Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Man on motorized barstool gets drunk driving charge

Monday, March 30, 2009 1:53 PM
Updated: Monday, March 30, 2009 05:30 PM
By Randy Ludlow


Gerrit Konink was sitting in his living room around dinnertime earlier this month when he heard somebody down the street fire up what he thought was a lawnmower.

He figured one of his neighbors was getting a jump on his mowing.

It was nothing that routine. Instead, it was a motorized barstool.

Out his window, the 66-year-old Konink then saw someone, on something, buzz down Kelley Lane in Newark.

"I knew it was something strange, and then it was gone," he said. "It was too fast."

Newark police say that Konink saw a neighbor riding a motorized barstool shortly before the man wrecked while trying to make a U-turn.

Police say that Kile Wygle, 28, had one too many for the road before wheeling his homemade oddity around the neighborhood on March 4.

Wygle was charged with driving the barstool while under the influence of alcohol and driving while under suspension. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and asked for a jury trial. No court date has been set.

According to a report by Officer Michael Trotter, Wygle told him that his barstool can reach a speed of 38 mph but that he was traveling only about 20 mph when he wrecked.

At Licking Memorial Hospital, where Wygle was treated for minor injuries, he chuckled about his barstool. Wygle told Trotter that he'd had about 15 beers before the wreck. The man refused to take a blood-alcohol test.

When Trotter informed Wygle that he was investigating a traffic crash, Wygle reportedly replied that he wasn't driving a vehicle - he was driving a barstool.

The man's ride consisted of a barstool with padded seat welded to a frame that also contained a five-horsepower motorcycle engine that operated a chain drive attached to a rear wheel. A lawnmower steering wheel turned the front wheels.

Wygle could not be reached for comment and his lawyer, Andrew Sanderson of Newark, did not return telephone calls. Newark police did not announce the unusual arrest until today.

Barstool racing appears popular in Wisconsin and other parts of the country, and motorized barstools are available for purchase online.

State law prohibits the operation of any kind of motorized vehicle, excluding wheelchairs and mobility scooters, while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to the State Highway Patrol.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Hope for the Pirates

In what looks like one of the flimsier Bollywood scripts, the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed two obscure young Indians from impoverished villages with the hopes of their being star pitchers some day.

Rinku Singh, 20, a left-hander, and Dinesh Patel, 19, a right-hander hadn't the slightest clue about how baseball was played when the Pirates signed them. However, in a reality-follows-fiction scenario, they came in first and second respectively in the “Million-Dollar Arm” competition in India by throwing a baseball faster and more accurately than 30,000 other contestants from across the sub-continent.

They are thought to be the first Indian citizens to ever sign a contract with a major US team in any sport.

Mr Singh is the son of a truck driver and the youngest of nine children. Mr Patel was brought up in a village in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh by his uncle and grandmother after his parents found that they could not afford to raise him.

Both are javelin throwers. Patel hit 90 mph on the radar gun during his tryout, Singh topped out at 84 mph.

Not only is the raw talent of these two -- who had never seen a baseball a year ago -- impressive, but there's also the market to think about.

The Pirates’ general manager, Neal Huntington, said: "A billion people are going to take a curiosity in what these two young men do. It sends a message internationally."

In one sense, though, it's too bad these guys didn't sign with Cleveland.

MySpace Codes

Rinku Singh

Work feeling like College

I just paid someone $5 to do a shot of hot sauce. Work feels like college. I'd just thought I'd share.

Big Dave

Monday, March 23, 2009

In 9 weeks.

As many of you know, in nine weeks I will be running a marathon, and for those who didn't now you do. It will be in Burlington Vermont, its called the Keybank City Marathon. Here's a link to the website if you have any questions. I'd like to extend an invite to anyone who is in the area or wants to make the trip on May 24th. Don't feel obligated, I just thought if anyone was around, and had nothing to do it would be nice to see some familiar faces at the finish line.

