Fuck You, Build Around It

They are building a new multi-million dollar building here in Little Italy, and one corner of the building is oddly shaped.   This is because of the historic house there was not torn down.  I don’t know the details of this situation, but it looks to me like one of those historic houses that are protected by law, so they had to develop around it.

I can just imagine the owner telling the developer – “Fuck You, Build Around It”.  hahaha


Project Hot Rod

Since his Duster was sold, Evan picked up a new project yesterday.  We went down to Chula Vista to check out a 1955 Pontiac Star Chief (one year earlier than mine).  It turned out to be in pretty rough condition, but definitely restoreable.  A lot of surface rust, but nothing major in the door panels or normal spots (like mine had!).  It ran great, new brakes, and trans shifted smooth.  This thing was last registered in 1965 and has been non-opped sitting in a field in Valley Center for the last almost 50 years.  It was picked up by these guys at a charity auction, they got it running, then decided to sell it.


We got sidetracked by the opportunity to pick up a 1956 DeSoto Firedome for $2500 with the original (rebuilt!) hemi.  It was badass.  But decided against it since DeSoto/Chrysler parts can be hard to come by.  It fired right up, but needed brakes, and the DeSoto drums apparently had some proprietary tool you need to pull off the drum.  We decided against it as it would be a much harder restoration.

Anyway, the Pontiac had potential, and the original 287 eight was in good shape, so we agreed on $3000.  I bought mine for $3500 and it had much more serious rust issues, so this was a decent deal.  We paid cash, and got AAA on the horn to send a flatbed to pick up our car that had “broken down on a saturday morning drive”.  haha

Note: Don’t tell AAA that you just bought a car and it isn’t driveable.  Apparently that violates your membership as its only for roadside assistance when your car breaks down.  I was in the middle of arguing with a manager about this, when I just hung up, called back and got a new  rep on the line and said my car had broken down while driving.  Problem solved, and in 15 minutes we had it loaded up on a flatbed heading back to the ranch.

Tons of pictures here:     http://picasaweb.google.com/egrist/1955_Pontiac_StarChief#

and a few taken from camera phones:

We’ve already pulled the gas tank, cut off the exhaust, and will begin sanding and prepping for paint and body this week. Stay tuned for the fun!

On a side note, I just returned from LA as Anderson, Cam, and I went up to Baingo’s move-in party at her new pad in Marina Del Ray.  It was a hell of a night, and great to see some old friends that I don’t get to see often. Now, I’m extremely hungover, and its all I could do just to get this post up.  I’ll be posting pics from the Short Course race I went to last weekend with Electrosport soon, and some pics from this LA trip.  Good Times!


Nightmare on Wild Street

Sometimes I wonder how I get myself into these situations.  Yesterday certainly wasn’t the first time that I’ve found myself sitting there thinking “What the fuck just happened?“.  I’m definitely a man of extra-ordinary experiences, and have a unique group of friends that seem to foster the occurrence of these experiences, and for that – I wouldn’t change a thing.

Monday started off typical enough, put in 9 hours at the office, got off work around 5, then headed over to the studio to load up our gear for our show @ Brick By Brick.  Unbeknown to us, we were slated to play with WILD STREET, an 80s hair metal/arena rock band so hard core that if I were an honest man, I’d say we paled by comparison.  Let me tell you, they were a hard act to follow.  On tour from New York, they had the unfortunate luck to book a show in San Diego on a Monday night.  There was a good crowd of 10 people, but we stood up front and watched the unbridled spectacle of rock unfold in front of us.  These guys have their shit together.  Choreographed moves, awesome singing, fists-pumping-in-the-air guitar wailing solos…it was awesome!


Evan, I, Anderson, Hecker, and Jamie all loaded up and headed down to B2B around 9.  We had already stopped by earlier, sound checked, and backlined our gear, so we had a couple hours to kill (and drink) before we went on around 10:45.  Turns out, the other 2 bands who were supposed to be playing backed out, so it was just us and Wild Street.  We knocked back our 2 complimentary pitchers of Coors Light (Gods gift to the common man) from pint glasses with the cold activated mountains, and then went in to watch WS rock at 10.  From the first note that accosted my ears, I was hooked.  These guys shredded with a dedication and passion I haven’t heard since Motley Crue slaughtered silence at Cox Arena.  My description can’t do this caliber of rock justice, so check out a youtube vid:

We were completely blown away by how hard these guys shredded the stage.  Not to mention, we were all pretty blasted by this point (around 11), but like the soldiers of rock that we are, we took the stage after them and blazed through our set.  At around 11pm on a monday night, the only people who were at the bar were our friends, so we had a great time playing such a “private” show.  I managed to finish a couple rockstar/vodkas on stage, and was feeling great with a sufficient amount of “rock fuel” coursing through my veins.

