Friday: 30.June.2006

What motivates the ultra-competitive athlete? (Pyschic Pain?)

Went to the movie yesterday .. Letting Go, featuring Kelly Slater (from Cocoa Beach, Florida), who many regard as the greatest surfer of all time) .. outdoors, at Peninsula Park, on the Balboa peninsula (in Newport Beach).

Lots of people there (way more than I saw at the Laguna screening last year). Good film .. especially for a surf flick. Probably cuz it was about more than just riding giant waves.

The movie's star, Kelly Slater (who I'd never learned much about) is interesting cuz he is able to articulate his fears & doubts, and identify his inner-demons, calling them by name. We don't normally associate world champions with people who deal with significant inner turmoil.

Seems *anger* has been a driving force in his life (dad was alcoholic, etc.) .. and (as you know) anger can be a powerful motivator.

At this ultra-competitive level (7-time world champ), motivation becomes a key factor. Very few are able to reach the apex of their sport *7* times. Lance Armstrong did it 7 times consecutively (winning the Tour de France). Arnold won 7 Mr. Olympia titles (6 of them consecutively). What motivates (drives) this kind of person? (It's difficult to fly a kite very high when no wind is blowing.)

••• continued •••

Come to think of it, virtually *every* person I know, who is fanatical about exercise .. has some inner-demons they're dealing with. I'm not talking about the casual exercise enthusiast .. rather I'm talking about the person whose life revolves around exercise .. who is miserable to be around if they *can't* exercise.

Of course, these things didn't become apparent until I got to know the person on an intimate level. Exercise, it seems, had become their method of dealing with emotional pain.

Heck, I've used this strategy myself, running the beach at Crystal Cove .. at near full speed, for miles on end .. without ever feeling fatigue .. running off nothing but pure emotional angst, a seemingly endless supply. But I always stop the practice soon as the pain subsides (rarely lasts more than a few months).

So, now I'm curious: what percentage of world-class athletes derive their world-class motivation from some form of emotional trauma?

A similar parallel can be drawn with artists. If you research artists who have become world-renowned, you'll find their lives contain much emotional pain .. which drives them to their art, compulsively, obsessively. It's the only place they find solace. Emotional pain creates an energy, which they use to fuel their art.

In my Co-parenting classes, the instructors (PhD's) repeatedly mentioned how the ability to identify your feelings, and *articulate* them .. is HUGE (for both children and parents).

The dog is someone who is able to articulate his feelings remarkably well. I mean, he can go into the deep, dark recesses of his psyche, pull out and articulate things that ... well, that make me admire his courage. And he makes it look easy.

I was raised to ignore emotional pain. The message was: stuff it, deny it, whatever .. but for God's sake, never speak of it. And I became pretty good at it .. until I learned this practice isn't healthy (the folks got cancer & died early).

What's the old aphorism? .. cancer isn't caused by what you eat. It's caused by what's eating you. So I began to articulate my feelings. It still isn't easy, but I'm getting better (.. thanks to understanding friends).

Anyway, that's what I got from watching the Kelly Slater flick last night .. about the ups-n-downs of world-class competitive surfing. =)

For more along these lines, here is a Google search pre-configured for the query: motivation + competitive

Posted by Rad at Friday: 30June2006

Tuesday: 27.June.2006

Letter from the Rad in-box (Carlos from Colorado)

Here's a note pulled from the Rad in-box .. from Carlos, who lives in .. well, you'll see. Always good to get notes from loyal Rad readers. See here:

Hi Rad,

Your site is on my daily list of quick-reads. I have to give you some credit for where I am now.

Back in 2000 or 2001, I had a new 1GHz, Dell tower. While still under warrantee, the hard drive died. Then the replacement drive also died. (I think they were both Deathstars.)

When the Dell tech came over, and unscrewed my case, and replaced the hard drive, I was like “Whoa! That doesn't look very difficult.” I decided I would learn how to build a computer myself.

Since I had already been burned by data loss and the annoyance of having to reinstall Windows, I turned to your Ghost guide for help *before* I had another problem.