Friday, March 20, 2009

For St. Patrick's Day (a little late)

Forget movies like The Quiet Man and Darby O'Gill and the Little People.

In honor of St. Patrick's day, A.O. Scott reviews Alan Parker's 1991 film about a working-class Dublin soul band.

Pirate fans keep dwindling

I realize there is not much of a Pirate following left, but I have to post this for the long-time (and long-suffering) fans. Vince Lascheid, legendary organist for the Pirates (and, apparently, the Penguins), died Thursday night. He was 85.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Everything I need to know about the president I learned by studying his March Madness picks.

Chris Good says that there's a lot you can tell about a president just by looking at his bracket. See A Bracket You Can Believe In.

You can decide for yourself: Here are Obama's picks. (Apparently, at one point, he had Pitt going all the way.)

Flash-based iPod Classic.

Ok, to nerd-out for a minute. I did this (Convert 4G iPod into Flash based iPod) with Sean's broken iPod 4g the other day and it actually works. The parts (with an 8gb drive), in today's terms, came out to around $6. And with a flash drive it shouldn't konk (sp?) out on me anytime soon. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Kottke discussion: "I wanted to ask for survival tips in case I am unexpectedly transported to a random location in Europe (say for instance current France/Benelux/Germany) in the year 1000 AD (plus or minus 200 years). I assume that such transportation would leave me with what I am wearing, what I know, and nothing else. Any advice would help."

His answer:

I'd start a shop that did nothing but boil water and then sell it. I'd market it as "de-spirited" water and sell it to midwives, priests, doctors - anyone who would be charged with the health of another. The boiled, micro-organism free water would dramatically improve the health outcomes for anyone with cholera or plague or infection. Even marginally better outcomes using clean water would bolster my reputation and business. Of course, barriers to entry would be pretty low in my business, but if I were widely copied, I'd start a health revolution. For that quantum timeline anyway.

Some of the comments are pretty good. I thought I would be okay knowing some French, but I found out that modern French didn't appear until around 1300. A lot of people recommend boning up on Latin. What do you guys think?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

VAMPIRE FISH FOUND the seas are not safe.

And I vote for Harvey Grog on the sole fact that if anyone has tried my fathers eggnog, they know it changes lives

but here I stopped and harvey grog seemed good also

More Vampire Stuff

Here is an interesting article about the vampire myth (or they want us to believe it is a myth). Connection to Kathleen and Ted (University of Florence and archaeology)

Iceland's Demise, subprime stuff

This is a little late, but there was a great article in Vanity Fair discussing the rise and fall of Iceland as a banking super-power. Almost every paragraph is a jaw-dropper. The author is Micheal Lewis, who wrote Liar's Poker.

Lewis also wrote this article for Portfolio, in which he is able to explain to the layman the whole subprime-mortgage fiasco. Lewis interviews the few financial gurus who made millions by betting that the economy was going to collapse, and gets their take on the whole thing. Two of my favorite quotes from the article:

  • Lewis, very first paragraph: "To this day, the willingness of a Wall Street investment bank to pay me hundreds of thousands of dollars to dispense investment advice to grownups remains a mystery to me. I was 24 years old, with no experience of, or particular interest in, guessing which stocks and bonds would rise and which would fall. The essential function of Wall Street is to allocate capital—to decide who should get it and who should not. Believe me when I tell you that I hadn’t the first clue."

On those trying to ring the alarm:
"Eisman, Daniel, and Moses then flew out to Las Vegas for an even bigger subprime conference. By now, Eisman knew everything he needed to know about the quality of the loans being made. He still didn’t fully understand how the apparatus worked, but he knew that Wall Street had built a doomsday machine. He was at once opportunistic and outraged.

Their first stop was a speech given by the C.E.O. of Option One, the mortgage originator owned by H&R Block. When the guy got to the part of his speech about Option One’s subprime-loan portfolio, he claimed to be expecting a modest default rate of 5 percent. Eisman raised his hand. Moses and Daniel sank into their chairs. “It wasn’t a Q&A,” says Moses. “The guy was giving a speech. He sees Steve’s hand and says, ‘Yes?’”

