knox snooze

Succotash my Balzac, dipshiitake.

Biking weather?

Tuesday, May 31

Five dollars says I don't bike to work more than once in the next week.

long weekend

just us
Originally uploaded by ashby.

Days and days of driving. Remind me to get cruise control on my next car. And autopilot.

We didn't get all of the miles we intended - DC never happened - but we we still managed to cram in about 1500 miles in 72 or so hours.

Now I'm back, and school has begun. Fantastic. Nothing like extra long classes about German conjugation to snap me out of my slumber.

Sorry the picture is so crappy. I ain't no professional fotogerperson.

Now that's a nice service vehicle

Friday, May 27

Now that's a nice service vehicle
Originally uploaded by ashby.

I saw this on my first day biking to work.

South Knoxville Foundation

South Knoxville Foundation announcement
Originally uploaded by ashby.

I snuck over to the south side of the river for a press conference/announcement thingy for the new South Knoxville Foundation. It was nice. Joe Hultquist, Bill Haslam, Monte Stanley, Rob Dansereau(I got spelling skeewz), and some other people spoke. I left after the fourth or fifth one got up and said, "This is a great day of opportunity for South Knoxville." Luckily, there were some free brownies, so it made skipping my lunch break worthwhile.

The gist of the day was that the South Knoxville Foundation will exist to facilitate communication and cooperation between South Knoxville residents and the city, especially regarding Haslam's south side of the river development dreams. It was basically a lot of rah-rah stuff. Haslam did say that $400,000 had already been committed for logistical and environmental studies for the like-it-or-not development plans. I think I saw Paul James' ears perk up a little at that.

I overheard a couple of people speculating about what big restaurant would be going in on the 37920 side of the river. I haven't heard anything about one in any official announcements, but it was beyond a forgone conclusion for those discussing it. One person suggested Cracker Barrel, but with a sign for it on the James White exit out on I-40. I am praying that was a joke.

Mast General Store

Thursday, May 26
It's official. We're getting one. Never been? It's like Cracker Barrel, but without the food, interstate ubiquity, and corporate racial prejudice. And they have clothes.

Ok, so it's got some cast iron skillets for sale, and that's about as similar as they get. I was just trying to be helpful.

Things I see on my way to work

Wednesday, May 25

Things I see on my way to work
Originally uploaded by ashby.

Nothing like being able to stop on the bridge for a few minutes to take in something like this.

Have I mentioned how much I love riding my bike to work?

Bike commute take 2

Originally uploaded by ashby.

Yes. I did.

Pardon me for gushing, but I cannot believe how insanely fulfilling that was. Aside from the nostril burnination (thank you, Knoxville air), that was incredible.

I pass a place called "Kustom Kreations," which is a car place that, I guess, can be described as a pimping center (I don't keep up with the lingo too well). You know, it's where you go to get leopard print seats, in-dash aquariums, and big shiny wheels. There was a behemoth sedan outfitted with chrome spinner wheels out front when I went by this morning.

All I could think was how they were all suckers to be dropping so much money on 20" wheels. Shit, for less than what they pay in upholstery, I'm rolling on 26's.

And we all know how the ladies love a man in a helmet.

Balanced Choice?

Tuesday, May 24

Balanced Choice?
Originally uploaded by ashby.

This is the vending machine near the main entrance to the gym on campus. See how colorful it is? You might not be able to tell from the...ahem...artistic perspective of my shot, but it's covered in pictures of people playing soccer and tennis and volleyball - basically doing all things sporty. At the bottom of the machine are the words "Balanced Choice Food." Apparently, this is to help balance your diet if you are already insanely healthy. This thing is packed full of potato chips, candy bars, and bugles (which I can never decide if I should call a chip or a cracker...ooh, how about a crachip?).

But it's definitely a healthier looking vending machine.

My bad

I honestly wanted to ride my bike this morning. I really did. I was sincerely disappointed when I couldn't find my bike lock last night, but I couldn't afford to leave the only decent bike I've ever owned outside, unlocked, while I showered.

Yes, I had to shower.

I already had my bag packed up, though, so I still went to the gym and rode the stationary bike awhile. Riding the bike, incidentally, is much more enjoyable while watching SportsCenter. I wonder if I can get DirecTV put on my bike.

Tomorrow: take 2.

I like to cruise Flickr

Monday, May 23

Originally uploaded by ashby.