After the show, we grabbed a few more drinks and set to bullshitting with our new idols.  Turns out these guys were going to crash in their van or grab a hotel room and just wanted to be near the beach as they had the next day free before heading up to LA for a show (tonight) at the Whiskey.  We offered them our living room to crash at for free, and they took us up on it.  This is where things get hazy and the shenanigans begin.

We rolled home, Thailanderson and Def Jeff see picking up 3 x 18 packs of CL, and opened up the garage, put on some Motley Crue, and set to partying.  People started showing up, and pretty soon, we had a decent party going on.  The Wild Street crew showed up to their utter amazement that the view from our house was 10x better than any hotel room in San Diego.  Like any good after party, we throwing down beers, talkin shit, cars, girls, and music, and having a hell of time.  At some point, we ended up on the roof drinking and taking in the view.  An entire bottle of Jim Beam was killed thanks to the team effort, and we whipped through 54 beers in no time. Before any of us knew it, it was 4am and we were still going strong.

I managed to take Def Jeff on in a 4am UFC fight on Xbox, but was so utterly smashed I resorted to closing one eye so I wasn’t seeing 4 fighters on the screen.  Anderson, after throwing up in the sink, proceeded to pass out on the kitchen floor, cuddling a box of Frosted Flakes.  I woke up at 7am completely dressed, sideways on my bed, and looked down to see Def Jeff face down on the floor.

To say the least, it was the best monday night I have ever had.  Strong friendships were forged, and we definitely have a hookup if we ever get out to NYC, as our new buddies were eager to return the favor.

I have no pictures or proof that these events actually took place, just (hazy) memories of rock n roll and a after-show party that was out of control.  I’ll never forget my night partying with the 80’s arena/glam rock all-stars that is Wild Street.

The events that transpired from 10pm last night through 3pm today will never occur again.  A whirlwind of rock shook each and every one of us to our foundations, and took a little piece of us that we will never get back.  We partied with WILD STREET. We partied good, we partied hard, and we partied just.  The party was good.

The Return of MechWarrior

I am so excited for this I can’t explain it.  There are a few new games coming up that I’m hoping will renew my interest in gaming, one of them primarily being Modern Warfare 2.   But when I saw this, I got more excited than I have about any other game recently.

My cousin Steve out in Oklahoma got me involved in the Battletech universe when I was probably 5 or 6 years old. He was into all the FASA games, and played the pencil-and-paper Battletech RPGs, and would call Evan and I to tell us about them.  We started getting really interested in it, so he started mailing us the games.  Somewhere in storage at my parents house, I have the entire Mechwarrior RPG game, with all the rule books, playing boards, plastic mech figurines…this stuff is probably worth some $ since FASA went the way of extinction.  I’ve been meaning to dig it up the next time I go up there.  (Not to mention the stacks of hundreds of Manga Corps cards and Star Trek card game I have from him, and an entire VHS bootleg library of the entire Robotech series!)

So when I was digging through Google Reader yesterday and came across news of the new Mechwarrior game, I was stoked!  I still remember years ago watching the intro video to Mechwarrior 2 on my (ex) friends PC, and was blown away by how awesome the game was.

This really took me by storm.  I remember after watching this, convincing my dad to take Evan and down to Virtual World in Costa Mesa (I think) where they had the full-pod battletech sims.  It was awesome.  There’s nothing like controlling a 2 story tall battle mech armed to the fuckin teeth with destruction!

But now, with a complete redesign of the Mechwarrior games (finally taken away from Microsoft Studios development thank god) we are going to be kickin ass and taking names!  I can’t wait to saddle up in the cockpit of this Atlas and go to war:


I watched the teaser video from the new game on a post from io9 and it got my blood running again.  God help my social life once this game comes out, cuz I swear to god I won’t be leaving my xbox/PC for a couple weeks!

A Few Pics From The Studio

Was at practice last night, and I took a few shots of our studio:

Pork Pie Set, Marshall Can and Hartke Rig
My Hartke Rig

This is my setup:

  • Hartke Transporter 1×15″
  • Hartke Transporter 4×10″
  • Hartke HA-3000 amp
  • Korg DTA-1000 rack tuner
  • Fuhrman power conditioner
  • SKB Rolling Rack Case

I’ve played a lot of bass gear, and had my Ampeg 8×10 w/ a B-2R for years, but nothing matches the range and flexibilitiy of a 4×10 matched with a 15.  You get top and bottom end like no other!

