Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Fairy Doors of Urban Fairies in Ann arbor

Fairy Doors of Urban Fairies in Ann arbor

A fun site with photos of fairy-doors in Ann Arbor, MI. For once a Dragon post for little ones. (Well I meant kids, but I guess for other little ones as well.) Hint>>> It really is worthwhile to dig around on this site.

thanks bOINGbOING

SF To NYC on a scooter.

Vespa Vagabond

I'm sure this is gonna be all the buzz on the scoot-blogosphere. It sure deserves to be. A travelogue of one woman's trip across America on her Vespa. Great writing and photographs. If you've ever done some serious wanderjahring, this will get misty for those Keruoacian carefree days. If not, it just might start you dreaming. I know, the Dragon's got some itchy feet.

via Vespaway

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Deeply Creepy... a darker shade of pale

Deeply Creepy... a darker shade of pale

Goth web comic.
(This one is for you, Mage.)

Kevin Kresse Modern Master

Yes, I keep promising (at least to my self) to post some of my art on here. But for now, I give you even better, the wonderful Kevin Kresse. Kevin is the most gifted artist it has ever been my pleasure to study under. I could just gush and gush about his work. Photos don't do it justice... blah blah blah.
Just do your self a favor and check out his site.
Soundtrack from an Alternate Universe

What if Lemmy had been a Mod instead of a Rocker?
Motorhead maybe music for Harley gearheads, and muscle car grease-monkeys, but New York ensemble Double Down, brings you the classic "Ace of Spades" in a manner which just makes me wanna scoot.
Bobby Darin & Stevie Wonder duet

Was checking out bOINGbOING's post of Stevie Wonder appearances on Sesame Street, and I came across this gem which almost brought tears to my eyes. Two of my favorite crooners, do a "If I Were A Carpenter." The video quality is bad,(sound is a little better), the set is cheesy, it seems all primed to be a disappointing phony TV experience... Transcendant. Reminds me of seven generation mix tapes kids used to pass around in the day. The genius shines right through the static and fuzz of time and reproduction.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Men's Victorian Clothing

Men's Victorian Clothing

If anyone is interested in rewarding the Dragon for the hours he spends slaving away in his cave, bringing you the joy that is Honky-Tonk Dragon, , would be a recommended establishment.
Anachronism, it's not just for breakfast anymore.

Aristasia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Aristasia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wow! I just don't know what to make of this.
Somehow stumbled upon it whilst searching for Craig O'Hara's lovely book The Philosophy of Punk. (There's a picture of yours truly in it, heh heh)
But wow! Always fun to find a new subculture.
I don't even want to try to describe this though. Look for yourself, and then tell me what you think.

NASA tries to stimulate private sector space flight

Northwest Florida Daily News: NASA hopes competition spurs commercial space growth

It's about time.

NASA hopes the private-sector vehicles can bridge an expected gap between when the space shuttle fleet is grounded in 2010 and the crew exploration vehicle is flying in 2014. A thriving commercial space transportation industry also can offer researchers, and others, opportunities to send payloads into space without relying on NASA's crowded space shuttle schedule or worrying "that the government will decide next month or next year not to launch," Griffin said.

via Slashdot

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Thurston county man, third to die in Iraq

Third from Thurston county, that is.

My condolences go out to the Nortons and the Warnocks for their loss.
Discrection being a lost art, I don't feel the need to state why this effects me personally, for those personal implications are far less than those of Sgt. Justin Dean Norton's immediate family.
Lilewise I will refrain from policitcal propaganda. I merely wish to salute a young man who gave his life, doing what, in his mind, what right for his country. Suffice it to say, I know a scant bit more than the press, and this was a young man who wanted nothing more than to serve his country. It is up to us, to determine whether or not his country was worthy of his sacrifice.
Godspeed, young brother, may you awaken in a better world than this.

