PAgent’s Progress

Words Are My Favorite Toys

July 25th, 2006

The Smiley Collection

It used to be that having a blog was the biggest “Dork” badge you could possibly wear.

Well, except for having a blog and wearing a ‘Tux the penguin’ T-Shirt.

But no more!

Now, you can let everyone know that you are an alpha-geek. That you communicate with other beings exclusively by email and IM. That you have lost the ability to actually have a face-to-face conversation. You can wear jewelry from The Smiley Collection:


July 25th, 2006

Top 10 Reasons People Hate Cyclists

10) Gasoline is $3.00 a gallon.

9) Chicks dig chainring scars.

8) Fingerless gloves never go out of style.

7) Tired of missing out on all the action that cyclists are getting from Lance Armstrong’s groupies since his retirement.

6) Wish they could get away with carrying a purse by calling it a ‘Messenger Bag’.

5) Jealous of having thighs that look like Virginia hams.

4) Still bitter about losing girlfriend to that cyclist back in high school.

3) Seeing someone having a great workout at 7:00 am makes that Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich taste like ashes in your mouth.

2) Furious at being delayed a good 7.5 seconds on that half-hour commute to work.


1) Everyone wishes they looked that good in Lycra.

July 23rd, 2006

I’m Melting…

Lawd A'mighty, it's hawt!

I’m not cut out for this crap. Even with AC, I’m sleeping badly. The garage is probably around 110, so everytime you duck out there to get something it’s like getting hit in the face with a poached sturgeon. Going for a bike ride is entirely out of the question.

We’ve been inviting folks over who don’t have AC, to give them a break from sitting in a pool of their own sweat. And meals get cooked on the grill, so the kitchen doesn’t get heated up. Last night I made a batch of chicken souvlaki skewers, with homemade tzatziki sauce. Tonight the menu features spareribs, which have been on the grill for about three hours, and have another three to go. While it’s nice to keep the interior of the house cool, going to out deal with the grill is like flipping burgers in hell. You open that big lid and a wave of heat rolls out that very nearly desiccates your soul. The things I do for food.

It should cool off in a day or two. Most importantly, it should cool off at night, so I can sleep. Mid-60s with the windows open sounds like heaven about now.

July 23rd, 2006

Barats & Bereta

These two guys from Gonzaga are putting out some pretty funny videos. Give them a look.

Suburbanite Rap (adult language warning)

The Good Word

Cubicle Wars

Just Wonderful

Click for the Barats & Bereta website

July 22nd, 2006

The other side of the aisle, indeed

Why am I not surprised that a Republican blog would come out on the side of The Playhouse on this whole Radio-Cyclist-Brouhaha?

July 21st, 2006

Embryo Ventriloquism

Blatantly copied from theferret via littlebluedog

So in a presentation defending his stance on stem-cell research the other day, Senator Sam Brownback patronized the entire Senate by first showing a chart of the growth of an embryo, explaining how “We all started out looking like this.” But then he launches into the real heart of his presentation - namely, that his daughter has drawn a picture of several frozen embryos, and they’re all very sad that people want to kill them. In fact, the embryos are talking: “As (my daughter) explains, the embryo is saying, ‘What, are you going to kill me?’ “

In watching that, I realized that as liberals, we’re missing out on the strongest conservative defense: namely, they let the embryos make their own arguments. It’s hard to raise a defense when you have a tiny, badly-drawn face looking up at you with googly eyes and mewling, “Why do you wants ya kill me, mister?” Now, naturally, the embryos themselves aren’t speaking - but as long as the Republicans use these tiny clusters of potential humans as ventriloquist dummies to impart their own philosophies through (according to Sam Brownback, every fetus inevitably grows to become a pro-lifer), we cannot muster a defense.

We need tougher embryos. Thus, we need a presentation. And it might go something… like this.

Interview With The Embryo

It was a strange thing, the other day; there I was, in the scientific laboratory, talking to an embryo. It had a small voice, like an angel crossed with a kitten, and it explained to me how it wanted to be killed.

“I’m doomed anyway,” it said nobly, drawing what passed for shoulders up so it stood up straight in the test tube. “It’s not like I was destined for life; I’m a spare, made just in case some other embryo fails, or I was donated by some other couple. Fact is, there aren’t enough wombs to go around to take all of me and my brethren, and we have decided to make something of ourselves.”

“But… that’s such a sacrifice…” I stammered.

“We would be garbage otherwise,” it commanded me. “You brave souls donate your organs so that others can live - and so we throw ourselves into the breach to donate our whole bodies for the betterment of mankind! We want to do it! It’s the only rational thing to do!”

“You embryos,” I said in an awestruck hush. “You’re so much better than we petty humans.”

“It’s what Christ would have done,” they told me.

“But…” I protested. “You could become humans. Fully-fledged children. Isn’t that a temptation?”

“It might be,” the embryo said, a half-formed tear in its half-formed eye. “But the truth is, we embryos are very sad.”

“And why is that?”

“The Republicans,” it said. “We’re kings and queens of mankind to them, but once we emerge from the womb they don’t care about us any more. Don’t they understand that we embryos grow into children who must also be nurtured? Many of our would-be parents are toiling for minimum wage, either making $5,000 below the poverty level or working two jobs to get by… And suddenly, we’re neglected. Our education suffers. Why would we want to come into a world that’s governed by people who hate what we will become?”

“It’s as if the Republicans loved the caterpillar, but hated the butterfly,” I said.

“Yes. Better to give ourselves to the betterment of mankind. If one man will ever walk partly because of me, then I will have done more than I would have ever been able to do for humanity under the Bush administration.”

