Saturday, January 31, 2004

Sitting in my Saturday class again, to make things interesting I rode my moto bike today. :)

Not really sure if this is a problem at many schools but here at my school the motorcycle parking is way in the back of campus. It's great if you have a class in the main buildings but problem is at night the parking area does not have any lighting. Great for a thief, bad for a rider. Also the whole parking lot is built on a slight slant! I'm surprised during the windy days my bike didn't fall over. I spoke to the security staff and they informed my that after 5PM motorcycles can park in the staff parking lot, much closer than the normal parking area.

On the motorcycle topic, last night on my way home I was almost hit by a car. Riding down some smaller streets I made a left turn towards some apartment complexs when I noticed a blue RX-7 slowly edging out of the driveway. I slowed down to 20mph when all of the suddent the car jumps out, before I could think my thumb was already on the horn, braked and swerved out of the way. The driver quciky looked my direction and was shocked to see me so close. I usually take the same road home and noticed that this turn has a big blind spot for oncoming traffic. What is intersting is the driver was pulling out of the driveway without even looking for on coming traffic. In this case wearing Hi-Viz gear wouldn't have helped at all. I was a bit upset with the driver but was really glad I reacted quicky and thanks to scanning the road I saw the car before he pulled out. Guess reading those David Houge books was helpful.

Here is a great ride report for another web site, Adventure Riders Forum.

I would love to ride a dual sport all over for 4 weeks. Just riding around back roads, dirt trails, everywhere. Would be cool to ride on Route 66, not even sure if it's still around?

Ok on to another motorsport!

Indy car facts from another web site

Did you know?

...that the 3.5-liter, methanol-powered engines of IRL IndyCar Series cars produce more than 675 horsepower, more than four times that of the average street car?

...that each of the eight pistons in an IRL IndyCar Series engine travels nearly 1 mile up and down in the cylinder every minute?

...that each of the eight pistons in an IRL IndyCar Series engine is subjected to a maximum acceleration of 70,000 times the force of gravity?

...that the fuel mileage of an IRL IndyCar Series car is less than two miles per gallon? A car burns approximately 1.3 gallons of fuel per lap at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

...that an IRL IndyCar Series car accelerates from 0 to 100 mph in less than three seconds, more than nine seconds quicker than it takes a production Porsche 911 Turbo street car to reach the same speed?

...that the 1,525-pound IRL IndyCar Series cars generate 5,000 pounds of downforce at 220 mph, enough to allow the car to run upside down if that speed is maintained?

...the tread depth of an IRL IndyCar Series tire is 3/32nds of an inch - slightly thicker than a credit card?

...a front tire for the IRL IndyCar Series series weighs in at approximately 18 pounds - slightly less than the average weight of a 1-year-old child? speed, the tread area of the racing tires approaches the temperature of boiling water (212 degrees Fahrenheit)? At those levels, the tread area actually becomes tar-like in consistency to help the tires and car adhere to the track. any given moment on the racetrack, the total area of all four tires that is in contact with the track surface is equal to about 1 square foot? That means that an area not much bigger than a sheet of notebook paper is responsible for transferring all the technology and power generated by IRL IndyCar Series cars into speeds exceeding 220 mph. speeds of 220 mph, the front tires of an IRL IndyCar Series car rotate at a rate of 43 times per second. That means, over the course of a single lap at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the front tire will experience approximately 1,955 revolutions, and the rear tires will experience 1,800 revolutions. Considering a normal fuel stint is 30 laps or more at Indianapolis, each tire could experience more than 60,000 revolutions before it is changed for a fresh set.

...that the draft (or the "hole" in the air) created by an IRL IndyCar Series car extends 25 feet behind the car?

...that while traveling approximately 220 mph, IRL IndyCar Series cars travel slightly more than the length of a football field in about one second?

...IRL IndyCar Series drivers endure G-forces equal to nearly four times the weight of gravity while going through turns? The space shuttle leaves the launching pad at Cape Canaveral with approximately the same force.

NHRA Top Fuel facts

Top Fuel Dragsters: The fastest-accelerating vehicles in the world, these are the most recognizable of all drag race cars. The 25-foot-long landlocked missiles can cover the quarter-mile in 4.4 seconds at speeds faster than 330 mph. The engine of choice is an aluminum version of the famous Chrysler Hemi. The supercharged, fuel-injected nitromethane-burning engines produce an estimated 8,000 horsepower.