100 Essential Geek Skills – How I Stack Up

Wired’s column GEEKDAD has an awesome article today about the 100 Skills that every geek should possess.  I found this a good opportunity to see how I stack up as a Geek:  (66/100)

1. Properly secure a wireless router.  Done, also installed the hacked firmware on a WRT54G.
2. Crack the WEP key on a wireless router. Have tried many times, never gotten through.
3. Leech Wifi from your neighbor.  Many times.
4. Screw with Wifi leeches.  Booted em off my network many times in college.
5. Setup and use a VPN. Use one at work and at home every day.
6. Work from home or a coffee shop as effectively as you do at the office.  I love working from home! Am more productive there than at the office.
7. Wire your own home with Ethernet cable. Every house I’ve ever lived in – I’ve done this before arranging furniture.  Priorities.
8. Turn a web camera into security camera. Cool project, I need to do this and find out who is letting their dog crap in my yard.
9. Use your 3G phone as a Wi-Fi access point.  Yep. Thanks PDAnet!
10. Understand what “There’s no Place Like” means.  No place like home 🙂
11. Identify key-loggers. Have even installed a few of em 😉
12. Properly connect a TV, Tivo, XBox, Wii, and Apple TV so they all work together with the one remote.  Logitech Harmony. Love it.
13. Program a universal remote.  See Above.
14. Swap out the battery on your iPod/iPhone.  I’m a Windows Mobile kind of guy.  With our efficient battery life, there’s no need.
15. Benchmark Your Computer – 3dMark FTW.
16. Identify all computer components on sight.  Even with my eyes closed.
17. Know which parts to order from NewEgg.com, and how to assemble them into a working PC. I prefer Frys, but eh.
18. Troubleshoot any computer/gadget problem, over the phone. I’m 24 hour tech support for friends and family.
19. Use any piece of technology intuitively, without instruction or prior knowledge.  Call it nerd intuition, but I know how to use anything, its in my DNA.
20. How to irrecoverably protect data. You’ll never get it!
21. Recover data from a dead hard drive. Although its never been the data I’m looking for…
22. Share a printer between a Mac and a PC on a network.  Finally got this working, then sold the damn Mac.  Never again.
23. Install a Linux distribution. (Hint: Ubuntu 9.04 is easier than installing Windows) Ubuntu 9, eeeBuntu…
24. Remove a virus from a computer. Do you know who I work for?
25. Dual (or more) boot a computer. Ubuntu 9, Vista, Win 7…. Yay Grub.
26. Boot a computer off a thumb drive.  eeeBuntu install.
27. Boot a computer off a network drive. Ubuntu
28. Replace or repair a laptop keyboard. Thanks HP!
29. Run more than two monitors on a single computer. At least 2!
30. Successfully disassemble and reassemble a laptop.  Mac (those superdrives suck) and PC
31. Know at least 10 software easter eggs off the top of your head. People still do this?
32. Bypass a computer password on all major operating systems. Windows, Mac, Linux  Thank  for sudo
33. Carrying a computer cleaning arsenal on your USB drive. Thank god for Knoppix
34. Bypass content filters on public computers. Proxy away.
35. Protect your privacy when using a public computer. I’m really enjoying FF Private Browsing.
36. Surf the web anonymously from home. Likewise, though not too concerned about online security @ home.
37. Buy a domain, configure bind, apache, MySQL, php, and WordPress without Googling a how-to. www.RedlineDesignWorks.net/portfolio – uh yeah, a few times.
38. Basic *nix command shell knowledge with the ability to edit and save a file with vi. It may take me a few minutes, but I could do it.
39. Create a web site using vi. I’d rather use wordpress, but I could scrape together an html/php abomination.
40. Transcode a DVD to play on a portable device.  I prefer to download them already done, but yes my iPod has seen a few creations.