Would you say that 5 percent is a probability or a possibility?” Eisman asked.

A probability, said the C.E.O., and he continued his speech.

Eisman had his hand up in the air again, waving it around. Oh, no, Moses thought. “The one thing Steve always says,” Daniel explains, “is you must assume they are lying to you. They will always lie to you.” Moses and Daniel both knew what Eisman thought of these subprime lenders but didn’t see the need for him to express it here in this manner. For Eisman wasn’t raising his hand to ask a question. He had his thumb and index finger in a big circle. He was using his fingers to speak on his behalf. Zero! they said.

“Yes?” the C.E.O. said, obviously irritated. “Is that another question?”

“No,” said Eisman. “It’s a zero. There is zero probability that your default rate will be 5 percent.” The losses on subprime loans would be much, much greater. Before the guy could reply, Eisman’s cell phone rang. Instead of shutting it off, Eisman reached into his pocket and answered it. “Excuse me,” he said, standing up. “But I need to take this call.” And with that, he walked out."

Friday, March 13, 2009

Naming the Harvey Blog

"Harvey's Blog" is a lame name so I leave it up to you guys who are much more creative. Place your names in the comments section. I'll take the names in a few days and if there is enough, I'll construct an online poll in the sidebar. The poll will be open until the March 23rd. Since we are Irish, Tammany Hall politics are in effect-aka ballot stuffing is encouraged.

Mt. Lebanon Family Video Part 2

Theresa, Patricia and Kathleen here is the second part.

Mt. Lebanon Family Video Part 1

This post is for Theresa, Patricia and especially Kathleen to make them homesick. Every other video sharing website removes my video due to copyright music. Sorry for a post concerning only my immediate family.

More on Vampire Boyfriends

This would normally be a comment but because we can't put links in comments, it will have to be a new post.

Just to show you how great minds work together, just on the heels of my blog entry about vampire boyfriends, The New Yorker decides to publish an article In the Blood in which the author, Joan Acocella, writes about the enduring appeal of vampires -- including both Stephenie Meyer’s "Twilight" novels; and Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels ("Dead Until Dark," plus seven more), which generated the HBO series "True Blood." Among other things, it points out why, with all its faults, Stoker's Dracula is such a great book.

But here's the unsettling part. Last October, yet another exhaustively annotated Dracula was published by Leslie Klinger. In this new edition, Klinger claims that he has examined Stoker’s original typescript, which, he says, has yielded “startling results.” Working with the original typescript and Stoker's notes, Klinger has been able to piece together how the book came to be written. He now believes that Jonathan Harker, a real person (with a changed name), gave his diary, together with the other documents that went into the novel, to Stoker so that Stoker might alert the English public that a vampire was in their midst. As Joan Acocella tells it: "Stoker agreed to issue the warning. But then Dracula got wind of this plan, whereupon he contacted Stoker and used on him the methods of persuasion famously at his disposal. Dracula decided that it was too late to suppress the Harker documents entirely, so instead he forced Stoker to distort them. He sat at the desk with Stoker and co-authored the novel, changing the facts in such a way as to convince the public that Dracula had been eliminated. That way, the Count could go on, unmolested. . . . Klinger’s fifteen hundred notes are devoted to revealing this plot. When Stoker makes a continuity error, or fails to supply verifiable information, this is part of the coverup."

Anyway, it's a great article.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lenten Letter

With the arrival of Peter's fist Lenten Letter I went back to look at last year's first letter. You will recall it was the story of Sami al-Hajj, the Al Jazeera cameraman who was imprisoned for more than 6 years. He was on a hunger strike protesting his torture and imprisonment in Guantánamo Bay. 