Did you know …

… that the nitromethane-powered engines of NHRA Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars produce approximately 8,000 horsepower, about 43 times that of the average street car?

… that one cylinder of the eight cylinders of a Top Fuel dragster or a Funny Car produces 750 horsepower, equaling the entire horsepower output of a NASCAR engine?

… that the gasoline-powered engines of NHRA Pro Stock cars produce about 1,200 horsepower, about eight times that of the average street car?

… that an NHRA Top Fuel dragster accelerates from 0 to 100 mph in less than .8-second, almost 11 seconds quicker than it takes a production Porsche 911 Turbo to reach the same speed?

… that an NHRA Top Fuel dragster leaves the starting line with a force nearly five times that of gravity, the same force of the space shuttle when it leaves the launching pad at Cape Canaveral?

… that an NHRA Funny Car is slowed by a reverse force more than seven times that of gravity when both parachutes deploy simultaneously?

… that NHRA Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars consume between four and five gallons of fuel during a quarter-mile run, which is equivalent to between 16 and 20 gallons per mile?

… that NHRA Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars use between 10 and 12 gallons of fuel for a complete pass, including the burnout, backup to the starting line, and quarter-mile run?

… that NHRA Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars travel the length of more than four football fields in less than five seconds?

… that NHRA Top Fuel dragsters can exceed 280 mph in just 660 feet?

… that from a standing start, NHRA Top Fuel dragsters accelerate faster than a jumbo jet, a fighter jet, and a Formula One race car?

… that a fuel pump for an NHRA Top Fuel dragster and Funny Car delivers 65 gallons of fuel per minute, equivalent to eight bathroom showers running at the same time?

… that the fuel-line pressure for NHRA Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars is between 400 and 500 pounds, about 20 times greater than the pressure on passenger-car fuel pumps?

… that depending on size and angle, the large rear wing on an NHRA Top Fuel dragster develops between 4,000 and 8,000 pounds of downforce?

… that the 17-inch rear tires used on NHRA Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars wear out after four to six runs, or about two miles? Some brands of passenger-car tires are guaranteed for 80,000 miles.

… that it takes just 15/100ths of a second for all 8,000 horsepower of an NHRA Top Fuel dragster engine to reach the rear wheels?

… that it's desirable for an NHRA Top Fuel dragster to race with its front wheels inches off the ground for about the first 200 feet of the run? This ensures proper weight transfer to the rear wheels, a crucial part of a good launch and quick run.

… that the nitromethane used to power the engines of NHRA Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars costs about $30 per gallon?

Sources: NHRA Communications and Technical Departments, NHRA race teams, motorsports equipment manufacturers

Very cool!


Thursday, January 29, 2004

Yesterday I finally ordered my Aerostich Roadcrafter suit. I been saving my money for a while, really torn between the Aerostich and a leather 2 piece suit. Not really sure what to expect from Aerostich but I'm hoping for a higher quality textile suit that is easy to put on and keeps me warm. My current 2 piece suit is my Joe Rocket and it's pretty good but there are some problems. One item is the neck collar is too tight, so I end up keeping the top unbuttoned and wearing a fleece neck warmer. Also the pants are not breathable, very hot in the summer. I really don't have much to complain because the jacket was on sale for $150 from New Enough and the pants were $120. Not a bad price for a complete touring suit! I might return the Aerostich depending how the construction and differences between my current suit.

If I do return the Aerostich I'll look into either Alpinestar track pants to match my Alpinestar jacket or going with Helimot for their suits. I'm not really a big fan of my Alpinestar jacket, the sleeves are too short, and feels too tight on my back. With the leather gear fitment is more important since the fabric does not allow much movement.

If your shopping for your next set of riding gear and are deciding between leather or textile gear here are some points to consider.

  1. Riding to work/school?

    Wearing overpants and a jacket offer the ability to wear work clothes and change faster. With leathers you will need to bring additional clothes.

  2. Waterproof or rainsuit?

    The biggest advantage of textiles is the all weather ability over leathers. If your riding in the rain often you might want to consider textiles over leathers. Here in California rain season is very short and not much trouble to bring a light rain jacket with you.

