider: Kimi is the reigning world champion. Yet he's basically been shown up this year by Massa. Kimi has driven fairly well, but had a couple of off months mid-season, which were enough to convince Ferrari to put all of their weight behind Massa as the championship candidate. Perhaps Kimi is a bit upset about the way he's been treated; perhaps he feels a world champion deserves a bit more respect than he's received. I can't help but wonder if, during the press conference, he put on his nonchalant, innocent Finnish face and then delivered on-the-record the information that the FIA would need to enforce this rule against Ferrari.

The only real questions remaining now are, first, whether the FIA will actually enforce the rule, and second, what the penalty might be. It might be an interesting week.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

SUPERDELL for Utah Governor

I wish to express, for the record, my statement of support for Dell "Superdell" Schanze for governor of Utah. He is the most righteous and responsible choice.


Seriously, Superdell. Quit embarrassing us. No wonder the rest of the country thinks Utahns are wackos.

Don't forget to read his blog. And don't hesitate to comment, this should be greatly entertaining.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Esssential Albums: Def Leppard "Pyromania"

Artist: Def Leppard
Album: Pyromania
Year: 1983
Best Song You've Probably Heard: Photograph
Best Song You Might Not Have Heard: Die Hard the Hunter

"Pyromania" came out when I was, uh, I mean, about 25 years ago. I still remember hearing "Rock of Ages" on the radio. It sounded awesome then and sounds awesome now, especially live. But I didn't really get into Def Leppard until a few years later, around "Hysteria" time. I really like both albums, but over the past 20+ years, I think Pyromania has weathered the best. Whereas "Hysteria" has a few pop-80's-sounding tunes, "Pyromania" has a timeless sound that doesn't feel like it will get old anytime soon, and yet already is starting to sound like classic rock.

Even though "Rock of Ages" was my first exposure to Def Leppard, I think "Photograph" is the best song on this album, and truthfully a much better tribute to Marilyn Monroe than that lame old "Candle in the Wind" boringness. "Foolin'," "Too Late For Love," "Action! (Not Words)," and even the cheesily-named "Rock! Rock! ('Til You Drop)" are some other great songs on here.

Some of you may feel like dissing on Def Leppard, which is your right. But do realize that they have two 10x-platinum albums in the United States. Can your favorite band say that? Not likely - there are few who can.

By the way, Def Leppard is also a great band to play along with when you are learning to play electric guitar.

(Image credit:

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Motocross Guys Are Awesome

This guy is a stud.  No, not the old, gray, wrinkly fellow on the right; the guy on the left, wearing the Team Yamaha shirt.  That is none other than 2007 AMA Motocross champion Grant Langston, who I ran into at the US Open of Supercross last night.

Without attempting to spread rumors about Grant, as I understand he's found that the vision problem he's been experiencing this year is a melanoma in his eye and has been trying to get that taken care of.  It was pretty awesome to hear the crowd applauding in support of Grant when he explained the situation at the opening ceremonies last night.

I wanted to get a picture of him with my son, but he's so camera shy that he refused to take the picture before I could explain who would be in it with him.  So I snapped it myself instead.  Sorry to bring you down Grant.

Here's wishing you the best of luck.  I've missed seeing you out racing this year; you are a great competitor and a great ambassador to the sport, a true half-bad-boy of the type this blog espouses.  I hope you're able to overcome this scary eye problem and get back in the saddle soon.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Favorite Albums Per Year Since Birth

So apparently a popular thing these days is to make a list of your favorite album of every year since your birth. Well, at least Matt Rosoff is doing it, and he is more popular than me, so from my vantage point it is a popular thing to do.

Anyway, I thought I'd give it a shot. The rules are:
  • Only one album per year.
  • You can only use an album from any artist one time.
  • Use the year of original release (not re-release years).
  • "Best-Of" collections are discouraged but ok.
It ended up being a lot harder than I thought. I found that some years have a lot of really awesome stuff to choose from, and some years just basically suck. I also found that I am not nearly the connoisseur of music that I thought I was. I couldn't start with the year I was born, or even for several years afterwards. And I got nothing from the past couple of years, not yet.
I'm trying to remedy this. But here's the list so far, subject to change:

  • 1978 - Van Halen: Van Halen

  • 1979 - Pink Floyd: The Wall

  • 1980 - AC/DC: Back In Black

  • 1981 - Journey: Escape

  • 1982 - RATT: RATT EP

  • 1983 - Def Leppard: Pyromania

  • 1984 - Y & T: In Rock We Trust

  • 1985 - Mötley Crüe: Theater of Pain

  • 1986 - Metallica: Master of Puppets

  • 1987 - U2: The Joshua Tree

  • 1988 - Queensrÿche: Operation: Mindcrime

  • 1989 - Enya: Watermark

  • 1990 - Scorpions: Crazy World

  • 1991 - Guns N' Roses: Use Your Illusion

  • 1992 - Stone Temple Pilots: Core

  • 1993 - Nirvana: In Utero

  • 1994 - Alice In Chains: Jar of Flies

  • 1995 - Collective Soul: Collective Soul

  • 1996 - Men At Work: Contraband

  • 1997 - Creed: My Own Prison

  • 1998 - Goo Goo Dolls: Dizzy Up the Girl

  • 1999 - Dream Theater: Scenes from a Memory

  • 2000 - The Beatles: 1

  • 2001 - Tool: Lateralus

  • 2002 - New Order: International

  • 2003 - Joe Satriani: Electric Joe Satriani

  • 2004 - Judas Priest: Metalogy

  • 2005 - Nickelback: All the Right Reasons

  • 2006 - The Killers: Sam's Town

Like I said, some surprises (Enya? Really??) and some compilations when pickings get slim. I really haven't gotten much into recent stuff. I'll try harder.