Soon after Peter's request to write letters to Mr. Hajj, he was released—on May 1, 2008. I'm not sure if your letters did the trick but it is curiously comforting. Active democracy in action. Oh, in fact, he was not released, but "transfered" (to his homeland). The military has a way with words. 


In all seriousness,

You can memorize the first 128 digits or however many you choose to memorize while enjoying your Pie. I'll be living it up at the St. Patty's Day parade and celebration drinking green beer with the most of the city of Pittsburgh.

The St. Patty's Day celebration in Pittsburgh is usually the largest party in Pittsburgh of the year. It's so big that I gave my liver a few weeks rest for the celebration. The only party that surpasses St. Patty's Day in Pittsburgh is a Superbowl celebration. Hopefully St. Patty's Day won't be the largest party for the next few years to come (I don't care what Jaime has to say about it).

As a mathematics major I find it amusing that someone would actually celebrate Pi Day. Is there an E day?? I want to waste more time memorizing the first 128 digits of E. Sorry but I'd rather celebrate (É)ire day, my Irish heritage, and hopefully a nice sunny warm festive day in the city of (Pi)ttsburgh.

Don't mean to crush the Mathematics Teachers Association hope in America, but Pi Day...c'mon really?

Big Dave

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pi Day is quickly approaching...

I hope everyone has been preparing... Saturday is Pi day (3.14) for those of you who are not aware of the greatest holiday for math teachers. I just thought I'd share we had a 5th grade student memorize the first 124 digits of pi today. The top 2 students (second place went to one of my 6th graders that memorized 62 digits) then got Pie their teacher of choice in the face. How many can you memorize? 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Best Vampire Boyfriend Continued

If we're throwing the door wide open here, my vote is for SCTV's Count Floyd, host of Monster Chiller Horror Theatre. "Ohhh very scary very scary."'

Kev's Band - fourth song

Not sure if everyone is interested in this, but here's Kevin's fourth song from his last battle of the bands. His band, Fortune Favors the Brave took first place again.

Big Dave

If james does that one I throw this guy in the mix. Has a mansion is basically an elementary school teacher and does not seem to drink blood or have a problem with the sun... but neither of those 2 are confirmed

Sorry, but I can't post a picture in a reply post.

Count Chocula -- Better boyfriend and better tasting (and possibly more immortal).

Monday, March 9, 2009

G-MA's 90th Birthday

Thanks to Little John,

Here is some video from Grandma's 90th birthday.

Big Dave

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Who's the Better Vampire Boyfriend?

I concede that from the time of Bram Stoker and before, vampires were seductive and alluring. Recall Jonathan Harker’s vision in Dracula’s castle: “I was afraid to raise my eyelids, but looked out and saw perfectly under the lashes. The fair girl went on her knees, and bent over me, fairly gloating. There was a deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive, and as she arched her neck she actually licked her lips like an animal, till I could see in the moonlight the moisture shining on the scarlet lips and on the red tongue as it lapped the white sharp teeth.” Yet, at the same time, vampires were still repulsive and horrifying, to be avoided at all costs.

Now, with the advent of the “Twilight” novels, vampires have been transformed from seductive monsters to romantic ideals, with most of the fear and loathing gone. No doubt there’s a doctoral thesis out there waiting to be written on how cultural differences between the 19th and 21st centuries account for the change in attitude toward vampires.

In any event, by her own accounts, Ellen has developed something bordering on an obsession with the HBO series “True Blood.” So, my interest was peaked when I saw the following item in an online publication:
“True Blood” vs. “Twilight”: Who's the Better Vampire Boyfriend? By Don Williams
What Does He Eat?
Edward: As a “vegetarian” vampire he only hunts animals, but he does think humans smell rather tasty.

Bill: He survives off a synthetic blood-like product known as Tru Blood, which seems to be available in most bars or convenience stores. Tru Blood can't compare to the real thing, but he makes do.

What Are His Interests?
Edward: He likes to brood, wow people with his beauty, run through the forest, drive fast and play baseball.