  3. Protection?

    This is a hard topic to discuss since there are pro's and con's but I feel leather is the best protection against abrasions. In a recent Motorcycle Consumer News article, textiles had a higher resistance to tearing than leathers. Not really sure how this is compared to street riding but you don't see many motorcycle racers wearing textiles. If your going to do trackdays it's hands down leathers, maybe even a 1 piece.

  4. Fitment?

    Personally I like the fitment of leathers better, you don't feel so puffy and it's easier to move around on the bike. Also big advantage is you can grip the tank better with leather pants than textile pants.

  5. Venting/cooling?

    I wore my Alpinestar Stunt jacket all last summer and can say the jacket was very hot. The jacket has venting near the shoulders and helps a bit but still the nature of leather makes for a hot jacket. With textile jackets you have more options for venting. Another tip is not wear black leathers in the summer, choose a lighter color such as gray or yellow (my favorite color).

  6. How easy is it to wear?

    I know this sounds funny but when it came down to deciding which gear I based my choice on what would I wear more. Once item I really like about the Aerostich is it's very easy to zip up, which would make it easier to put on when riding to a friend's house. With my current gear they were harder to wear and I ended up not wearing the gear sometimes when taking short rides. You could have the best gear in the world but it won't help you sitting in the garage! Just keep in mind that if you don't like changing out of your street clothes you might not like wearing a leather suit.

As you can see it's a tough choice, many pro's and con's to both sides. My suggestion is to try on both and go from there. Just remember to wear the gear when you ride as with either textile or leather will greatly protect you better than nothing.


Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Last night in my Visual Basic .Net class I was really getting lost on the coding and steps. I had a basic understanding of version 6 but the new version was different. So while I was trying to figure out my program which takes 5 class averages and displays the results, I found out that the example code is on the teacher's web site! Man, I was looking for that and would have been so helpful. Then to top it off I found the Microsoft Visual Basic web page, tons of information. I downloaded a package of 100 sample codes, very helpful and also the Resource Kit for .Net.

This weekend I'm going to work more on my homework, the instructor gave us another week to complete it. Things are looking up. :)

Going back to my motorcycle, I received the GSXR-1000 turn signals last night. Good news is the pattern is the same for the SV650 and looks like even the plug connector will fit. I lucked out and bought the rear fender, two signals for $25 on eBay. Right after I bought the item the seller jumped his price to $50! I really wanted to buy another set but didn't want to pay that much, they are $30 each brand new. Overall the GSXR signals are cleaner looking and personally look better than the stock SV signals. I know most people just replace the turn signals with flush mounts but I ride in traffic and need all the help I can get. Also I just never liked the quality of LP or any of those flush mount/short stalk signals, they are almost disposable.

This weekend I'm going to install the signals on my rear, still waiting for the front replacement from Oneida Suzuki and the brake lever. Both items broken from dropping the bike.

If you own a Suzuki you should look at Oneida Suzuki for your parts. They are the cheapest I have found. Just as an example, oil filter for the SV is $6 from Oneida, $12 at my local dealer. Even factory parts like the seat cowl is $25 cheaper than retail. The shipping is a bit slow but I ordered a few times from them and I always been happy.

With my classes I haven't had much time to ride, I really need to get out. I miss riding and taking photos, so relaxing. This summer I'm planning a trip down south. Going to visit my friend who I used to ride with here in the Bay Area. Need to make a map of the area and plan it out. I always get confused when I go riding and some how end up home every time. Kinda like those messenger pigeons.


Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Tonight is my Visual Basic .Net class. I actually like programming but this class I'm having some difficultly. The last time I took Visual Basic the current version was version 6. Well now .Net is the standard version and seems very different from version 6. Also keep in mind I'm taking the advanced class and you can see my problem. I'm purchased a few extra books but seems like they are either too simple or too advanced for me. I'm really a visual person and if I could see the example code I could understand it much better but most of the books just show you a few lines and not all of the code. All is not lost! This just means a better challenge and with some extra lab time I should over come the hill. :)

Today I found a very cool idea for keeping my finger warm while riding. From another site I read about installing handguards on the SV from a Kawasaki KLR 650 dual sport. Now I know it's going to look tacky but if my fingers stay warm it's worth it! I think my fingers just don't like the cold weather, they get so cold even with my extra thick gloves. The other night I dropped my bike from stalling in a turn and really think that if I was wearing my regular gloves I could have caught the bike. Instead I was wearing my moto-mittens and could feel my Precious fall from my hands almost in slow motion! D'Oh! If the handguards work I'm going back to my Helimot 365 gloves.