••• continued •••

Gradually I discovered how useful your other guides were, and finally found your personal blog. I initially bookmarked it because I figured any new guides would be linked there. But as time passed, I became interested in your personal life, as presented on your blog.

What a rollercoaster ride it has been, with all the ups and downs. Thanks for doing this. It's great to read when you are reunited with the bug, and heart-wrenching when things don't go so well.

Your blog helped me decide to go back to school (for a Master's in telecommunications from Univ of Colorado, Boulder, ITP), and continued to be an inspiration for me to branch out on the Internet and get involved with various communities.

After schooling at CU, I landed a job with IBM Global Services and worked on a network team there. (Where I had control over big sites such as Washington Mutual ... with a few key strokes, or a cable too-jiggled, I could take down the entire site.)

Two years later I felt confident enough with my knowledge of Internet communities and all-things-computer-related to join a small startup called Been doing that for over a year now. I can say Radified was a factor in helping me get here.

I live between Brooklyn and Boulder. My startup is headquartered (in a basement) in Louisville, Colorado. I am originally from Boulder, but my wife is studying art at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.

I normally keep an apartment in Brooklyn (tho not this summer, long story…) and fly to Colorado to work with the guys every month. I have also lived in North Carolina and Palo Alto, as well.

Best of luck and thanks!

Carlos R.
Director, Community Development
HiveLive, Inc.
Louisville, CO. 80027

PS: I am a big fan of digital cameras. I read your guide, and agree that Canon is a great brand. I've had 3 different Canon SLR bodies since '92 and a host of Canon EOS lenses (or 3rd-party EOS lenses), a G3, and a Powershot Pro1. They have a great feel and produce great images.

But the Fuji Finepix series, especially the F10 / F11, and now the F30, have really strong feature sets that can't be ignored – such as ISO 1600, or even 3200 for the F30, with noise comparable to a Nikon D70s (at least according to the dcresource review).

Resolution surpasses that of nearly all 8MP sub dSLR cameras. It also is quick and accurate to focus, has a 2.5” LCD, superb battery life, and of course, is very pocketable. Haven't seen an official review of the F30 yet (just released this month), but I see no reason why it won't continue the tradition of excellence established by the F10 / F11.

Posted by Rad at Tuesday: 27June2006

Sunday: 25.June.2006


Just read about a (35-year) Duke University study which claims Americans' circle of close friends is shrinking. (Notice the word: close.)

found this report noteworthy cuz I just started reading a new book titled: A Thousand Paths to Friendship, which contains hundreds (thousands?) of quotes on the topic of Friendship.

If you're a regular, you know I've been dropping an occasional quote from this book. Not sure why I started doing this; it just felt like the right thing to do.

Many of the quotes published in the book use the phrase "true friend," which (I assume) implies the existence of friends who are less-than-true, or untrue (false). Mere acquaintances, perhaps.

For me, true friendship (as referenced in the book) boils down to one thing:
. You can trust a true friend with things you simply can't share with anyone else.

And if you can't trust a friend with your most intimate secrets, are they really a friend? How far can you go with someone you can't trust? .. or depend on?

Things I learned at my recent Co-parenting classes (taught by PhD's) seem to support these ideas.

••• continued •••

Another indicator of 'true' friendship, I contend, is that true friends are genuinely
happy for you
when good things come your way .. when fortune smiles on you .. whereas a lesser 'friend' might exhibit signs of jealousy or envy.

I am certainly no expert on friendship. It's never been easy for me to develop close friendships (one reason I decided to purchase the book).

Now casual friendship is another matter. I can make casual friends with little effort. But to entrust the deep, dark secrets of my soul to another human being .. uh, I have to really be able to trust that person.

And that kind of trust takes time. Which means it must be *earned*. (I've known the Dog, for example, for more than 25 years. And yes, the term dogbrother is another word for the phrase "true friend".)

People are human. Which means they're fallible. Which means they make mistakes. Which means it's possible for them to let you down. Which can lead to disappointment. Which (for me) is the main reason I find it difficult to make really close friends (as the Duke study reports).

Respect is another key aspect of friendship. It's difficult (impossible?) for me to befriend someone I can't respect.