41. Hide a file in an image using steganography. Read an article about this, never done it.  Need something I would need to hide first.
42. Knowing the answer to life, the universe and everything. I’m a Grist male, we know EVERYTHING.
43. Share a single keyboard and mouse between multiple computers without a KVM switch.  Mac/PC (Don’t get me started on Mac mouse accuracy)
44. Google obscure facts in under 3 searches. Bonus point if you can use I Feel Lucky. I hate the Lucky thing, but I’m a proficient googler/wolfram alpha’er
45. Build amazing structures with LEGO and invent a compelling back story for the creation. Every time little Alex is visiting my parents!
46. Understand that it is LEGO, not Lego, Legos, or Lego’s. To say otherwise is blasphemy.
47. Build a two story house out of LEGO, in monochrome, with a balcony. Never got that serious. No LEGO stop motion either.
48. Construct a costume for you or your kid out of scraps, duct tape, paper mâché, and imagination. Every year growing up. Thanks Dad!
49. Be able to pick a lock.  Never tried.
50. Determine the combination of a Master combination padlock in under 10 minutes.  Never tried.
51. Assemble IKEA furniture without looking at the instructions. Bonus point if you don’t have to backtrack.  What kind of pussy reads IKEA instructions?  I would better understand a DragonBall Z comic.
52. Use a digital SLR in full manual mode. Never been much into photography, but have more an interest recently.  Can’t justify needing an SLR though.
53. Do cool things to Altoids tins.  No, but Dave Barber showed me instructions to make a radio once.  Looked cool.
54. Be able to construct paper craft versions of space ships.  Wow, no I have much better things to do with my time.
55. Origami! Bonus point for duct tape origami. (Ductigami)  Have done origami as a child.  Not interested in doing again.
56. Fix anything with duct tape, chewing gum and wire.  My garage is always stocked with duct tape.  As every man’s should be.
57. Knowing how to avoid being eaten by a grue.  Never got in to Zork.
58. Know what a grue is. Zork
59. Understand where XYZZY came from, and have used it.  Never played Colossal Cave Adventure.
60. Play any SNES game on your computer through an emulator.  Loaded em all on my eeePC (eeeBuntu) for the flight to Idaho!
61. Burn the rope.  Never played it.
62. Know the Konami code, and where to use it.  Are you kidding me. Its my next tattoo.
63. Whistle, hum, or play on an iPhone, the Cantina song. Long live star wars.
64. Learning to play the theme songs to the kids favorite TV shows.  Learning to play them on what?
65. Solve a Rubik’s Cube. Gave Up.
66. Calculate THAC0.  I’m a new school RPGer.
67. Know the difference between skills and traits.  Not that new.
68. Explain special relativity in terms an eight-year-old can grasp. Special What?
69. Recite pi to 10 places or more.  Not a math guy.  3.14159
70. Be able to calculate tip and split the check, all in your head. No, need calculator.  See beginning of Reservoir Dogs for my opinion on tipping.
71. Explain that the colours in a rainbow are roygbiv.  Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet
72. Understand the electromagnetic spectrum – xray, uv, visible, infrared, microwave, radio.  Evan is the engineer
73. Know the difference between radiation and radioactive contamination.  I hope to never have to know either.
74. Understand basic electronics components like resistors, capacitors, inductors and transistors.  This is Evans territory.
75. Solder a circuit while bottle feeding an infant. (lead free solder please.)  Uh, half points? I’ve solder quite a bit.  No infants though.
76. The meaning of technical acronyms.  Too many to list.
77. The coffee dash, blindfolded (or blurry eyed). Coffee <brew> [cream] [sugar]. In under a minute. Every morning.
78. Build a fighting robot. Wow, no but cool!
79. Program a fighting robot. Wow, no but cool!
80. Build a failsafe into a fighting robot so it doesn’t kill you. Wow, no but cool!
81. Be able to trace the Fellowship’s journey on a map of Middle Earth. Fuck LOTR
82. Know all the names of the Dwarves in The Hobbit.  Fuck LOTR
83. Understand the difference between a comic book and a graphic novel.  You can get into a fight about this.
84. Know where your towel is and why it is important.  This is hinting at some obscure reference, but it escapes me.
85. Re-enact the parrot sketch. Dunno
86. Know the words to The Lumberjack Song.  Dunno
87. Reciting key scenes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  O Lord, bless this Thy holy hand grenade that with it Thou mayest blow Thine enemies to tiny bits
88. Be able to recite at least one Geek Movie word for word. Spaceballs!
89. Know what the 8th Chevron does on a Stargate and how much power is required to get a lock.  Never watched Stargate
90. Be able to explain why it’s important that Han shot first.  Just wiki’ed this.  I’m not that hard core of a SW fan.
91. Know why it is just wrong for Luke and Leia to kiss. Related! Although if my sister was that hot…
92. Stop talking Star Wars long enough to get laid.  I’ll take chicks over the force any day
93. The ability to name actors, characters and plotlines from the majority of sci-fi movies produced since 1968.  I can’t go that far back, maybe 80+
94. Cite Mythbusters when debunking a myth or urban legend.  Always.  Its regarded as fact just like wiki
95. Sleep with a Cricket bat next to your bed. Again, not sure what this is referring to.
96. Have a documented plan on what to do during a zombie or robot uprising.  There is a post on T&T regarding this.
97. Identify evil alternate universe versions of friends, family, co-workers or self.  Are you kidding me, I live with an evil alternate universe version of myself!
98. Be able to convince TSA that the electronic parts you are carrying are really not a threat to passengers.  After much convincing, they believed that my netbook was not a threat.
99. Talk about things that aren’t tech related.  I do have a social life.
100. Get something on the front page of Digg. I’ve submitted tons, never made front page 🙁

