The old collector’s itch.

I’ve been collecting things my whole life. It started with comic books. As soon as I could read I had a stash of comics that I refused to get rid of. I was physically incapable of throwing away a comic book. Like lots of kids my age I also got into Star Wars figures (and Adventure People and GI Joe but never Transformers) and baseball/football/basketball/hockey cards. I spent hours poring over price guides and classified sales ads daydreaming about the fortune I was sitting on and the various fortunes I’d soon have if only I could talk my mom into giving me a stamp for the envelope.

Last month I saw a tweet from Steady Sounds advertizing some soul and funk 45’s they had on eBay. I popped over to check them out and ran across this Lee Morgan LP whose price had been bid up over $550 for some reason. I get that some records are rare (not the music, but the particulars of the pressing or of the label or the sleeve or whatever) but this seemed like it was even further out than normal. The title of the listing had some abbreviations I didn’t understand, either (W 63rd RVG EAR DG), but I have enough collector dork experience to know that they are shorthand for something important to someone. My spidey sense (nerd reference! was tingling like crazy so I had to start poking around to find out what the hell these things meant. Searching and reading led me here and to here, which laid out the case pretty plainly. This Lee Morgan record hits all of the marks for a first-pressing of a Blue Note LP, right in the sweet spot for Blue Note LP collectors. Some more poking around showed me that this isn’t even terribly expensive for a record in this narrow band of interest.

I’ve gotten better about fighting off the urge to collect. I can recognize that sometimes wanting the thing feels better than having the thing. There was just something about seeing this record that set off some weird adolescent chemical reaction in my head. Really weird. Weird to the point that I was compelled to come here and write it down.

2012’s fitness totals.

I feel like I had another active year in 2012. That’s good. I like being active. I get a real mental benefit from regular bouts of steady exercise. I know this because I turn into a dick (figuratively, of course, I retain my human form at all times) if I go more than a week without some kind of run/bike/swim/hike. And I almost never realize that’s what is happening until I’ve done something dick-y. Anyway, these are my numbers from 2012 as entered into DailyMile. It’s a handy site. I’m a fan.


My weight graph was not so good. Around Thanksgiving this year I decided that I had grown tired of the way I ate and decided to kick it 2002-style. Lots of beers, thirds at Thanksgiving, and every single Christmas cookie I could fit into my mouth. It was delicious but I felt, and eventually looked, like the quitter I was behaving as. I’m in the process of righting the ship and I think this graph will look a lot better in 6 months. I weigh every morning and log it all at Skinnyr, another very handy site for tracking.


Adam has got me all excited about data collection for this new year. I’ve got plans to track all kinds of things for 2013. We’ll see if it sticks.

Smashed burgers.

I’ve been grilling a long time and I think my burger game is pretty tight. I like them grilled because I can cook a half dozen at a time (if I need to) and the smokiness doesn’t jack up our small kitchen (when we cook bacon, the smell/smoke seems to linger forever). I’ve had diner-style (or smashed) burgers before and they’re definitely tasty. I’m not 100% into the greasiness, though, which is probably why I prefer the grilling.

This article at Serious Eats, however, has me straight-up inspired to get some burger smashing going on a cast iron skillet.

I mean, come on. Even I, a long-time grilling advocate, gets some saliva turning at this photo:


[via Later On]

Ultralilght gear or a hearty #2?

I’m a hearty #2 man, myself. I’ve joked forever about “having a salad” when presented with an opportunity to upgrade to newer, lighter bike parts. Semi-rad uses some math to further the case for GI regularity.

If your full-time job is something other than “professional cyclist,” I think you should save the money you’d like to spend on the newest ultralight bike frame, get something cheaper, and just take a dump before you go on your ride.

Via Drunk Cyclist.