A 50 Cent Mac is worth every penny - Social Online Community Network :: Features :: A 50 Cent Mac is worth every penny

I don't think there have been any posts on Dragon, about Macs. Don't get me wrong, the Dragon loves the stylish over-priced gadgets. Hell I own two older ones and an I-pod. But Mac news and rumors are easy to find, and well I'm kinda protesting the lack of a Mac-tablet/OS X Newton. (Yeah, I also have an emate, well and two extras for parts.) Yes, yes, the point of all this being that Mac stuff is done to death.

But here is a story/rumor the Dragon found very juicy...

Saturday, June 24, 2006

PART 2 of 2 - of yes, more Al Gore.

And the last thing I'm gonna say before I let you return to your SUVs and Iraq-War converage, here is a man, son of a prominent politician, who not only went into the Army during Vietnam, he busted his ass, trying to GO to Vietnam. Not because he agreed with the war, but because he felt privilege should not protect from that risk, or duty. Ah, Democracy, we get the government we deserve...
PART 1 of 2 - Spike Jonze films Al Gore

The Dragon will make no bones about the fact that he likes Al Gore. (And takes some malicious pleasure knowing that pisses off political fanatics both right and left.) So Al, today the Dragon is lifting his frothy mug of barley wine to thee!
A Terrifying Message from Al Gore

Not only is Futurama coming back, but Bender is shilling (sorta) for Al Gore. I'm all a flutter.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Sneak Peek Genuine Scooter Rattler

Philadelphia Scooters: Genuine Scooter News!

Reportedly due in July in 50 and 110cc versions, the Rattler looks very promising! This is a fresh design, looks fun and sturdy.

Byce Ludwig posted @ Modern Buddy

That 110cc has a very low compression ratio. 6.5:1 will allow it to run on gasoline with lower octane ratings than I've ever seen in the US. It makes 8hp, which is about 1 less than the Buddy. Pretty impressive for a low compression ratio. I bet it will be a scary ride when the tuner types get their hands on one.

More as I hear it.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Modern Buddy

Well it looks like the buzz the on Genuine Scooters' Buddy just will not die down. In fact it is creating a a cacophany of praise, and serious interest on the scooter message boards and forums. The 50cc is not even out yet, but Modern Buddy (a message board for the new line) has already started. Started and moderated by the same nice folks who brought you Modern Vespa (where I have been spending a lot of time lately, a nice pleasant place for people who love scooters and would rather spend time sharing that love than bashing on what someone may or may not ride.)
Genuine Scooters is claiming 60+mph as a top speed, and mileage of around 100 mpg for the Buddy 125. I might be dubious of those stats from another brand, but Genuine has a solid reputation (these are scooter people, who are in it because they love to scoot, and that says a lot to the Dragon.) The reviews seem to be supporting these figures. With a sticker of $2.5k, and the recent surge of interest in scootering, I think these things will soon be ubiqitous. And that makes the Dragon smile.

Diesel motorbikes: Journey to Forever

Diesel motorbikes: Journey to Forever

So, for whatever reason, your not impressed with the state of cutting edge electric two-wheeled transportation. The Dragon agrees with you, on many points. There is something about two wheels that just speaks to the adolescent within us all, still struggling to fly, still yearning for a sense of ineffable freedom. Even a sixty mile range, seems a little shy of that dream. Maybe you are idealistic and sick of what oil addiction is doing to us environmentally and politically, or perhaps you are merely pragmatic and sick of what said addiction is doing to us financially. In either case, you want to cut back on your oil-dependence even more than just the 45-110 mpgs of conventional two-wheelers. "Too bad nobody ever made a diesel bike, so I could run it on biodiesel and smell like freedom-fries whilst I terrorize sleepy Californian hamlets," you say. Well, the Dragon is here to tell you, they did. A diesel Royal Enfield Bullet? I WANT one!

Lots of other good biofuel links on this page, for you nasty subversives who think you got the right to make your own go-juice.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Sweet Geek Love Song

Tripod perform at a Comedy Festival - Google Video

Yes, ladys, there are advantages to a geek lover. He probably will be interested in your mind, he is likely in tune with his emotions and sensitive. He knows what a clitoris and Gräfenberg spot are, and has likely even done some research as to their locations and er... various methods of stimulation. But at the risk of being a traitor to my kind, I must add that there are some disadvantages as well. These boys will elucidate...