Among the benefits of the ever-useful Flickr is its browsability.

For instance, I was just wandering around, and I found these dudes involved in a totally sweet dunk contest. Check out the air.

Nostril porn

Nostril porn
Originally uploaded by ashby.

My wife and I have been married a little over 5 years, and we're at the stage in life when a lot of our married friends are either having kids or splitting up. Having kids is awesome. Splitting up, not so much.

Thus far, I think the secret of a great marriage is the ability to be childish enough to check your spouse's nose for boogers.

Secret #2: not telling her you posted pictures of it on the intArnets.


I paid my money to be able to use showers on campus today. Tomorrow is supposed to be warm and clear. I've eaten plenty of good calories today.

But for some reason I'm still holding out hope that I'll come up with a good reason not to start riding my bike to work tomorrow.

I rode across town to a friend's place on Saturday night, and it. whooped. my. ass. I'm leaving at 6 in the morning tomorrow - I have no idea if this is really enough time or way too much. What's the worst that can happen? I get there too early, and take a quick nap on a treadmill?

No, the worst that can happen is probably much more painful than that.


Friday, May 20
I totally forgot that today was national bike-to-work day, the conclusion of bike-to-work week. It's another thing I've been gearing up (, not intended) to do in an effort to save money. I don't live too far from work (about a 15 minute drive in the city), but I am a sweaty dude who lives in the thick-aired moist heat sink that is the Tennessee River Valley. There is no place for me to shower at work, so that's a problem. Sure, I can pay dues to the University to use an on-campus facility, but unless I am able to bike to work every day, that cost alone eliminates much of the savings I get from burning fat instead of oil (thank you, Bike Zoo).

I'm all for the health benefits, and I'm all about being green as a sprout by not burning gas, but let's face it: it's the money savings that are going to get me two-wheeling, and doubling or tripling my commute time.

I don't want to swim in the pools or lift weights or play on the tennis courts - at least not usually. All I want is a place to shower when I get to campus. Maybe I should just start showing up, sweaty as hell, and letting them come the conclusion on their own that we need shower facilities.

God, I'm going to reek.

Dr. Judy

Dr. Judy
Originally uploaded by ashby.

About 12 hours from now, she'll be on her way back from her honeymoon/graduation/cabin fever trip to the beach. And she'll be working in a hospital near you. And your life could be in her hands.

Don't worry, she promised me she'd wash them first.

If you see her, tell her congrats.


It's good to see that UT's new Men's Basketball coach Bruce Pearl is a relationship kind of guy. Players really like him, and some have expressed interest in following him to Knoxville, one even gaining a release from his commitment to UWM to come to UT in the fall.

And now he's earned a verbal commitment from the younger brother of another former recruit. Ladies and gentleman: Cordell Passley. He averaged four points a three assists per game for his high school's junior varsity team last year. He's got two years to go from a "meh" JV point guard to an SEC-caliber player. Here's hoping.


A fellow blogger and TAL fan has written a firefox extension for converting the streaming versions of the show, which are archived online and are free as in beer, into downloadable files.
I love TAL, I love firefox, and I love free stuff, but I'm not sure how to feel about this one. I mean, it's a freaking public radio show, and they've got to be getting a good chunk of change from for the download rights.
It can't bother me too much, though. I cobbled together a download "hack" for TAL episodes a couple of years ago. It was very complex. I had a little app called Total Recorder, which could record any stream as an mp3 file, so I'd stream and record. It was like the old days of making mix tapes by recording straight off the radio.
But of course, I was actually listening to the 200+ hours of streaming episodes as I recorded them. Clearly, I have a very exciting job.

Jones Soda Bus

Thursday, May 19

Jones Soda Bus
Originally uploaded by ashby.

This thing was parked near my office when I went to lunch. Windows down, no one home. I totally could have stolen it.

I probably would've stalled out anyway.

eMac to go

I've been trying to save money, so I ditched my broadband connection at home. It was about $50 a month, spotty, and was completely under-used. My wife and I both have desk jobs where we have broadband connections all day, and we both go to school where our laptops pick up wireless coverage everywhere, and there are plenty of computer labs for our use.
For absolute emergencies (loosely defined) I can grab a mediocre web connection on my notebook via my cellphone.
In the near future (<12 months), however, I plan to get a Mac - an eMac, to be specific. I've used Macs on a couple of projects, and I think they're amazing. I want one for everything audio, video or picture that I touch.
And though the eMac is a tidy little desktop package, it's not exactly the sort of thing I could toss into a backpack and use at the library when I need an internet connection - which I inevitably will.
So, what do I do? Keep in mind that I'm broke, and will be even more so after the purchase of the eMac (I'm already saving a jar). I don't think there are any wireless networks near my house, and I really don't want to be cruising someone else's connection, for that matter. Should I just wait for an EV-DO USB dongle that I can add to my Sprint plan in the next year? What about Homing Pigeons?

