Friday, October 31, 2008

Single Subject Posts Are For Losers

All along, while gf and I have been taking Argentine Tango lessons, I thought the "Argentine" meant that it wasn't the real thing. Turns out, Tango is a musical genre and its associated dance forms that originated in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay and spread to the rest of the world soon after that. All right!

My, how things change. When I was a kid I went through a slight biking phase and became familiar with what names meant awesome and what names didn't. I remember that Schwinn back then was a great name. A couple of months ago I found a Schwinn Mesa on Craigslist for 50 bucks that needed a little work. Turns out it needed a lot of work and I got ripped off, but that's beside the point. I saw the name Schwinn and thought "Oh, I can't go wrong with that. I'll be the envy of my 13 year old self." When I took it to the bike guy around here he listed all the stuff wrong with it and as a throw-away comment he mentioned "well, of course, with a Schwinn frame you gotta figure it's [a run down pile of s***]." When I followed up he gave me the low-down of how it used to be a good company until some mass producing folks bought them out and started cranking out bikes to be sold at toy stores. Drat!

I saw a show on the history channel a while ago about sea navigation - I think with pirates. They had some sort of a compass thing that required you to point a straight rod at the sun and all the connected equipment was then aligned properly. That meant that it was someone's job on that boat to stare along that rod and point it straight at the sun. I also saw a show once about torture history. Some Greek king jerk made a giant brass bull with an extended belly under which he would light fires. There was a hatch on the bull's back that would close, and he would trap people inside and light the fire. Between that chamber and the mouth of the bull was a looped fixture that looked like a french horn. Apparently the screams of the victim would filter through this fixture and it would sound like a bull's roar. This Greek king jerk would throw someone in there then have a dinner party in front of it. Eventually he was overthrown.[aak's edit: for the best part of the bull story, see my post here]

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