On the flip side, if someone continually lets me down, I feel they don't respect me. And if they don't respect me, they likely don't value our friendship .. which implies they don't value *me*.

Another place where I have trouble is when I feel wronged, it is difficult for me to develop a close relationship with a person who has wronged me. I won't say impossible, but it's certainly rare.

I've had many discussion on this topic, with people who claim I need to learn to forgive (usually accompanied by some verse of scripture).

I can forgive, alright .. but that doesn't mean I need to let that person back into my holy of holies, where they can hurt me again.

What's that old saying? .. Screw me once, shame on you; screw me twice, shame on me. It's something like that.

If someone crosses me, I need assurance it won't happen again .. before I can re-establish trust. Note, this isn't a decision I consciously make, but rather an automatic form of self-protection, or so it seems.

Perhaps my standards are too high, but I would rather have *one* genuine friend, than a truckload of casual friends.

During the past year of trials and tribulations, I've learned much about friendship, including who I can trust, and who I can't .. who will be there for me, in my hour of need, and who, well, you know..

I'll leave you with a quote from the book (page 23).

We go through life alone, thinking we are the only ones who feel a certain way about things, and then suddenly someone comes along who feels exactly the same way. It's the start of a beautiful friendship.

For more info along these lines, here's a Google search pre-configured for the query: friendship.

Posted by Rad at Sunday: 25June2006

Friday: 23.June.2006

Rad Dad Does Emergency Surgery

Played Rad dad (with the little guy) these past few days. Had one of our best weeks yet.

At nearly 18 months, he's able to get around pretty well .. with those short, stubby legs of his, and learning new words every week. His favorite word is 'side .. short for outside, which is where he wants to go the moment he wakes .. the little outdoorsman.

Most surprising is to see him climb so easily (at the playground). Must have a bit of monkey in him. He motors right up the bars, and comes sailing down the slide. Makes me a little nervous.

Yesterday, a boy (in his late teens or early 20's) came walking out of Mother's Market, where the little guy and I were sharing a water buffalo yogurt. (One spoon for him, one for me. Yogurt all over his face.)

The boy (talking on his cell phone) passed by, then stopped, turned and stared .. before saying, "That kid is sooo cute." You could tell from his voice that he was really impressed.

Now it's not unusual for the little guy to stop women dead in their tracks, but it has never happened with a boy before. When women say things like, "Sooo cute," I normally respond with a playful, "Who? Me or him?" =)

••• continued •••

Also yesterday, he made a face, saying, "Shoes, shoes," as if complaining when I put on his sneakers. Thinking they might've become too tight for his growing, fat feet, I replaced the sneaks with a pair of sandals...

... then noticed him walking with a limp, left heal raised. There I found a sliver (surrounded by redness). It became apparent I would have to do emergency surgery.

A group of strangers came to my aid, supplying (nicely pointed) tweezers, a pin, bottle of peroxide, and even emotional support.

The sliver was buried, but I was able to get it on the 3rd or 4th try (.. not an easy feat without my reading glasses). People with better eyes inspected the area to ensure I extracted the entire sliver. He stopped limping.

The worst part about playing dad however, is having to bring him back .. knowing I can't see him 'til the next week. Never quite been able to get used to that part.

Of course, I never *act* like anything is wrong (when I bring him back), but it still turns me inside out. Afterwards, I normally I walk the beach for an hour or two, to try and clear my head. Not sure I'll ever get used to that. Hope I do, eventually, cuz it suks.

I always I thought it was just me (who had this problem) but I discovered in my Co-parenting class that *other* guys feel the same.

Speaking of my (7-week) co-parenting class, the two main things I came away with are:

1. don't argue in front of your kids. (not as easy as it might sound)

2. making eye contact with your children sends them a powerful message .. that they are valuable & worthwhile. it's easy to do, and something i've endeavored to put into practice ever since. i'll get down on his level and (deliberately) make quality eye contact.

For more along these lines, see entry for 16.May.2006: Final Co-parenting class: trust lead to emotional intimacy.