Bill: He enjoys entertaining guests, playing video games, visiting the local bars and reminiscing about his days in the Civil War.

Where Will He Take You On a Date?
Edward: He might take you to a nice Italian restaurant for some mushroom ravioli, but since he doesn't eat food it could make you feel a little awkward.

Bill: He'll probably invite you to his mansion to play some Wii, or maybe out to Fangtasia, the nearby vampire bar.

Will He Be Available During the Day?
Edward: Yes, but he has to stick to cloudy locales so no one sees him sparkle in the sunlight.

Bill: Nope. He'll be asleep while you're out in the sunshine, so prepare to become a night owl.

How's the Sex?
Edward: He worries about killing humans with his massive strength, so sex is off limits.

Bill: He can control his strength, so you can have all the hot sex you desire. However, you may end up with some nasty bite marks.

Can You Take Him Home to Meet the Family?
Edward: Yes. He'll insist on meeting your parents before taking you out on any serious dates.

Bill: Yes, Bill is as charming as he is handsome. Unfortunately, people who are kind to him sometimes die mysteriously.

What Are His Bad Habits?
Edward: He'll probably read your mind without asking, and he may sneak into your bedroom to watch you sleep.

Bill: He has a crazy jealousy streak, so you may have to stop flirting with other guys once you're with him.

Will He Defend Your Honor?
Edward: Yes, he'll always be there to rescue you from whatever dangerous situation you fall into. In fact, he may swoop in to save the day more often than you like.

Bill: He'll defend you to the death, but he also understands that you need to be independent and fight your own battles sometimes.

After comparing the True Blood vamp to the Twilight bloodsucker, I've determined that Bill would make the better boyfriend. It's true that you may be stalked by a crazy serial killer for fraternizing with him, but at least you'll be able to have sex when you're not running from danger. Besides, it's good to spend some time away from your significant other, which is something you won't get with Edward. Not only is he around during the day, but he'll also watch you sleep. How creepy is that?
So, I forwarded the question to Ellen: “Ellen, remember the best boyfriend game? Contestants included Joe Willard, Almanzo Wilder, Gilbert Blythe and Teddy Kent [heartthrobs from young adult literature]. Now the game goes to a whole new level: Who would make the better vampire boyfriend? Twilight's Edward Cullen or True Blood's Bill Compton?”

Her slightly edited response (to eliminate plot spoilers):

Great question, Dad. I may be biased because I think Tru Blood is way better than Twilight. Even still, Bill is just better than Edward. First off, he's a grown man. From what I've heard, Edward is stuck as a teenager for all eternity. Who wants to date a teenager? Give me a man. Second, Edward (once again according to my friends) always talks about how he can smell Bella's blood and that it makes him crazy. Creepy much? Bill seems to have more self-control when it comes to intimacy. He lays it all out on the table and explains what could come with being intimate with a vampire--bites. At the same time, though, he says he doesn't necessarily need to bite Sooky because he has the self-control Edward lacks. . . . Bill is my pick because he's more realistic than Edward. Edward is some mushy gushy “I'm so sad I'm a vampire” person, whereas Bill doesn't like the fact that he's a vampire but has decided to deal with it as best as he can. Go Bill for manning up and dealing with your life. Boo Edward for shoving your problems on Bella. . . .
So, fellow bloggers, who would make the better boyfriend? Sean, I’m sure you have some thoughts on this.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The robot war is starting, the first signs have happened more news to follow. Link HERE

Monday, March 2, 2009

Prop 8 Revisited

"Legal experts say Proposition 8, which won 52 percent of the vote, would almost certainly stand if not for one notable fact: the marriage amendment represents the first time in California history that the constitution was changed at the ballot box to deprive a protected minority group of a right expressly carved out by the court."

Prop 8 is back in the Supreme Court. Hopefully the Judges will overturn Prop 8.
Prop 8 revisited.