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small purple square I'm writing this in the first light of new year's morning. I'd like to hear that Future Sounds of London disk I was listening to last night ("Dead Cities") but it's too early for loud music so instead Jimi's "Are You Experienced?" is playing at that barely audible volume Eno says was the inspiration for his "Discreet Music". I remember a year ago, this day, this time I wrote in my logbook:

"Ominous portent of things to come?"
... because we endured a local power failure for several hours then (because an animal got into something and was zapped).

small red square Now that it's 1999 will "Space: 1999" come back? That was a 1970's television program starring Martin Landau which was set on the moon. Wondering about this I suddenly remember my business trip of February 1989 to Tyson's Corner Virginia which I extended since H let me borrow his Chevy "Landau", a huge semi-pimpmobile with exterior upholstery wearing off - it was of the same vintage as "Space: 1999". For weeks thereafter my work-mate Brian (who was also there) and I could induce giggles just by mentioning "the Landau" - the ride was so preposterous.

small orange square Built the new back wheel today, assembling all these little components (which are getting a second chance and I can tell they're grateful for the opportunity). The hub spins fine although its axle is bowed, and I installed the spokes backwards from their previous configuration so they lie opposite the slight worn-in-previously grooves. Turns out I had precisely the exact amount of spokes needed for the wheel - there are leftovers, but I'da have to ground them down to fit. As it was everything went together okay, plus this time I got the placement around the valve right. Just did some of the requisite truing (fine-tuning of the spokes' tension for a perfectly round wheel), a task that's never really completed; but since the tolerance I require isn't that fine I'm not getting anal about it.

small green square Drove up to the City afterwards to see "Happiness" at the "Lumiere", on California at Polk Street. The other cable car line runs along California street here; with a rumbling grind one passed up ahead as I was walking towards the cinema (another in the Landmark chain - I've got to get one of their discount ticket books). The neat sight of the day happened while driving there on the 101 - the full moon came up and I monitored its progress from sliver to gold coin on the horizon across the bay - it was then occluded from view as I passed the John & Yoko "Think Different" billboard (I think it displays the wrong apple) now defaced by graffiti (the edges, but not our heroes). I came off the freeway to behold the dazzling wall of the "Line-Up's" neon, then drive up hills to the movie theater. Previews:

  • "Like It Is" - homosexual punks in London and Blackpool with Roger Daltrey
  • "The General" (which did look good)
  • "Affliction" - Nick Nolte, Sissy Spacek, James Coburn & William Dafoe out in the country
  • "Another Day in Paradise" - James Woods, Melanie Griffith, and some early 70's semi-hoodlums which I could relate to
You'll probably find the word "gritty" used in reviews of all these films. As for "Happiness" <1>, well - I'd be more friendly towards the film had it not been so long - coulda been tightened up by deleting all that dead air. Some good yucks, especially surrounding sister Joy, but the main plot concerns a perv. I think I'm glad I saw it. For kicks I did a speed run on the way home - typical velocities of 80 miles an hour made my portal-to-portal time just over 40 minutes.

small blue square When I got home I put my bike together and went out for a test ride - after a I tinkered away a few adjustment kinks, smooth! Been too long out of the saddle. Rather than a beater (although it may seem like one to me), new wheels actually complete the restoration job I started on this bicycle over three years ago - it was David's blue Falcon, which may have even been C's before that. I discarded almost all of its original components and replaced them with my own, discarding my now-ragged blue Proteus frame. Now its livery is (Rustoleum gloss) black and silver (well, aluminum - bare metal).

small white square Ten books new in my reading queue, all either gifts or from recent mail-order:

  • American Ways (A Guide for Foreigners in the United States) by Gary Althen
  • A Walk in the Woods (Rediscovering America by the Appalachian Trail) by Bill Bryson
  • The Yogi Book ("I Really Didn't Say Everything I Said") by Yogi Berra
  • The Sofa Surfin' Handbook (a guide for modern nomads) edited by Juliette Torrez
  • Rupert Piper and the Dear, Dear Birds by Ethelyn M. Parkinson (drawings by Gloria Kamen)
  • New York World's Fair 1964/1965 Official Souvenir Book by the Editors of Time/Life Books
  • Bomber by Len Deighton ("A real block-buster...riveting reading" - Daily Express)
  • I Walked Away (An Expatriate's Guide to Living Cheaply in Thailand) by Michael Ziesing
  • Dreamland Japan (Writings on Modern Manga - Japanese Comics for Otaku) by Frederik L. Schodt
  • Fun Along The Road (America's Tourist Attractions) by John Margolies
The parenthesized blurbs are whatever other text appears on the front cover.

small yellow square The format of my Archive page has been upgraded - since each month's graphic is now included, a download will take a while.

101 - up here, the Bayshore Freeway; down there, the Hollywood Freeway - limited access although not an interstate.
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<1> The title of which I can't hear without reminder of Peggy Hill's use of the word as an aid to pronounce "penis" in preparation for her teaching Sex Ed.