Friday, November 27, 2009

I'm back! .....sort of

So, now that any semblance of a following that I may or may not have had last summer has had time to die off, obviously I've suddenly been struck with a need to get back in the swing of these things lately.

To quickly get it out of the way, my excuses boil down to apparently not being able to turn down work in any form, which quickly turned the Summer of Dan into the Summer of Cranes. Add classes, interning and financial aid/tax troubles come Fall and I was averaging about one day off every two weeks. I'm sure other people have had it worse, but being the mentally weak individual that I am, blogging somehow took a backseat during that time.

That said, I'm now within a month of completing my last semester at Northeastern (pending some key final exams) and I'm anticipating some rare free time coming up while I start the real-world job search. I'm looking forward to being able to catch up on things and I hope to chronicle them here for anyone who might care to check in.

As an aside, can I also say that I love how my last post was one partly devoted to berating a friend on not updating his blog? Class-act.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Spoonful of Awesome

A friend of mine, we'll call him Brian O'Halligan, just turned me on to these videos. If he ever updated his blog I'd just forward you along to that, but as facebook has been his primary means of disseminating information lately, I feel like I need to post this up here for all you non-'friend'-worthy individuals.

Pogo (who posts to youtube under the username Fagottron) provides a new take on the mash-up genre. Mixing his own production with audio from various movies, he labels himself as "FairytaleDisneyHop".



Monday, June 1, 2009


Minimoog Voyager Old School

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Summer bike project

I have been wanting to ride a single speed bike for a while now, but can't bring myself to spend $600+ on a new one that I'd like (not a fan of many of the cheaper models like the se draft). Instead I thought it might be fun, even though I've been warned it might be harder than I think, to try converting my current bike to single speed rather than buying new.

This morning Marybeth and I took a ride out to Bikes Not Bombs to do some preliminary research, just to get a feel for how hard or easy they thought it would be, seeing as they often work with kids and volunteers with little experience like myself. The guy helping us mentioned two ways to take on the project; an easy, low-cost way and a slightly more involved, higher-cost one. Suffice to say, I decided on the easier/cheaper of the two and what do you know but I managed to convert it over in about an hour after getting home!

Sure, all the sprockets/chainrings from my previous ten gears are still there, but I took the derailer and all associated wires off, shortened the chain, and am on my way to my final product.

Here's how she looks after todays tampering (forgive the poor photobooth pic):

The next hurdle is to chop my handlebars down (not a fan of the current drop bars), install new breaks for a flat bar, and re-grip the new setup.

We'll see how this next step goes since it actually involves putting a mechanism together, unlike todays strip down where I got to feel good about myself for indiscriminately ripping things apart (I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to put the stuff back on even if I wanted to).

Side note: I found this cool website that lets you customize your own bike in however much or as little detail as you want. For me, it was mostly just changing handlebars, number of chainrings/sprockets, and trying out various color combinations, but the program has the ability to go pretty much as deep as you want, offering the ability to change tube size, frame build, and all sorts of other things that were way over my head.

Anyway, it's a fun program to mess around with. Try it out yourself (click BikeCAD).

Here's a few I came up with for fun:

Fuck Yeah (The America Bike)

Subdued with a bit of character



I want this

Fender Deluxe P Bass

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Do you like books? I like books.

This past semester I took a class on science fiction. Though I already had an interest in the genre, I was a little weary of having to read 5 novels and a packet full of short stories over what ends up being a period of a little over three months. For someone who purports to like books, I read slow. PAINFULLY slow. This class was kind of a sink or swim situation for me. Either I wasn't going to be able to keep up with the reading or I had to get faster (What was that? Try starting the assignments earlier than the weekend they're due? What a ridiculous idea!).

Long story short, I got faster, often reading entire books in a couple of days, something I never would have thought myself capable of this time last year. Not only were the books themselves great (Childhood's End, The Handmaid's Tale, Ender's Game, Fahrenheit 451, and Frankenstein), but now that leisurely making my way through a book takes only a week or so as opposed to months I've started reading a bunch of things I've been meaning to get to, and am slowly amassing quite a large list of books that I'd like to tackle. These include:

- 1984, George Orwell
- Time and Again, Jack Finney
- The Illustrated Man, Ray Bradbury
- Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury
- Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
- A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess
- The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
- Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
- The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon
- Fever Pitch, Nick Hornby
- Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris

I'll be posting my progress up here as I make my way through these.

I just finished Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles, which was a really fun, fast read. He rotates through different sets of characters with each 'chapter', but yet still manages to retain a certain momentum throughout so that it really does feel like a chronicling of Humankind's relationship with Mars, rather than a compilation of loosely connected short stories (which I was under the impression it was since a number of the sections in this book were published in magazines as stand-alone stories).

If anyone is still reading at this point, I'm hoping that you're up for some participation in the comments section: What are some of your favorite books?

Saturday, May 2, 2009


As promised, here are some pictures of the two kittens Marybeth and I adopted from the Animal Rescue League of Boston!

Their names are Rambow (black and white) and Eva (calico) and they both pull all the expected crazy/adorable kitten stuff like flipping out over their little toys (and climbing through every nook and cranny they have access to regardless of how many wires/electronics are around), but at the same time when they want to curl up and chill for a while their favorite spot seems to be right next to, and often on top of, us. It's a really nice balance and after just a couple days they seem to be getting perfectly accustomed to their new surroundings.

Ok, enough talk, pictures!