Posted by Rad at Friday: 23June2006

Wednesday: 21.June.2006

Giant Waves at the Wedge, Body-surfing Balboa Peninsula, Newport Beach

Summer begins! Officially began this morning at 11:26 (PDT) here on the left coast. Monster surf rolling in here in sunny SoCal.

I took a bike ride with Miss Julie down the Balboa Peninsula .. to "the Wedge," which sits at the very end of the Peninsula, famous for its bone-crushing waves.

The local newspaper (Daily Pilot) sported headlines: Heavy surf at Wedge, reporting waves of 12-feet (4 meters)...

... I think they measure wave height from normal sea level to the top. But a huge *trough* develops in front of each wave, so the *face* looked much bigger: closer to 20 foot (6 or 7 meters)...

.. and when they break >> it's thunderous. The ground shakes. Awesome display of nature's power. Captivating.

ABC7 Eyewitness News had *4* trucks there at the Wedge. They also had a guy in the water, wearing a helmet-mounted camera. (Talk about a hazardous job.)

••• continued •••

The front page of today's LA Times sported a lone body-surfer, airborne (great shot), launched above a wave, with the title: The Wild, Wild Wedge.

Supporting text read: Body-boarder goes airborne at the Wedge in Newport Beach, where brave souls rode waves that reached high as 20 feet.

A few hundred people stood on the beach, watching the giants roll in, set after set. Only 20 or 25 souls ("seeking a thrashing") braved the hazardous conditions to catch a wild ride. Newport Beach lifeguards reported ~50 rescues.

Interesting to hear local kids talk their surf lingo. When the waves are big like this, they say "it's going off." When one guy got hammered in a big wave, I heard one of them comment, "Say good night." Can't recall every phrase used, but the language is very colorful.

I've ridden a total of 4 waves in my not-so-illustrious surfing career. It's much harder than it looks. The last time, I could hardly climb out of bed the next morning, having used muscles I normally don't use.

The waves were generated by a storm some 5,000 miles away, off the coast of South America.

Not a bad way to start the summer. Not bad at all.

Posted by Rad at Wednesday: 21June2006

Tuesday: 20.June.2006

Favorite TV show: Frontline

Frontline is my favorite TV show. They delve into topics avoided by most network programming, such as The Torture Question, The Meth Epidemic and The Age of AIDS .. and they do so with a high degree of professionalism, always cramming an incredible amount of information into a 1-hour (or 2-hour) show. Quality.

Tonight's show is titled The Dark Side (after a term used by Dick Cheney in an interview, describing the method the US will be using fighting the new war aganst terrorists) .. about the controversy surrounding the decision, following 9-11, to invade Iraq, instead of pursue Al Queda, pitting Cheney & Rumsfeld against (former CIA director) George Tenet.

••• continued •••

Regardless of your political affiliation, I feel it's important to know the facts, so we can make informed decisions .. and Frontline offers one of the best ways I know of to get beyond the spin.

I especially like the voice of Frontline's narrator: Will Lyman.

Note also that Frontline currently offers more than 50 broadcasts available for online viewing. So you can watch their programs anytime, anywhere...

... which is cool, cuz tonight, Shaq and the Heat take their game to Dallas, where they'll try to clinch the series. Hopefully the game will be over by the time Frontline starts.

Note, too, that tomorrow is the summer solstice: longest day of the year, most hours of daylight, shortest night .. at least for those of us here in the northern hemisphere. It occurs at precisely 8:26 AM EDT. After tomorrow (when summer begins), the days start getting shorter.

I'm sure some folks, tomorrow, will be celebrating at Stonehenge.

PS - Giant waves at the beach today. Bone crushers.

Posted by Rad at Tuesday: 20June2006

Monday: 19.June.2006

Ultra-Swanky 24 Hour Fitness Club at Lake Shore Towers in Irvine

Paid a visit, yesterday, to the ultra-swanky health club at Lake Shore Towers in Irvine (on Von Karman Ave).

I've always wanted to see what the inside looked like. (Must've driven by it a hundred times.)