Please enlighten me, oh great internets.

The other Santana

Wednesday, May 18
I think every team the Indians play this year should let a rookie pitcher make his MLB debut against the tribe. It must have been nice to get a couple of hits off of someone named Santana.

If Cleveland can put away the LAA again today, they will have won each of their last three series - taking 2 of 3 from LAA, Toronto and LAA again. They have a chance to get to .500 in their next series too, getting Cincinnati in the first spot of interleague play of the season. The Reds might be the only thing more depressing this year than the Indians.

Fatcat Camp

Tuesday, May 17
I have a cat named Fred. She's a girl. She's fat. Boss Hogg fat.

Luckily for her, the UT Vet School now offers a fat camp for pets. I am totally sending her to that. They charge $12 a day for room and board. Suckers. She'll eat that much in ribeyes before noon with me.

Never have figured out why that cat is such a lard-ass.

Open Source Cake

Thursday, May 12

Open Source Cake
Originally uploaded by ashby.

My wife made a wedding cake for some friends this weekend, and with the leftover batter, she baked a bundt cake. It was the perfect chance for me to hone my frosting skills, which are probably better than you expect.

Of course, as soon as I finished frosting it, I nabbed a slice. With my mouth rammed full of moist, delicious cake and frosting, I noticed the cake had a striking resemblance to something else.


Wednesday, May 11

Originally uploaded by ashby.

If you are the owner of a large, black and white spotted rooster, your bird is currently wandering about the Old City. Specifically, across from JFG.

I saw this thing on Saturday night. We were on our way to a party, and I almost turned around and went home after this. Seriously, what else am I going to do in the course of an evening to top seeing a bigg-ass chicken in downtown Knoxville?

There were a couple of guys nearby loading furniture into a truck. I don't think they knew the bird was there when I pulled up, but I think they were ready to beat my ass when I asked if one of them had misplaced his speckled cock.

Dude. There was a rooster in the Old City. Look out, White Mule.

Things I see

Tuesday, May 10

Freedom Tickler
Originally uploaded by ashby.

I had an interesting weekend. It involved helping some friends move, and a lot of driving. Lots. Of. Driving.

I think this picture is proof I shouldn't have a cameraphone with me at all times. But you have to admit, it's awesome.

Stay classy, Abingdon.

Two is still a streak

Thursday, May 5
AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt

The Indians pulled it all together for the second night in a row and squeaked past the Twins again. I had thought Sabathia was going for the Indians, but, in a twist that shocked no one, I was wrong; Millwood went last night and Carsten Charles starts tonight. After eight rounds of BP for both teams, the Tribe finally moved ahead for good when Josh Bard brought his sizzling .176 batting average to the plate and went yard. I had been in the library studying all evening when I tuned in for the last inning. It totally justified the three cigarettes I promptly smoked and my decision to give up on further cramming and let my finals be what they will.

The finals are done now. It's Cinco de Mayo. The Indians are on a winning streak. I'm just so happy.


Wednesday, May 4
AP Photo/Paul Battaglia

The Tribe wins. Maybe now they can start the sluggish haul back to .500 or better. They beat Joe Mays, though, who they have beaten 12 times before. I'll feel a little more confident if they can do it again against someone else. Tonight it's C.C. and his hefty new contract versus Carlos Silva and his juicy .400 BAA when facing the Indians lineup.

A big wad of apathy

Monday, May 2
I think the only person who wants Jennifer Wilbanks off the news more than Jennifer Wilbanks is me. I'm not sure how this was ever national news, and I'm even less sure how it remains national news.

I saw some old college friends this weekend. These are the "old" college friends because we actually started college together, as opposed to my friends from this second run at college I'm trying to make right now. The new college friends are young and idealistic, and the old college friends are, you know...doctors and other post-graduate professionals. I do data entry and I'm a junior. In your face, expectations and potential.