Friday, June 16, 2006

10 Steps To End America’s Fossil-Fuel Addiction

Popular Science

You'll have to click around to read this whole thing. But mainly I'm posting it because it is encouraging when a mainstream publication focuses on these issues.

There are no silver bullets here. Rather, a suite of new technologies, assembled with the help of dozens of scientists and energy experts, shows that by 2025 we can cut our oil consumption in half, and slash our reliance on electricity-producing fossil fuels, like coal and natural gas, almost entirely. Added to our portfolio of existing nuclear and hydroelectric power, renewable energy sources can virtually eliminate our need to rely on greenhouse-gas- producing fuels to run our homes and economy.


Genuine Scooter's Buddy Review


Well the Genuine Scooter's Buddy 125 is finally out, and it seems the Scooter Blogosphere is all abuzz with it. I gotta say I wasn't that excited about it, since visually I prefer my TN'G Venice LX. But Genuine Scooters has a great reputation. And the reviews are looking pretty good. Just Gotta Scoot (is that a great name, or what?) has probably the most detailed and comprehensive review, so the Dragon will hop on the buzzwagon and link to that:

When I brought the evaluation Buddy back to Scooterville, I left with a new black Buddy. I didn't even have to argue with my wife over this purchase.
If you are looking for something more than a 50cc scoot, but less than a Maxi-scoot, with an automatic transmission and sporty performance, you'll be hard pressed to do better than a Buddy.

Well the Dragon is has pretty much made up his mind that his next scoot will be a Vespa GTS 250, 'cause I want a Maxi-scoot, but one that doesn't look like a Maxi-scoot. Plus as much as I don't like the Vespa-chauvinsim I see on the message boards, I gotta admit, Piaggio builds a quality ride.

See ya on the backroads.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Kalifornia Uber Alles 21st Century

You knew it had to happen, Just like you knew I had to post it... Jello updates California Uber Alles for the Govenator!

'cause as much as the Dragon loves buffed out Hank, it's cranky balding middle aged belly Jello who's still our punk-rock daddy.
Henry Rollins: A Love Letter To Ann Coulter

Dear Hank,
Thank You.
-signed the literate world

gizmag Article: UltraCell XX25 beta units ready for sale

gizmag Article: UltraCell XX25 beta units ready for sale

The UltraCell XX25 is powered by a unique, proprietary reformed methanol fuel cell technology that provides totally wireless portable power anytime, anywhere. The UltraCell XX25 is able to run a ruggedized laptop computer for up to three working days on a single fuel cell cartridge. It can also run other portable electronic equipment for emergency responders, operating off of simple and inexpensive methanol cartridges.

A Scanner Darkly

Warner Independent Pictures' A Scanner Darkly -- The Official Film site

The count down begins.
And if you don't think this paranoid dystopia is more relevant now than ever...
well, you can just put off going to polls, it's easier to vote for American Idol than President or Senator.


Ben Jeremiah Armstrong's Aliases

Your movie star name: Jerky Jerry

Your fashion designer name is Ben Copenhagen

Your socialite name is Bug Oly

Your fly girl / guy name is B Arm

Your detective name is Gecko Parkview

Your barfly name is Chips Jolly Roger

Your soap opera name is Jeremiah Which One?

Your rock star name is Starburst My Mind

Your star wars name is Benaul Armjes

Your punk rock band name is The Drunk Digitizer

Ok I don't normally post crap like this, but I did get drunk listening to the Gallants and thinking about friends too far away and found this on the myspace blog of a friend whose best man I once was.... well anyway I thought these came out particularly apropos.

Well my kind's been around forever...

Yet I claim to be one of the few...

