Logo Retro Star "Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors and miss."
-- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"
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The Dancing MrPikes

There was a time when MrPikes, LLC was an actively-promoted web development company. The main page had this swell navigation scheme such that when the user would hover over the various page titles, the central image of MrPikes would point to whatever the user was about to select. Because I was "animating" photographic images of myself, the whole thing was a collosal pain to put together. My setup at the time consisted of a Canon 35mm with a timer, a ladder (tripod), quarters (to adjust the camera height), and lots of duct tape (to hold up the backdrop, for reference marks, etc). Heh.

I came to discover that most of my repeat traffic were people coming to the site just to make MrPikes "dance". Back by popular demand is a modified version of the original page. Enjoy.

Brunch at Jake's

Brunch at Jake's 2004

This brunch took place the last day of my 2004 visit to Portland. Half of us were horribly hungover from the night before. We're not that hard to spot.

MrPikes' Guaranteed * Hangover Remedy - Bloody Marys with so much horseradish in them that they're pink, truckloads of food lovingly prepared by a cast of thousands, fantastic company, a beautiful day, and a couple of amusing dogs.

* Not guaranteed.

2005 United States Grand Prix Page 1 page 1

2005 United States Grand Prix Page 2 page 2

2005 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix

Sigh. For those of you who didn't read about it, this was not one of F1's finest weekends. Seven of the ten teams (two drivers per team) did not race, because the Michelin tires that they were using were deemed unsafe. The problem with the Michelins was that the sidewall was separating from the tread under intense loading from a particular corner. Workarounds were proposed both by the affected teams and the Federation Internationale Automobile (FIA) but, in the end, a satisfactory resolution was not reached.

Consequently, only three teams (those running Bridgestone tires) raced on Sunday - the two slowest teams (Jordan and Minardi) racing against each other, and Ferrari. Another way of putting it is that there was no race on Sunday. The crowd, who didn't realize what was happening until fourteen of twenty cars immediately retired to the pits from the formation lap, was remarkably well-behaved, although a handful of idiots threw beer cans, etc. on to a live track. The corner workers, among them my brother Eric, were advised not to enter any public areas in uniform. My dad, wife and I left after the first few laps, went back to the hotel and proceeded to get drunk.

Michelin has since paid to refund all 120,000 tickets sold, and purchased 20,000 tickets for the 2006 USGP to be distributed by a scheme not yet announced. I certainly appreciate their good will, but the damage done to Formula 1 in the United States far exceeds these reparations. Without doubt Michelin's lack of preparedness was the root cause. However, the disregard that the FIA, the commercial rights holder Formula One Management (FOM), and the team owners showed the fans by not executing any damage control whatsoever is where the real problem lies.

I believe that the race itself had to go like it did; anything else would have been unfair to the three teams who brought proper tires. What tears me up is that no effort was made to communicate the developing situation to the fans, and apparently no thought was given as to an alternative to entertain us. How about an exhibition race consisting of the seven Michelin teams afterwards? Free loot? A chance to walk the pits, maybe meet the drivers, get an autograph? Perhaps an opportunity to watch F1 cars do doughnuts in the parking lot? Oh, I don't know, how about ANYTHING? People traveled from all over the country and indeed all over the world to this event, and we did not receive our money's worth. From a public relations standpoint, this race was an unqualified disaster.

My family and I are still huge fans of F1. We booked our 2006 USGP tickets the next day, without hesitation. We hope that the 2005 USGP represents a sea change in the relationships between the various players who comprise F1 - the thing that they point to and say, "That was the low point. We're much better off now."


Hallowe'en Pumpkins

I've done a few of these now and, while it eats an unbelievable amount of time (on account of certain unpleasant obsessive-compulsive traits in the artiste), it's good fun. I was brought up Catholic, which I credit as responsible for my attraction to rituals.

Here's something fun you can do with a Catholic: Catch them unawares and say, "May the force be with you." A Catholic, in an amusing demonstration of what can be accomplished via Skinnerian conditioning, will respond, "And also with you."

Carving jack-o-lanterns and toasting the seeds, hanging Christmas stockings on the mantle over a real fire, decorating Easter eggs - I'm a sucker for all that stuff. The rituals are familiar, comforting, and objectively meaningless. Perfect.

Astoria, OR

Portland 2011

A wonderful trip with lots of happy memories.

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Page last updated May 8, 2011 at 6:40:13 pm