Sign #12,313 that I live on the other coast   Leave a comment

I’d never even think to use the phrases “affordable” and “1,831 sq. feet” in the same neighborhood as the numeral “$349,500.” Of course, I’m in rural Virginia, not Bakersfield, California. I’m currently trying to sell1,250 sq. feet for about $115,000 in South Carolina, and I consider that “affordable.”

All kidding aside, if anyone reading this is in the market for a house in Bakersfield, Howard may have a deal for you.

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Posted August 19, 2006 by Bryan Murley in Misc, Uncategorized

Changing calculus of air travel   Leave a comment

Seth Godin, an exceptional marketing mind, writes about the recent changes in airport security that should have air company executives shuddering:

When you need an additional 90 minutes, can’t bring your laptop (or even a book on some routes) and can’t have a bottle of water, the calculus for most trips is fundamentally changed. Years ago, Tom Peters argued hard and long for the value of showing up, of being there in person, of establishing a face to face relationship with the person on the other side.

The prevalance of online video, constant skype connections and the multiple threads of data we get online, combined with the enormous overhead that flying now brings might just change the story for a long time to come.

I know that I was not too thrilled about the long wait at airports *before* this recent incident. Now, knowing that I won’t be able to use a laptop or iPod for the duration of a trip (not to mention worrying about what’s going to happen to that sensitive electronic equipment once it’s stowed under the cabin) makes me even less a potential customer for the airlines.

Many of my trips have been made in rental cars just because I don’t want the hassle of an airport. I suspect car rental companies are going to see booming business in the coming months, even with the high gas prices.

Posted August 14, 2006 by Bryan Murley in News and politics, Uncategorized

As old as old can be   Leave a comment

Chatting online with Kiyoshi Martinez, Daily Illini alum, and noted this post tonight. Just to show how old I am, I remember owning the tape of the Violent Femmes album that "Gone Daddy Gone" appeared on originally!

Check out the YouTube video. YouTube is a great resource for old band videos.

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Posted August 10, 2006 by Bryan Murley in Uncategorized

Politics explained   Leave a comment

Okay, so this is probably very old, but I found it today using StumbleUpon, the extremely addictive plug-in for FireFox. Steve Jackson’s version of "Politics Explained."

I especially enjoyed this one:

BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. Then it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.

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Posted July 29, 2006 by Bryan Murley in Misc

Long time gone, but not forgotten   Leave a comment

I apologize for the lack of posting these past few days. I’ve been moving from South Carolina to Virginia where I’m set to begin my new job at Emory & Henry College.

Today, via cdharris, I found this neat story about a photographer who uses old flatbed scanners to make unconventional large format photographs. Check out this mirror of his site – fascinating stuff, although it takes a bit of technical skill to take the scanners apart.

Posted July 23, 2006 by Bryan Murley in Uncategorized

TdF photog profile, Landis' hip in bad shape   Leave a comment

Apple’s web site has a profile of cycling photographer Graham Watson. Apple Pro Profiles – Graham Watson.

What’s even cooler is that they have a gallery of his images from this year’s tour available to view (link). There are supposed to be new images every day.

In other tour related news, the New York Times reports that Floyd Landis is looking at hip replacement surgery after the Tour.

CHÂTEAUBOURG, France, July 9 — Second over all in the Tour de France and a strong favorite to win the race when it ends July 23, Floyd Landis confirmed on Sunday a report that he had been riding in severe pain for four years because of a degenerative hip condition he had kept secret. He said he was planning to have his right hip replaced in an operation.

“If I hadn’t had a bicycle-racing career, I would have had the hip replaced two years ago because I don’t really want to deal with the pain,” said Landis, the 30-year-old American leader of the Phonak team from Switzerland.

Describing the pain, he said in an interview at his team hotel in Châteaubourg before the Tour’s eighth stage, “It’s bad, it’s grinding, it’s bone rubbing on bone.

“Sometimes it’s a sharp pain,” he continued. “When I pedal and walk, it comes and goes, but mostly it’s an ache, like an arthritis pain. It aches down my leg into my knee. The morning is the best time, it doesn’t hurt too much. But when I walk it hurts, when I ride it hurts. Most of the time it doesn’t keep me awake, but there are nights that it does.”

He said he intended to compete after the operation.

If Landis were able to come back and seriously compete in the Tour after having hip replacement, it would be almost as impressive as Lance Armstrong’s return from cancer treatment.

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Posted July 10, 2006 by Bryan Murley in Sports

Tour de France shocker   Leave a comment

My friend Eric Siegmund reminds us that the Tour de France starts today, and it’s off to an inauspicious beginning, as this AP story details – Doping scandal strips Tour de France of its favorites:

STRASBOURG, France (AP) — A doping scandal knocked Tour de France favorites Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso out of the race Friday and threw the world’s most glamorous cycling event into chaos.

The decision to bar Ullrich, Basso and others implicated in a doping probe in Spain also sent a strong signal that cheating, or even suspicions of cheating, will not be tolerated.

Tour director Christian Prudhomme said organizers’ determination to fight doping was “total.”

“The enemy is not cycling, the enemy is doping,” he said the day before the start of the Tour.

Riders being excluded will not be replaced, meaning a smaller field than the 189 racers originally expected.

Spanish rider Francisco Mancebo (4th last year) was also pulled from the race.

All in all, that’s a huge chunk of the top crop of riders who won’t be riding in the next few hours. Add that to the absence of the greatest of them all – Lance Armstrong – and the TdF organizers surely are hoping for a miracle winner to redeem this year’s race.

Eric sums it up well in an addendum to a longer post about the TdF – But…what a black eye for the world of professional cycling.

Posted July 1, 2006 by Bryan Murley in Sports