The Lake Shore Towers club is a ritz-ier facility than my membership allows, but 24 Hour Fitness is allowing it (temporarily) to help alleviate the inconvenience caused by the current remodeling of my regular club (in Newport Beach).

The place is huge, shaped like a giant airplane hanger (curved ceiling, windows at each end). Contains several levels, with a giant basketball court in the center.

To give you an idea how big it is, there's a 1/8th mile track on the upper level. (Eight trips around make one mile.)

The coolest part was a rock-climbing wall that towers up 40 or 50 feet .. altho I couldn't try that cuz no instructor was present.

••• continued •••

Most interesting was a plexiglas "hypoxia" booth (containing a single treadmill) in which the oxygen concentration was lowered to simulate air at 10,000-foot elevation.

An oxygen meter in the booth sported a digital display reading 18.3%. When I exhaled into the sensor, the displayed level dropped. I think the oxygen concentration at sea level is normally 19 or 20%. Air in the mountains is "thinner".

Once you body adapts to the thinner air (in the booth), and you return to an environment that contains normal air, it becomes easier to exercise. You feel stronger .. similar to the experience of athletes who exercise/train in the mountains before a big event.

Yes, I tried out the hypoxia booth .. started getting light-headed and giddy. Kinda chilly in there.

The facility had all the amenities you might expect from a swanky club: free towels, steam & dry saunas (which both really worked), indoor & outdoor Jacuzzis, outdoor swimming pool, outdoor volleyball court (on sand), squash courts, lots of giant TV screens. On yeah, and valet parking. =)

The dumbest thing seemed to be an outdoor putting green. Can't imagine anyone using that. (Golfers would visit a real golf course.)

Anyway, while working out on the upper level, there's another 30-foot of space above you (to the curved ceiling). So you have a wonderful sense of open space during your work-out. I also noticed some machines I'd never seen before.

Posted by Rad at Monday: 19June2006

Saturday: 17.June.2006

HBO Championship Boxing: Bernard Hopkins vs Antonio Tarver & Jermain Taylor vs Winky Wright

Reminder for boxing fans: tonight HBO is airing (not one, but) two championship fights. The first: a rebroadcast of last week's bout, featuring Bernard Hopkins vs (champ) Antonio Tarver .. followed by a live broadcast of tonight's title bout: Winky Wright vs (champ) Jermain Taylor.

The rebroadcast of Hopkins-Taylor could become a classic, as it might be Bernard's final fight (he's 41).

Bernard was the middleweight champ for 10 years, with a record 20 title defenses, until he was defeated by Jermain "Bad Intentions" Taylor .. (who's defending his title tonight, against Winky Wright).

After losing the middleweight crown (to Jermain), Bernard stepped up, not one, but *two* full weight divisions (14 pounds .. to 175-pound class) to take on light-heavyweight champ Antonio Tarver (who's got a mouth I've never much liked).

••• continued •••

At 41, nobody gave Bernard much of a chance against the younger Tarver. Note the legendary Sugar Ray Robinson attempted this exact same feat (Yankee Stadium, 1952), but was unable to pull it off. Bernard however, not only won, but totally dominated his fight with Tarver.

None in boxing is craftier than Bernard (who's from Philly). Few come better prepared, in better shape, better studied on their opponent's weaknesses & flaws.

I've always liked boxing, cuz I feel it's the sport that most accurately mirrors real life. Unlike team sports (which I also enjoy) boxing involves two guys, stepping into the ring, mano a mano. Each face one (and only one) opponent. The concept is simple.

In life, we may arrive with a large cast of supporting personnel in our corner, backing us enthusiastically, encouraging us every step of the way, but when the bell of life rings, and push comes to shove, we succeed or fail on our own efforts.

Victors receive all the glory. The vanquished have no one to blame but themselves. Something about that appeals to me. It's raw. Of course, everyone knows boxing is corrupt. But few us us would claim life is fair.

I've heard geniuses have the ability to focus single-mindedly on a task, and tend to maintain that focus until completion of their objective.

When a boxer steps into the ring, he focuses single-mindedly (for 12 rounds) on one (and only one) opponent .. until he (or his opponent) emerges victorious. The loser? No joy.