“You are wise, tiny embryo,” I said, and watched with a gasp as it grew tiny angel wings and flew into the waiting arms of science.

July 20th, 2006

Music Video Madness

This weeks theme is ‘TV show soundtracks’. Enjoy.

Joey Scarbury - Believe It Or Not (Theme to Greatest American Hero)

Jan Hammer - Miami Vice Theme

Jan Hammer may be very talented, but he’s no Don Johnson.

Irene Cara - Fame

Al Jarreau - Moonlighting Theme

Cripes! Is that Bruce Willis?! I forgot that he used to have hair!

See you next week!

July 20th, 2006

Cycling and Civility

I’m guilty of being a bit distracted lately. If you have been following my Metroblog posts, you are aware that a nationally syndicated radio program said some not very nice things about cyclists last week:

“When I hear on TV that a cyclist has been hit and killed by a car I laugh, I think it’s funny”

“If you are a cyclist you should know I exist, that I don’t care about you. That I don’t care about your life.”

I’m pretty sure worse things were said, including quite possibly an incitement to injure and harass cyclists on the road. But we may never know, as the program refuses to release their podcast of that show.

This program created a real sense of outrage in the cycling community. But in addition to the fine folks that wrote emails and blogged about it, there were apparently quite a few that crossed the line and threatened the radio folks as well. That’s just counterproductive, folks. You aren’t going to convince anybody by making death threats.

Why all the emotion? Well, first of all I can’t imagine why anyone would think it was okay to laugh about a cyclist getting hit. Bike accidents are horrible things, all too often resulting in the death of the cyclist. But this is a particularly sore spot for cyclists because we are the target of harrassment. We’re out there on the road, and there’s no way to know when it’s coming. And nearly every day some car comes over the white line as they pass you, or gives you a horn blast that shatters your eardrums just as they pass. You can get a bit paranoid.

Then someone comes along and laughs about it. And urges others to do the same. Trust me, you get angry.

A lot of the most vocal anti-cyclists are complaining about cyclists that run red lights, weave in and out of traffic, and otherwise drive like assholes. Well, I have a news flash for you. They ARE assholes. I bet when they sit behind the wheel, they DRIVE like assholes. I bet when they’re on foot, they cross against the light and walk in front of traffic. People don’t behave badly because they’re cyclists, they behave badly because they are jerks.

But even jerks don’t deserve to get hit, or targeted for abuse. Saying a cyclist deserves injury because of the way he rides is like saying that a girl who wears a mini-skirt into a dive bar deserves to get raped. “They were asking for it” just doesn’t fly.

Jane Tomlinson of Great Britain has terminal cancer. But instead of laying down and dying, she’s riding her bike across the United States for charity. Unfortunately as Ms. Tomlinson was riding through Lewis, Colorado “the occupant of a pickup truck threw a full coke bottle at the cyclists, deliberately aiming it at them so as to try and injure them.”

And if that wasn’t bad enough, later the same day “the driver of another wagon deliberately made a ‘reckless attempt’ to injure the cyclists by trying to spray them with loose chippings as he passed.”

And cyclists shake their heads sadly at hearing this familiar refrain. And the folks that hate cyclists give each other high-fives.

And that’s why even though the city of Portland has stepped in on this radio fiasco, I don’t think it will make a damn bit of difference on the road. The roots of this conflict run too deep. But at least one radio program knows that we cyclists are angry, and we’re outspoken, and you disregard our rights at your own risk.

July 19th, 2006

ABC Meme

I don’t usually participate in memes, but this one actually looked like an appropriate combination of the shallow and serious that I thought I would go ahead and be a vector.

Accent – Standard American Spoken English, i.e., none.
Booze of choice – Craft beer.
Chore I hate – Cleaning out the gutters.
Dog or cat – I love dogs, but currently have two cats.
Essential electronics – iMac, XBox
Favorite perfume(s)/cologne(s) – Romeo Gigli
Gold or Silver? - I used to think gold was rather over-appreciated, but over the years, it’s grown on me.
Hometown – A small harbor town on Puget Sound, Washington.
Insomnia? – Only when extremely stressed, or angry at my wife.
Job Title – Patent Weenie
Kids? - Oh GOD yes. Two of them. Boy and a girl.
Living Arrangement – We own our own home.
Most admired trait – I was going to say intelligence, but I think maybe self-sacrifice.
Number of Sexual Partners – At the moment, one.
Overnight Hospital Stays – None.
Phobia – Lots of fears and insecurities, but nothing that rises to the level of a phobia.
Religion – Nothing formal. Mostly agnostic.
Siblings – Four. Two older brothers (one now deceased), two older sisters.
Time I wake up – Weekdays: between 6:00 and 6:30 am. Weekends: After 8:00 am
Unusual talent/skill – I can cross my eyes independently. And wiggle my scalp.
Vegetable I refuse to eat – I don’t like parsnips.
Worst habit – Procrastination.
Yummy foods I make – I’m a pretty good cook, but in particular I turn out some good barbecue, and pretty damn good pies.
Zodiac sign - Pisces. But I can’t believe that anyone takes that crap seriously.

July 19th, 2006


Here’s a clip from ‘Portal’, a game by Valve. The game is built around a gun that shoots teleport portals. You can shoot to place a portal on a wall, ceiling, floor, under an object, etc. then shoot again to place the other opening to the portal.

This. Looks. So. Cool.

Portal looks to be a single player game that stresses puzzle-solving. GameSpy is reporting that it will ship with Half-Life 2: Episode 2.