The Dragon don't talk much about music no more. There just ain't a lot new out there that soothes this savage beast. And I feel old talking about seeing Trusty open up for the Flaming Lips for the pocket change Poodle and I could bribe Mona with. Like Bircho says, "Sometimes you just gotta take a long bath and listen to Neil Young."

But sometimes you just gotta get drunk and listen to the Two Gallants! I stumbled across my favorite band of the 21st century (who actually sound like all that was good about 20th century music) on a buddy's myspace page. And following the link to their homepage, getting all teary reading lyrics of songs i've sung along with a thousand times, I realized this is the band I will bore my grand kids with stories of. "Yeah, I saw 'em at a house party back in 2004..."


Nice to see all the kudos the British press has laid at their feet during their latest tour. If ever their was a band that deserved to lose their souls to the hell of limos and coke and blowjobs, it is these two. 'Cause I know they would just turn that crap into gold like the alchemists they are.
They have a new album out, and you can find it streamed here. Buy it. Hell you can even get it on itunes.

Now if you'll excuse me, the Dragon is gonna get drunk, listen to the Gallants, and think about good friends too far away, and too far gone.

Presenting THE Electric Rat Bike!

The Jackal, is the latest contestant in our pagent of electric two-wheeled transportation, and I think the most "rattable" of the herd. Featuring a Briggs and Stratton Etek engine (sadly now discontinued, this engine was a favorite of DIY alternative propolsion freaks, it has been used in everything from electric scooters to 30' electric sailboats) and the Alltrax controller (also a favorite of DIYers, it is fully programmable, and hooks up to a Win XP box!)
Thunderstruck Motors will sell you a base model (30-45mph with 15-35 mi range) fully assembled for $3.4K, a performance model (45mph with 15-25 mi range) for $3.7K, or you can build your own, they sell all the pieces individually (though if you're gonna go that route, you gotta be the type who'll want do some customization!)
I hope Thunderstruck has a stash of Eteks, and this isn't just a case of them not updating their website for awhile, because this puppy really could be come the bare-bones of many an electric dream.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Man, Michelin: Challenge Bibendum Takes Paris, Again - Jalopnik

Man, Michelin: Challenge Bibendum Takes Paris, Again - Jalopnik

Yes, you know the Dragon loves the freaks, and thinks this is gorgeous. Wired's autoblog reports that this strange lovechild of a UFO and a dunebuggy, The Courrèges Zooop : "...purportedly runs on a lithium polymer battery for a top speed of 112.5 mph and can travel 281 miles on a charge."
Designed André Courrèges creator of go-go boots.
André, you should consider ringing up Steve Jobs, put an ipod dock in this puppy and you've got the mac-auto!
Still the Dragon thinks that he will stick to scooters, as they better accomodate various protruding horns and scales.

An Interview with Charles de Lint

Bookslut An Interview with Charles de Lint

As much as the Dragon hates to post two links from the same source in a row, there is no way around this one. Probably my favorite under-known author(Ken Mcleod being second), this man has been a constant balm and salve to my soul in times of trouble since adolescence. His stories tell us, yes, life is not fair, it is harsh, cold, terrifyingand meaningless... it is also wonderous, enchanted, and so singing with beauty that sometimes the only response is tears of joy. Charles de Lint's tales, especially those which use spectacles of fancy to stare coldly and harshly at the horrors of child abuse, have been a great source of strength in facing some of my own demons from childhood.

This consideration of conflict is a recurrent theme in de Lint’s work, particularly as it affects children. Jilly... is one of de Lint’s most damaged characters who has managed to become strong and resolute ... She has been joined over the years by a host of men and women who have overcome all manner of trauma and tragedy and found their way to a place that encourages the openness of mind that allows myth to be accepted as reality. There is no hopelessness in de Lint’s work -- far from it. In Widdershins he brings his readers into a most impressive moment of hopefulness, as he shows how anyone, from a former abused child to a former abused dog, can rise above the actions that were inflicted upon them and gain a stature of fearlessness that does not provoke violence but rather embraces peace. In many ways de Lint writes about the strongest sort of people...