I contend boxing is a distilled microcosm of life. Barbaric, perhaps. Brutal, no doubt. And life is not?

The action tonight gets underway 9:30 here on the left coast, 6:30 for those of you back East. The introductions are my favorite part. I turn them up real loud.

For more info along these lines, here is a Google search, pre-configured for the query: hbo boxing hopkins tarver taylor wright

Posted by Rad at Saturday: 17June2006

Thursday: 15.June.2006

Miss Julie's Birthday, Relationship Downgrade

Today is Miss Julie's birthday. She's 38. (Looks 19.) Was born in Santa Monica in '68.

If you've been following developments here in Rad-land, you know how things with Miss Julie were moving along .. rather effortlessly. That's changed. (the sound of tires coming to a screeching halt)

The relationship - I'm sad to say - has been officially downgraded to 'friendship'. "What happened?" Good question. Mistakes were made.

••• continued •••

I have a million-n-one thoughts on the subject. They way things came together - the timing and surrounding events - seemed downright providential.

What I can say right now however is .. we still see each other regularly (both yesterday & today, for example), since I still live with her folks .. a situation which, as you might imagine, could be a little awkward. And it was at first, tho we seem to have ironed out things this week.

The problem however, is that, being her 'friend' - tho best for us both - ain't as easy as I thought it would be.

I still feel an attraction. When I see her, that aggressive thing inside flares up. Guys know what I'm talking about. It's that predatory impulse .. like when a panther spots its prey. She still makes me growl.

It's not something I *try* to feel, mind you. Rather, it's automatic, instinctual, biological, primal. Heck, if I knew how to make it stop, I would.

As you might imagine, it's somewhat distracting. Makes it hard to concentrate on what she's saying .. with these "other voices" speaking so enthusiastically. For my part, I simply pretend nothing's going on. Maybe, in time, it will go away. (I can only hope.)

It's an awkward feeling .. like a racecar, that starts to accelerate, only to hit the brakes seconds later. Start & stop. Over & over. Again & again. Not very fun. Confusing. Frustrating. Unnatural.

I tend to subscribe to a natural, organic view of life, as a reliable guide. In other words, if we have certain feelings, they're there for a reason. Are you hungry? That means you need to eat. Thirsty? Drink. Tired? Rest. You get the point. These are nature's guides. And (for the most part) they're reliable.

Now I have spoken to beautiful women before, yet felt nothing .. even when I *wanted* to. Seems you can't manufacture these feelings. They're either there or they're not. Why they're there with some and not with others, I can't say. Who knows?

So the fact that I *do* still feel something tells me something .. tho exactly what, I'm not sure. Like I said, maybe it will go away in time.

Julie is going to ride her bike today .. up the boardwalk to Huntington Beach, with friends. She says I'm invited to come along (since I'm a 'friend', too).

She normally wears her bikini on these bike rides. But, I don't think I could handle that right now. I mean, it would be torture .. like putting an alcoholic in charge of a liquor store. I'm only human. Things are hard enough already. Think I'll find a polite excuse to pass.

I just wish life would get easy for a while: simple, uncomplicated, carefree. Maybe those days are gone forever. Sure seems that way.

The good news is my appetite has returned. Yesterday was the first day in weeks I ate cuz I was actually hungry, and not cuz I was making myself eat.

Had 2 tacos, with rice & beans, and was *still* hungry. Before, it would be two bites and I was full. Emotional distress, as I'm sure you know, has a way of obliterating the appetite.

Posted by Rad at Thursday: 15June2006

Tuesday: 13.June.2006

New Tires & Brakes on the Rad-mobile

Put new tires & brakes on the rear wheels of the Rad-mobile today. Been meaning to do that for some time now.

Since the engine on a Porsche 911 sits in the back, the rear tires wear twice as fast as the front ones, cuz that's where all the weight is, and also cuz the car is rear-wheel driven.

The back tires therefore last only 20-25K miles, whereas the front ones don't need changing until 40 or 50K miles. Tires and brakes are one thing I try to watch closely.