Here's the site where I found the info, also lots of motorcycle trips she has detailed. Good site!

On a side note, found a few books I want to buy at Borders today. Mostly about personal finance and how to save your money. The past two years I been cutting down my spending and cutting back my debt. Wondering if these books have any other ideas for saving money other than the basics such as "don't use credit cards" and "spend what you have". I just read over a few very quickly and saw some of the same topics repeated, "spend cash, not credit". Makes sense since most credit cards are charging you 10~20%. Doesn't sound like much when your charged $15 finance but over the year it adds up.

Speaking of books, have to link my favorite book store.Amazon, and for tech/computer books I visit Bookpool, both have great prices and fast shipping.

As everyone knows riding a motorcycle is more of a risk than driving. One tip to stay safe is not wearing black or dark colored gear. There are many other ideas but my favorite is riding like no one see's you.

Here's some great links:

Web Bike World's Safety page

Staying Safe

Keep in mind these are not special items to keep you from crashing, just use them in additional to safe riding.


Monday, January 26, 2004

Back at work, 7AM this morning. My daily duties include Backups for Window servers, monitoring Exchange 2000, building servers, basic network trouble shooting, and Active Directory administration. I have been working here for a little over 3 years, lots of great people and learned so much more than in my tech classes. I found out that things can go down for no reason, data circuits will be disconnected at any time, and your backups will fail the same time you need to have a restore done ASAP. Murphy's Law is in effect.

On another note I was driving into work this morning passing by my old high school. I was approaching the crosswalk right in front of the highschool when I saw the opposing car come to a complete stop. I slowed down too and just barley noticed a young girl wearing all black walking quickly across the street, a 4 lane road. Lucky I was paying attention and noticed the car. After I drove away I was really thinking how hard it was to see her. Usually people have a least some white or silver color on their shoes or clothing but she was decked out in all black, going for the Robert Smith look. Maybe I'm just too safe when riding my motorcycle but wearing some reflective gear would have made a huge difference for the girl walking across the street. I also like the industrial look of emergency worker gear, just seems more function than fashion.

If you really want to be seen on a motorcycle there is nothing less bright than a Hi-Viz Aerostich Roadcrafter!
Aerostich Roadcrafter review
I have the Aerostich swatch samples at home, this color is just too bright even for me! I could deal with Hi-Viz accents but not the whole suit.

Oh BTW my friend Kevin is a big fan of military weapons, mostly the M-16 and M4 rifles, the current firearms they are using in the Iraqi war. Well since they are banned in California the only other way to really buy one is a air soft replica. Air soft is replica markers that look like real firearms. Most of the time they are made out of plastic but are weighted to feel real, some use compressed air for power, others use batteries. The typical cost is starting around $50 for a spring powered handgun and about $300 for a full sized rifle. Now that seems like a lot of money but considering these are very realistic models and they do not have the dangers of real firearms, I think it's a win/win. I would like to buy one to set in a display, or even have every famous movie weapon! The M60 from Rambo, Mac-10 from Boys from the Hood, MP5 from Matrix, Beretta 93R from Underworld, PSG-1 from Sniper, Barrnet .50 BMG from Navy Seals, .44 Mag from Dirty Harry. lol Man that would be a big list.


Sunday, January 25, 2004

I was watching the movie Johnny Englishstarting Rowan Atkinson of Mr. Bean fame and I noticed the co-star, the bright blue eyes and dark hair seem so familiar. Acting as a secret spy with Rowan Atkinson was Natalie Imbruglia, actress, composer and singer. Bounus points since she was riding a Triumph Speed Triple!

I have her Left in the Middle cd and one of my favorite songs is track no.4, Leave me Alone. Hard to describe her music but it's down tempo and is almost like a Nelly Furtado sound. I haven't paid much attention to her since I bought the cd in a used music bin but it's nice to see her acting in a large role. Hopefully she's star in some more movies or release a new cd, she is gifted in both area.