I don't really see this as an interview, but what the hell?

An Interview with Anthony Bourdain

Bookslut An Interview with Anthony Bourdain

The People have spoken! And they have said enough with this obsession with obscure two-wheeled transportation! Give it a rest for a moment, and give us more of what we really want... FOOD!
Actually, nobody said that, since apparently all my readers are lurkers. That's fine, the Dragon is a lurker himself, the internets are for information, data, and maybe a silly joke or two. Like a phone, I only use the internet to socialize, with those who are far away. So be like the Dragon and lurk to your hearts content.
If you are also like the Dragon in liking your Chefs to be no-bull-shit, sensible, adventurous, hendonists then you will love Bookslut's interview with Anthony Bourdain.

You seem skeptical of the ethical food movements – raw food, veganism, local food, that sort of thing.
I think an overriding philosophy or world view of political concerns, concerns about some kind of master vision of how clean your colon should be or just the way the world should be is an impediment to pleasure. Being a chef is principally being in the pleasure business. And I think it is an impediment to travel, to travel with an open mind and understanding or getting to know even in a small way the rest of the world and experiencing something that’s so fundamental to human behavior as feeding each other or sharing food. So yeah. Even my own weakly held views about the way things should be. I like to think that in the interest of being a good guest I would violate those principles.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Solar Scooter?

Developed by Solarin Holdings (M) Sdn Bhd, the scooter is powered by either sunlight, ultraviolet rays, or an electrical charge.

From this picture, I can't quite figure out the solar part of this. Are there integrated panels somewhere? Does it come with free panels? Otherwise, what makes it more solar than any other electric scoot? 2strokebuzz reports:

Solarin Holdings of Malaysia has developed a solar/electric-powered scooter capable of 55 mph. The Solarin Turtle is expected to be available to consumers next May for less than US$900. China has already placed an order for 100,000 units and Solarin says they’ve seen interest from the U.S., Japan, and Europe. I imagine so.

I couldn't find anything more about this on the Solarin website, and a Google search was fruitless, so until more data (and third party confirmation) is available, the Dragon is dubious. It would sure be nice though.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Nice old article on Joe Sacco

It looks like this is like four years old, but it is worth checking out nonetheless. If you are familiar with the genius that is Joe Sacco, you should find it entertaining, and if you are not, be prepared to be introduced to what the medium of sequential art is really capable of. It looks like the image links are all down, but the text is good stuff.

Warren Ellis's Free Online Comics

Ever the giving fellow, Warren Ellis has posted some links to some of his comics that are available for free online. If you like these you should go out and buy some of his comics, because I'm sure the man's bar tab is enormous.
Transmetropolitan: another cold morning
John Constantine: Hellblazer: Shoot

Friday, June 09, 2006

Perfect Curves

Perfect Curves

ok so it's a cheesy ad.
It made me chuckle, and really it's funny 'cause it's true.

Homemade Electric Rat-Bike

Just stumbled across this link. WOW! Mat Gruber has created a masterpiece of appropriate technology with this bike. And he not only rides to the grocery store, he zips it inside and uses it as his shopping cart! It wouldn't suit my purposes, (right now, but you never know what the future holds...) but I salute him nonetheless.

Secrets to success(to make an in store shopper):
Think of it like shoes. You have sandals, work shoes, dress shoes, jogging shoes, bowling shoes, etc. Build a single purpose ev, don't try to make one ev do everything. This list is for a grocery getter.