And the engines produces a lot of heat, which helps the rear brakes wear faster, too .. or at least that's what the brake guy told me (crusty ol' geezer).

He said heat was the thing that kills brakes, claiming that's why you now see cars with slotted discs: for better ventilation& cooling. (My discs have no slots.) He also mentioned the Japanese make the best brakes.

••• continued •••

The brake guy wanted to change my rotors too (the discs themselves), to avoid squeaks, but rotors cost a lot more than pads, so I told him, "Just replace the pads." Heck, for $400 less, I can live with a few squeaks. But after he replaced the pads, I heard no squeaks.

Got my tires at Tirerack. Excellent prices (and no California tax). Been ordering my tires from them for years. They ship surprisingly fast.

Normally I like Bridgestone tires, but this year I let the guy talk me into a set of Goodyears, their F-1 model, cuz they were a lot cheaper than the Bridgestones. Really odd tread pattern, tho.

These are uni-directional tires, which means they're designed to rotate/spin one way only, and are therefore not interchangeable with the other tire on the other side .. so they're not rotated like tires on most cars. (The front tires are a different size from the rear ones.)

The Porsche 911 comes in three different body styles: 1.) the coupe, which is your standard hard top (sometimes comes with a sunroof), 2.) the Targa (which I have), and 3.) the convertible, sometimes called a cabriolet, or rag-top.

I feel the targa top offers all the advantages of the rag-top/convertible (can drive around sunny SoCal with sky over your head, working on your tan), without its disadvantages (more noise, easy to cut and break into, cold in winter climes). The targa also comes with a roll-bar (for added safety).

Of the 3 models, the cabriolet cost most, cuz they need added support in the body to compensate for the missing hardtop, then the targa, which doesn't need as much lower-body support. The coupe is least expensive .. all things being equal, of course.

I've had the Rad-mobile 20 years now. Bought it in Pennsylvania (for $30K) when it was two years old. ("Only driven to church on Sunday by little old lady," they told me. Yeah, right.)

Heck, it's nearly a classic now. The little guy (Rad Jr) always gets excited when I remove the targa top. He likes to toodle around town with the top off, and feel the wind in his hair.

For more info along these lines, here is a Google search, pre-configured for the query-string: tires brakes porsche 911

Posted by Rad at Tuesday: 13June2006

Monday: 12.June.2006

Pre-Father's Day thoughts, nature vs nurture

Seems everywhere I went last week there were signs posted reminding us that Sunday is Father's day .. which made me reflect on my own parenting skills. Most of us, I think, feel we can do a better job than what our parents did.

Both my parents have long since passed (leaving me an orphan), but when I was a kid (growing up in southern Connecticut), I was intrigued by debate surrounding "nature vs nurture" .. as key factors determining our basic personality traits and behavior.

Back then, it occurred to me that *both* these factors (nurture and nature) come to us from our parents, who give us not only our genes (nature) ...

... but also our environment (nurture), in which development occurs, especially in our early years, which psychologists claim are responsible for so much of our basic personality (refer to entry for 16.May).

••• continued •••

Sooo .. when my parents would get on my case about something I did, I would protest that I was simply a product of their genetic code (nature) and parenting skills (nurture) .. and argue that they needed to take some responsibility for my actions .. and cut me some slack.

As you might imagine, my folks didn't much appreciate my line of reasoning. (It's always a sobering moment when you first realize your parents are less than perfect.)

Anyway, my thoughts today have been stirred by a new book I saw advertised: How to Behave So Your Children Will, Too! .. which seems to validate concepts I've argued for since childhood (and were rejected by my parents).

Now I know you can find a book for virtually *any* parenting style you subscribe to. Personally I feel there exists (as with most things in life) no one-size-fits-all solution, and we-parents need to do what comes natural, cuz nature knows best.

Consider that, when your body needs sustenance, nature triggers hunger. When you require rest, nature sees to it you feel tired. And the greater the need, the more intense the feeling. You get my point.

But think about it for a moment. When you see kids acting up at the mall, doesn't it seem like they just happen to be with parents who, uh, suk? Perhaps it's a case of the chicken and the egg (which came first?) .. but I argue that (not always, but more often than not) bad parents tend to turn a good kid into a bad one .. and not the other way around.