A Great Summer Saturday

0414095548Co-Recruit[1]Today was a day you don’t exactly remember in a month or two, nothing exceptional or out of the ordinary stands out about it, but it just blends in with all the others.  It was a perfect, awesome day, one that I sorely needed.  Cam, Montana, and I woke up at 5:30 and loaded up the boat and headed down to the bay.  We met up with 2 new friends from WakeBoardSD.net who are new in town and were looking for a ride.  The 5 of us cruised out to sail bay and got some awesome glass.

It was my first opportunity to session my new Company Wake Recuit 139 – let me tell you this board is badass!  I’ve never ridden a continuous rocker board, my two Gator boards (which I also love) are 3-stage, so I was stoked to  try this thing out.  Company Wakeboards is the newest on the scene, and these guys got involved with WBSD to get their name out in SoCal.  They sent me the board to demo and check out, and I am really happy with it.  Its pretty smooth on the water, and extremely lightweight.  Definitely much more so than my Gator Gonzalez that I’m used to riding.  This one will be a keeper for sure.

After riding until around 11, the water was pretty chopped up.  Being a Saturday, and the first day of OTL – the bay was pretty crowded.  We pulled the Calabria out of the water and headed home to flush it out and clean it up so it would be ready for a trip to El Cap tomorrow.

Note: its polite and customary to help out cleaning the boat after riding.  There are lots of opinions on this, but its always cool to offer gas money, and to clean the boat.  Personally, I love when people do both, but a lot of times I turn down gas money and am just thankful for people helping to clean.  Also, contrary to popular belief, boats do not run on beer, so the fact that you have provided/brought drinks does not excuse you from offering gas funds if you are so inclined. 

Also, don’t sit in the boat during riding and comment on how all the deebs with super nice wake boats who can’t even ride don’t take care of their boats and maintain/wash them, and the proceed to say “No, I’d rather not” when asked to help clean the boat after riding.  Also note – that if you had to be asked to help clean the boat, this means you didn’t offer to help, and also means that you probably won’t be invited back on said boat.

Notes aside, it was a great morning shredding with some cool people. 

We got the boat back home (without any problem from the F-150’s transmission this time :mrgreen: ) and then washed it up.  Cam picked up a 30 box of CL’s so we drank em and washed the boat and enjoyed the awesome weather.  A unanimous decision was then made to head down to Fred’s in Old Town for some margaritas.  Evan, Montana, Moto, and I headed down there and had a great lunch and finished off quite a few Cadillac Margaritas, met Joe the bartender who looked green as he was hungover from partying the night before and then had to serve us drinks for a couple hours.  haha

Got home, passed out for a couple hours, woke up around 6 and just chilled out on the couch with my buddies.  We ended up watching a decent copy of the Hangover and laughed our asses off.  Just turned that off a few minutes ago, and now I’m heading to bed for another early morning.  We’re heading out to El Cap for the day as KJo just got back in town from a week in DC, and we’re taking out my friend Lisa, and a bunch of ppl from the WBSD crew (Spinnin Steve, Dennis, maybe Kelli).  Should be a couple of WBSD boats out there, and no doubt it will be a great day with some cool people.

I need more days and weekends like this.  Plain, simple, drama free.  I need to spend more time with good people who enjoy my company and whose company I enjoy.  Its good that even though the D Street crew split up, we all still spend quite a bit of time with each other, and continue to have the good times we always have had.

I’m out for some sleep, and I’ll try to get some pics tomorrow.

Oh – a few nerd thoughts before I go. 

  • I downloaded Boxee – this thing rocks.  Pulls in video from all the awesome social video sharing/networking sites.  I’m still figuring the thing out, but I watched a quick episode of the original transformers cartoon streamed from Joost, and I’m hooked.  I made a list of some old shows I wanted to look up and watch that I’m going to track down tomorrow (Thundercats, Battletech/Mechwarrior, ExoSquad!)
  • Windows 7 is working pretty well on my desktop, I pre-ordered my Home Premium upgrade from Amazon for the $49.99 deal – although I noticed when typing (in wordpress for example) in firefox, the text entry lags hard core.  Its almost unbearable to type a wordpress post – deleting and typing just is so slow, I’m trying to figure out whats causing it.
  • Prototype is AWESOME.  Got it for PC, have been thinking about getting it on Xbox as I’m just not much of a PC Gamer anymore.  I recommend checking it out!