1. Elimination of pedals. They use up the sweet spot(strong, low center), that I use for cargo space. Plywood 3/4" thick, and 18"Wx12"L gives a super strong deck in the pedal area. No pedals allows for smooth precise take off in store isles(trying to pedal would be a disaster). No pedals lets me use a large (16x22") comfy seat that has a secure compartment for eggs and fruit.(if you ever hang bags from a bike, you know how they can be easily damaged). No pedals mean I can carry more batteries/cargo , and not worry about being tired from trying to pedal. No pedals lets me use a super strong motorcycle class ev, carry lots of cargo, and let the motor do the work, just like with a car.Note: I do pedal a 26" mountain bike for fun and exercise, but not for groceries.
2. Smaller wheels. Try loading a 26" bike and while you shop, it will tend to fall over. Big wheels also waste cargo space. But small tires like 5", 8", 10" all are too small and will throw you off easily hitting even a small pothole.
3. Lots of cargo containers. Make it look like you are serious.
4. Avoid 3 or 4 wheelers. They are dangerous at speed and will tip over easily.
5. Seek managers(when spotted) and introduce your "grocery cart".

Dude, this is just so Punk Rock, I am totally geeking out!

Geek-Week's What if Obi Wan hosted the Tonight Show?

Yes children, just as there was a Star Wars Trilogy before Jar-Jar that didn't suck, there was a Tonight Show before Jay Leno that didn't suck. Welcome to the alternate universe where they meet.

Remember when motorcycles stopped using gasoline?

The Drift is a new off-road style electric motorcycle that looks very promising, expecially for those of you who'd rather get dirty than commute.

Ride anywhere without noise. This bike is extremely powerful. On a tight race course you will absolutely destroy similar sized gas bikes. Wheelies and burnouts cannot be avoided. This is not a toy and is strictly for offroad use only.
It begins with a 19+ horsepower (14,400 watt) electric vehicle motor and programmable controller. The power is stored in a special quick-change power pack that can deliver up to 600 amps. Then it's wrapped in the lightest handcrafted aluminum frame made in the USA. The design is so revolutionary, that we are patent pending on 3 patents.

The Dragon says check it out!

Electric Motorcycle Goodness

Make Podcast: Todd Kollin's Electric Motorcycle

Saw this awhile back on bOINGbOING. It's things like this that convince me that while the revolution may not be televised, it damn sure will be podcast and blogged. I mean if this doesn't give you hope for the species... then you are probably beyond hope, friend.
And this isn't some pie in the sky stuck in DOT certification wetdream. This thing is available now! (Of course the bike in the video runs $7.2K...)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Updated Z-20 waiting list

Hurry up and wait...
EVT America is updating their collection of data for the Z-20 waiting list. Heres to hoping it means we are one step closer to a reasonable non-ICE commuter vehicle. This is the email notification I recieved today.

If you are receiving this message it is because you are on the Z-20 Waiting List
We would like to ask you to visit our NEW website at and to go to the bottom of the page in our website where you will find a SignUp Box. The SignUp box is named “Z-20 WATING LIST REGISTRATION”
Click on the SignUp Box and follow instructions. Basically, what you will be doing is reregistering your name to the “Z-20 WAITING LIST REGISTRATION”.
This does not mean that you will lose your place on the LIST but it will give you the opportunity to update your information in a more coordinated and organized manner. It will also overcome any duplication. The new SignUp Box is highly sophisticated and efficient software made precisely for what we are doing. In fact, if in the future you want to make changes in the information that you have provided before, all you have to do is to go back to the SignUp box and put in the email address with which you registered. You can then revise your information and even change it or update it. You can even then change your email address to a new email address that you might then be using.
We hope that our request will not inconvenience you greatly. We are doing in order to better serve you in view of the fact that we are coming closer to putting the Z-20 on the market. We want to be sure that all the information of those on the waiting list is properly organized...

Best wishes,

Dragon Family Tree

Researching ones ancestors is, of course, a favorite use of the internet. The dragon is not immune to these impulses, so here for my enjoyment and yours is a link to a nice collection of fantasitic art through the ages.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

For the REAL geek

Valoise Armstrong (who happens to be an archivist with the National Archives, as well as an accomplished culinary historian, and incidently my mother) rounds out today's postings for the girl geeks by writing:

Archaic Latin online classes

Not just Latin, but the old-fashioned version! I guess the really old stuff would be the classical Latin, but that's just sooooo traditional.