Well, I'm close to meddling here and probably oughta quit. Anyway, speaking of parenting, I took the little guy on his first ride on the Balboa Island Ferry last week. He thought that was a blast.

Anyone who has read Joseph Wambaugh's The Golden Orange knows the novel opens with that ferry ride (in Newport Beach). We also rode the merry-go-round at the fun zone there, but balked at the ferris wheel.

Posted by Rad at Monday: 12June2006

Tuesday: 06.June.2006

June 6, 20006 = 6-6-6, The Anti-christ

As you probably know from ads for the Omen (being released today), today is 6-6-6, a date which occurs once each hundred years, which means this is the only 6-6-6 any of us are likely to see .. in our lifetimes.

Math has always been a favorite subject of mine, or at least one which comes easily (got an 'A' in both Calculus classes) .. so numbers have always held a special place for me.

You're probably also aware of the scripture (Relevation 13) that says:

He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.

This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666.

••• continued •••

The word calculate in that verse has always intrigued me, cuz I've always felt I could calculate pretty much anything. Just need to know which formula to use.

The only entity that could make everyone receive such a mark (to buy & sell) would be a government, so it doesn't surprise me so many folks these days distrust governments & politicians.

I remember when people were saying Reagan was the anti-Christ, cuz all three of his names (Ronald Wilson Reagan) contained 6 letters (i.e. "the number of his name"). Of course, now they're saying George Bush is the anti-Christ.

Talked to a friend yesterday who said, "I've seen every scary movie ever made, and the only one that really scared me was the Omen." (referring to the original version). Others said similar things .. that movies about things that could really happen scare them most.

When I was a kid, my dad would take the neighborhood kids to see scary movies (in the back of his pick-up). They *loved* that.

I called the Big Newport theater here yesterday, to see if they were going to be screening the Omen (on their giant screen). They said no.

Despite its numerical rarity, today is likely just another day in the life.

Posted by Rad at Tuesday: 06June2006

Monday: 05.June.2006

RADIFIED's 6-year anniversary

Hey, hey. Today is RADIFIED's anniversary. Hard to believe it's been 6 years since the Rad reactor first went critical. And we've been online ever since. Happy birthday to us.

You can read the very first entry, which is posted at the bottom of this page (scroll down).

Six years is a long time on the web .. kinda like living dog years. You'll find that many sites haven't been online nearly that long. Many of them, as you probably know, have fallen by the wayside.

Even many of the good ones didn't survive the collapse. (RADIFIED was born amidst the bursting bubble.)

••• continued •••

Much has changed since I made that first entry. Thinking back to those early days, it doesn't even seem like I'm the same person. I certainly don't feel like the same person.

I feel like I've been thru a lot these last six years - both good and bad - and grown as a result. Regulars will recall the recent trials & tribulations.

Old-timers will recall both the joys and heartaches. Gotta admit, we've had fun, while learning a thing or two along the way.

Thru the years, I've always endeavored to write as clearly & concisely as possible, so my readers (for whom I have the utmost respect) are able to grasp what I'm trying to say, with as little effort as possible, so as not to waste their precious time.

This is one place where I feel RADIFIED distinguishes itself, compared to other sites. I mean, if somebody is going to take the time to read what I've written, I want it to be written cleanly as possible.

The best part of having a site like this one is the ability to exchange ideas with so many people .. from all over the planet.

Never ceases to impress me how many intelligent people there are out there, and how much insight they possess .. on a myriad of topics .. and how funny they can be, and helpful.

The first Rad server was physically located in Kansas City. Then my web host, Communitech, was bought by Interland (now, who put the server on a truck and moved the thing to Atlanta (the little apple).

Recently tho, we've had reliability problems with that old Interland server, so in February I changed hosts and moved the site to Lunarpages, whose servers are physically located in downtown Los Angeles. I'm happy with them.

I'll close today with a random quote taken from my new book on friendship: There is no better provider of friendship than shared adversity.

Posted by Rad at Monday: 05June2006