Anyway, the first thing I noticed was that my carefully crafted, super-rockin’ Twitter background was compromised. My background was designed to work in the left 190 pixels or so, but now, even with my browser window at full screen, it’s barely getting full exposure. My primary machine is a 15″ MacBook Pro with a resolution of 1440×900 – not exactly a narrow screen – so I’ll need to rework it.
There’s a more comprehensive writeup over (with PSD files!) over at Mashable, but basically new Twitter starts at a minimum width of 920 pixels and maxes out at 1040 pixels, compared to old Twitter’s static width of 763 pixels. The timeline is 540 pixels wide, with the right area (your tweets, followers/following, who to follow, etc) expanding from 380 to 500 pixels depending on available browser window width.
I think the new Twitter page layout is a real improvement, in particular the bigger emphasis on “who to follow.” For many casual users, it’ll give them a bit more functionality and perhaps keep them using the Twitter website instead of an app – something I’m sure the Twitter folks are eager to encourage. But in the end, I just don’t care all that much. I use Tweetie and Tweetdeck on my laptops and Twitter for iPhone on my phone, so it won’t change how I use the service. However, Twitter is taking is taking ownership of their own pages a bit more. The vast expanse of wide open space for branding your with a Twitter background image will be less visible now – we’ll all have to be a bit more thoughtful how we use the available space.
Friday morning breakfast discussion, inspired by a particularly perfect example of a Guzzicafe racer – basically a low barred, GP-piped 1000S built from an ’02 Stone with an injected 1000 cc motor – in the October/November 2010 issue of Cafe Racer Magazine.
Surj: “We need to get a Moto Guzzi.”
Angelica: “We need to get cereal.”
Surj: “That’s not the same.”
Angelica: “Yes, but it’s something we actually need.”
One of my favorite modern motorcycles is the Triumph Speed Triple. I like ’em all, but my favorite generation is the 2005-2010 1050 cc model. I had a 2007 Special Edition, and it was an amazing motorcycle. It was set up just right, and that Arrow pipe had a real nice growl – not insanely loud, but nice. I regret selling it every time I see a Speed Triple on the road.
Hell For Leather posted some photos today of the 2011 Speed Triple and I spent a good long time drooling over ’em. I like the new bike, in fact I like it a lot. But… I think I still like the ’05-’10 – or at least my ’07 SE – more. The new S3 is pretty muscular looking and has a bit more go-juice (7 more ponies and 6 more ft/lb of torque) to back up that look but so far I think I prefer the look of the current frame over the new version. Also, although the headlights aren’t as bad as some of the other more “transformer-y” styled bikes of the last couple years, they look wrong to me. I love the round “bug eyes” that have until now been one of the hallmarks of the S3. Check out the ridiculously named new Thunderbird Storm; dual roundies are still ok in 2011 – why not keep ’em on the original bug-eyed street fightin’ bike?
There’s no doubt in my mind that this new S3 is gonna be a sweet bike, but I think I’d prefer to get my hands on another ’05-’10 to set up like my ’07 SE.
While working at SkinStore, I became a bit of a manly skin care product whore. OK, so maybe “whore” is a bit too strong, but I do have a small set of products I like and stick to pretty religiously. One of these is Razor Burn Repair by Anthony Logistics For Men, basically a post-shave moisturizer – very soothing. I have very sensitive skin, and this stuff works wonders.
I usually order from SkinStore, but I’ve been actively ordering directly from brand websites lately, to get a feel for the experiences they offer and see what they’re up to. So I ordered some Razor Burn Repair directly from Anthony.com on 9.21.10.
I like the Anthony website – I think it does a decent job of infusing the experience with founder Anthony’s personality without being ridiculous. But I got a surprise when I reached the checkout flow. Shipping was expensive – $9.11 for a single four ounce bottle! I really felt like that was excessive and almost bailed out, but I bit the bullet so I could check out the customer experience.
I got the package 8 days later. Not cool, considering lots of sites ship for less and get me my goods much faster. Even worse, Anthony uses old style peanuts – messy and not biodegradable, and the product was wrapped in a bubble wrap bag. And while I appreciate the personal touch of a packer’s signature on the inside of the box, presumably verifying correct products, I’m surprised and bemused that they decided to send me the garbage my order generated too.
All kidding aside, this kind of thoughtless, wasteful packing and shipping always bothers me, enough to discourage me from ordering again. It’s far too prevalent in the ecommerce world. And Anthony could do a better job of optimizing shipping costs and time.
I’ve been riding motorbikes a long time, and I’ve been lane splitting since I started riding on the street. For me, it’s an integrated part of street riding. I’m not sure I’d want to ride on the streets if I couldn’t filter through traffic.
I’ve also done a lot of commuting by motorcycle, in some cases very long commutes (over 100 miles each way). My current commute is quite leisurely, at least in terms of distance. I ride from SOMA – across the Bay Bridge, some of the most hectic traffic I’ve ever been in – to Berkeley and back each day.
This evening on my way home, I encountered a new situation just off the Bay Bridge, coming into San Francisco. Filtering between a mid-size SUV and a passenger car in slow traffic, I came upon a large chunk of retread in the road. I’ve heard horror stories of motorcyclists being struck by these pieces of truck tire debris and have always had a slight fear for them. Today I was sandwiched between a couple of cars with only a few inches to either side and I didn’t have much choice other than to attack it head on.
I quickly stood up and prepared to ride over it, as if on a dirt bike, veering slightly to the left. I narrowly miss the retread, but it hit my right foot. It felt surprisingly weighty and substantial, but didn’t hurt much. I wear pretty good riding boots – Sidi On Roads – so I’m pretty well protected, but I think if it had been a bigger chunk or it had hit my foot more squarely, my foot could have been injured.
Looking back, I suppose I could have braked hard and tucked in behind one of the cars to either side in an attempt to completely avoided the retread. This could have opened me up to a rear end collision, though. I also could have lifted my foot, which would have left me without two feet on the pegs – a bad way to be if I had ended up riding over a big part of the retread. I think I did the right thing, but I was surprised by the substantial weight of the tire, although I really shouldn’t have been.
When I’m lane splitting, I’m constantly scanning the activity of other vehicles. I obviously wasn’t paying enough attention to other hazards. Lesson learned: remember to look at the road, too.
Before I rock ‘n’ roll saved my soul – in the form of punk and metal – the only music I knew was old country. (Well, country and church hymns, but that’s another story for another time.) My parents listened to a lot of good old country music: Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, George Jones – lots of good stuff.
In my early teens, I rejected this music, but slowly returned to it as I overcame my knee-jerk, anti-“my parents’ music” mentality. It helped that some of my punk rock idols were clearly influenced by country music, from early honky tonk to later outlaw tunes. Later on, as my taste in music progressed beyond “louder, faster, more” I couldn’t get these old songs out of my head.
Anyway, I found this video on the YouTube tonight: Johnny Paycheck playing “The Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised” at Chillicothe Prison in Ohio in 1993, post prison time and “Johnny Bankrupt.” He’s introduced by none other than Merle Haggard. Paycheck and the band are really cookin’ – it’s magical.