Life imitates CSI

Today's posts go out to the ladies.
First for my special lady friend, and well hell, best friend, Jes:

Truth proved to be stranger than fiction for a high school criminology class investigating a fake crime scene when the students discovered a real body during a field trip.

Jes is the biggest CSI junkie I know, so I thought she'd get a kick outta this.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Celebrating the Beast across the street

The BBC has a nice photo-essay up on a German Goth fest.

This year's Wave-Gotik-Treffen (Wave Gothic Meeting) took place from 2-5 June in Leipzig. The annual festival regularly attracts around 20,000 goths to eastern Germany.

But shouldn't they have extended it until tommorrow?

With Apologies to Patti Smith

For no other reason than it's cool...

Thanks Factitious Order

Sunday, June 04, 2006


third Superman Returns trailer

Since the first teaser I saw for this last November, this effort has seemed like it has some real potential. But this trailer has really pushed my "fan-boy geek-out" button!
Last weekend Jes and I went to see X-Men 3, and I had been planning to post a review here, but well, I kept falling asleep in the theatre. And that's all the review I plan to give, take it as you will. From the looks of it, it's just too bad Bryan Singer couldn't have done two superhero movies, this year. I try to be kinder than Harry over at Ain't it cool, but in retrospect his review is pretty dead-on. (Spoiler warning.)
I mean come-on Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor! That ranks up there with Patrick Stewart as Prof. X.

Yet another E-Scoot

The German designed e-Max is probably about the best electric scooter that is currently available. Prices range from $2k to $3k depending which model and where you get it. All in all a capable little machine, but from the review of real world users I've read just a hair shy of being a realistic daily ride for yours truly. The standard model is 1500 watt, and there is a sport edition with a 2000 watt motor which should put it about on par with the upcoming Z-20. Of course the e-Max uses a brushless motor, while the Z-20 has a brush hub motor, which means that you might be able to replace the controller in the e-Max with an a more programable one. (Did I just lose you, but you'd like to keep up? Then zip over to V is Voltage's cycles and large scooter forum. Really good knowledgeable folks, who also seem to be enthusiastic about educating newbies. They have other forums over there up to and including regular auto conversions, but we all know where the Dragon's heart lies.)
Also check out the e-Max blog an independant blog of an e-Max owner.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Don't Settle for Walking

Found it!
The "Holy-Grail" of scooter ads. Lou Reed schills for Honda.

Whenever I am scooterless, and in a transportation crunch,(I actually don't mind walks in the range of 1 to 2 miles, if I have to do more than that regularly... well....) that line "Don't settle for walking" echoes in my head. Now that's advertising.
Now if I could just find a hi-res scan of the print ad (or a copy of the Miles Davis ad).......

Scooters cure the "blahs"

The Dragon has been in a funk lately.
My training schedule (days) is really starting to get to me. Jes and I are on opposite sleep schedules, so we get to see each other for like a 1/2 hour when one of us is either getting up or going to bed. Work itself is pretty interesting, but this ships passing in the night schtick is for the birds. Keegan is back from his sojurn to the land of the rising sun, tried to get in touch with him last night but he was in Seattle visiting Gretchen and Mage, who I desperately want to see. Jes couldn't get tonight off, so we'll miss Lyli and Scarlhet's B-day bash (though hopefully we'll get out there tommorrow for some twin-time.) Starting to feel a little isolated, (and Blogger mistaking me for an automaton doesn't help.)
And that's just personal life stuff. Of course I had to read that RFK Jr. article in Rolling Stone about election discrepencies in Ohio in 2004. Yes, I knew all this before reading the article. Heck I even knew about it before it happened.
So how does the Dragon combat creeping malaise?
With Scooters of course!
I've gone through the entire archive of Scooter Scoop and have got to say I Love This Site! If you want a real treat, check out the archive for April 2006. For some reason that month is a treasure trove of scooter videos. A scooter parade in Hong-Kong. Classic Honda scooter ads from the 80's (featuring Adam Ant, Grace Jones, and Devo!) Yup, I feel better just thinking about it. Now if someone could just dig up the Lou Reed Honda scooter ad, I'd be back on top.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Blogging frequency