Here's a few links of Natalie Imbruglia sites << offical site

I also watched an older horror movie, American Werewolf in London. I seen it before but didn't remember the ending or most of the story. So I rented this from Netflix and checked it out, recently I been on a vampire movie interest since watching Underworld. I'm not sure maybe I was expecting more but the movie didn't seem too great. I did enjoy the strange humor, my favorite part was the in the theater when the camera turns to the screen's dialog between the lady and the intruding man. Other than that the movie really didn't stand out, just felt like something was missing. Story line wasn't bad, liked the added detail about werewolves and how the victims don't die but are in a state of limbo between dead.

If you haven't already you might notice I watch a lot of horror movies. If you watch more than 4 movies a month I highly recommend to start a Netflix account. You pay $21 a month and can rent as many DVD's as you like, only limit is you can have 3 DVD's out at a time. From where I live, Fremont it takes about 1 day for the DVD's to arrive from their shipping center in San Jose. Also they come with a pack that is prepaid for return postage. The selection is great, even out of print DVD's are made just for Netflix's rental, an example was Dawn of the Dead. So far I haven't had any problems with my account and either have my friends. A much better choice than going to Blockbuster every Friday night.


Saturday, January 24, 2004

Here's a motorcycle topic that has been on my mind for a while. Leather vs. Textiles for riding. My riding style is mellow, I'm not racing around the hills or dragging knee so I'm really open to both types of gear. They both have different qualities, one is better for wet weather, another is better for track days. If I had to make a choice based upon my experience I would pick the Textile suit, really it's a Aerostich Roadcrafter suit. From my experience wearing my leather jacket in the summer was exteremly hot, with my textile jacket I could open up the vents for air flow. The up side is leather fits better, you can hold the tank with your legs easier, also it's more protection. Also the leathers are custom and that's another plus, it's hard to fit my thin body.

Right now I have a textile jacket/pants from Joe Rocket but the pant's zipper is wearing out and the jacket isn't very good when it rains. I might just buy a leather suit for my riding then use the textiles for riding to work/school. Only problems I would like to place the order soon before the rush for the riding season starts.

Here's my links to both places.

Aerostich Roadcrafter suit

Helimot custom leathers

Last night I picked up the new Fangoria magazine.

Few interesting movies are coming out this summer. First is a remake of Dawn of the Dead, from George Romero in 1978. Horror fans will remember this film as one of the greatest zombie films, and my personal favorite. Deals with 4 people running from the zombies and holding up in a large shopping mall. My biggest consern is will the zombies act like the "post-Return of the Living Dead" zombies or the classic George Romero style zombies. Personally I like the slower style zombies of Romero films. There is something scary about the fact they are dead but still walking towards you. With the newer films such as 28 Days Later the film is making the zombies more scary you from surprise, like a old slasher film.

Here's the web site for Dawn of the Dead 2004

Also seems like Steven Sommers is releasing a new film titled, "Van Helsing" about the famed vampire hunter. Starting as Van Helsing is Hugh Jackman of X-Men fame, and also has Kate Beckinsale aka Selene from the Underworld movie. Should be a really good movie, I love the Mummy series and Kate Beckinsale's role in Underworld. Personally I'm expecting lots of CG special effects and lots of action, much like the Mummy films.

Here's the web site for Van Helsing:

Note to self:

Try not to take any classes on the weekend unless it's necessary.

Right now I'm sitting in my Saturday afternoon class for Perl, starting at the most inconvenient time, 1pm to 4pm. While the class is run pretty good, instruction is nice it's just right in the middle of my favorite day! Oh, I could be out doing a hundred different things.

Here's some examples:
Riding my motorcycle
Taking photos
Meeting up with friends
Driving my car

Well you get the idea. :) On the plus side only a year more and I'm done with school for the first degree.


Friday, January 23, 2004

Great site about the A-Team, the 4 man team from the 80's.

"I love it when a plan comes together!"

Just looked at some apartments today at lunch, found out why the rent was so cheap. Not that it was a bad area but for $50 more you can have much better place. Will check out some more places this weekend, before school.

Just made a change to the blog page, wanted to tone down the white back ground. Just testing to see if it works.


Thursday, January 22, 2004


Just testing my first posting to my blogger page.