Honestly y'all, I've been trying to be more frequent and original in my posts lately, while still linking to the really cool stuff I stumble across in my daily blog wanderings. But I admit that I'm lazy, and despite the critiques one could make about Blogger, and it's parent Google, I like the simplicity of how they are setup. You may have noticed that I've even joined the Google adsense program. Well for the last couple of days my posts through the Google tool bar have just disappeared. This is one of the big features I like about Google/Blogger is the integration of blogging with my surfing, normally it is a very organic experience. Well finally today after deciding that I wanted to post a picture with the "Rat" SUV link, and thus being forced to log into the actual Blogger page instead of posting through the tool bar, I discovered I now have to do one of those eye-test bot-fooling word verifications, before I publish or even save a draft of a post.

Blogger's spam-prevention robots have detected that your blog has characteristics of a spam blog. (What's a spam blog?) Since you're an actual person reading this, your blog is probably not a spam blog. Automated spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and we sincerely apologize for this false positive.

I guess I could take this a point of geek-pride, the blog-bots have officially come up to me and said "Gabba Gabba Hey! One of Us! One of US!"

I could get indignant that the whole reason, that I , a relatively tech-savy geek choose to plant my flag in what many other blogging-geeks refer to as the "blog-slums," is because my time is valuable. Even though I could spend the effort to register a domain, and hack together some html, and css, I'd rather spend that time surfing and sharing the cool stuff I discover. And I particularly like to share the good stuff that is the result of a lot of research, a lot of clicking through dead-links, winnowing out the BS, astroturfing, and other data detritus that's out there on the web. Anybody out there who is looking for information on scooters, gas or electric, (well excepting the honda/vespa zealot stuff) potentially has a lot of work ahead. I have seen a lot of "spam blogs" on scooters in particular. Perhaps there are so many, that "scooter" got me tagged as a spam blog?

Anyway, to the human Google employee who will be reading this, and thus judging my humanity (which is I suppose the truly depressing aspect of this situation, the fact that I failed somebody's low-rent Turing test), I hope you like what you see. And um.. maybe you could get the coders to add "post picture" functionality to the "blog-this" pop-up of the Google tool bar.

Z-20 electric scooter

Z-20 video

Video is big (18+ min.) and long.

Another cool electric scooter caught in DOT limbo. Certainly doesn't have the power or range of the Vectrix, but is interesting none the less. It is in the back of my mind as a replacement for the Venice LX. With a top speed of 45 miles per hour and range of 30 to 45 miles (and taking into account that these figures are usually pretty theoretical and fuzzy, although EVT America is pretty well respected in the EV community) this scoot may or may not work for me as a daily ride. Hills effect these figures and I've got a couple on my ride that really test the Venice. If I could find a way to charge it at work, I'd be golden. But for a lot of people this scoot may be just the thing. The video is pretty impressive.

Some other thoughts on the Z-20: The body styling is not really my cup of tea, I don't hate it but I'm not in love with it. I will say that the dual headlights, handguards, and fold-out passenger footpegs are nice. All in all it looks to be a well thought-out design, that is head and shoulders above the Chinese import electrics that were everywhere the last couple of years.

Because it has taken longer than expected for the Z-20 to be sold, we will be contacting each and every one of you that has registered in the Z-20 waiting list with a phone call or an email as we gear intro production with the purpose of reconfirming your wish to purchase a Z-20 as soon as it becomes available and benefit with the introductory price that we have offered and that we will honor. -from EVT website, dated June 2006.

"Rat" SUVs

bOINGbOING has a post on Iraqi "Mad Max" gun trucks.

While the Dragon finds these interesting from a sociological perspective, they are, of course, not nearly as cool as ratbikes.

"There's a soldier in Iraq who's been posting some crazy pictures of American SUVs and pickup trucks that have been modified by civilian security contractors for use as gun trucks."