Saturday, June 19, 2010

DARKPOW! vs. Sagat

Yesterday I drove down to the Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton, Virginia for the WKA North American Combat Sports Championship. As a fighter trained in the art of Muay Thai, it was my roommate's first foray into the world of mixed martial arts tournament competition.

After four months of intense training and a weight drop of 30 lbs the mighty DARKPOW! was set to take center stage. But no amount of fight readiness could have prepared him for his competitor. As he entered the ring a look of bafflement crossed his face when recognition set in.

Sagat? Really?!

According to his wiki:

Sagat (サガット?, based on Thai สกัด) made his first appearance in the original Street Fighter as the final boss of the game and is characterized as a Muay Thai master who is well-known throughout his country for his incredible speed and power. After the player defeats the eight initial opponents, their character Ryu (or Ken on Player 2's side) is taken to Thailand to face the final two opponents: Adon, Sagat's apprentice, and Sagat himself. After being defeated, he tells the player that he or she is the "strongest Street Fighter in the world".

How far his star has fallen. He was once one of the feared final bosses, but now is forced to work his way up to the Street Fighter Championship the old fashioned way. Unfortunately for DARKPOW!, Sagat hasn't looked this in shape since Street Figher Alpha 3. Even Dhalsim's Yoga Flame would have been useless against this revitalized warrior.

The fight started with a flurry of jabs and kicks (obviously a button masher was in control) as DARKPOW! and Sagat worked to fill up their power meters. Near the end of the 1st round Sagat unleashed a wicked Tiger Shot followed by a ruthless Tiger Knee Crush. Both fighters retreated to their corners, and as the bell to round 2 sounded DARKPOW! returned with great vigor.
Round 1 to Sagat.

Late in the 2nd, after a series of failed clench attempts, DARKPOW! unleashed his secret weapon...the dreaded DARKCROTCHKICK! The mighty Sagat fell. Hard. And remained stunned for several minutes (at this point the player must have pushed pause to grab some chips and soda). When play resumed an angry Sagat swept DARKPOW!'s leg and delivered an illegal Ground Tiger Shot.
Round 2 to DARKPOW!

Entering round 3 both fighters returned to center with fury. After chugging a liter of Captain Splash, DARKPOW! threw a chain of SCOTT CHOCOLATE COMBOS. Sagat then followed with a frenzy of Tiger Uppercuts, Tiger Knee Crushes, and one brutal Tiger Genocide. As the final bell sounded it remained unclear which fighter would prevail.
Round 3 Undecided.

Despite a true test of will by the Mighty DARKPOW! the judges sided in favor of Sagat. Ryu issued an abrupt "no comment" after the match.

Who needs fight video when you have this:

Friday, June 18, 2010

Rebel Without A Clue

Here I am making a meager case to be part of Brando's Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

Hell, they all rode Triumphs!

Monday, June 14, 2010

My Yorkshire Lass from the Yorkshire Dales

It's Not All About The Machine

Royal Air Force Pilot based in India during World War II

The goggles on this chap protected his face from everything the Nazis could throw at a pilot during the big daddy of all World Wars.

So why not choose the same goggles to protect my own eyes for when I ride my very British motorbike? Exactly.

My Halycon Mark 8s just arrived in the mail today, and boy, are they something else. I need to come up with a photo as kick ass as the one below.

Ed Pole-Tudor, london, 1999. Photo: Ben Part B

Saturday, June 12, 2010

In Which Her Majesty Gets New Earrings

My new bar end mirrors arrived this week from Classic Motorworks. The package should have also included my ACE air canister but it is on back-order. They were only $16 each and are much more solidly constructed than the crappy Mickey Mouse ears that the bike came with.

The instructions were junk so I worked my way through this project on my own. All I had to do was carve out the excess rubber on the bar ends and tap the new mirrors into the empty socket. The right side mirror was more of a challenge as I first had to slide the brake and throttle controls down the bar to prevent the throttle from sticking on the mirror.

The left side mirror is a tad loose so I'll either go back in there with some blue loctite or wrap the inside with electrical tape.

The bike is coming around slowly but surely, although we're far from the "finish" line.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau

"The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist. For man it is to know about existence and to marvel at it."
- Jacques-Yves Cousteau

That little man in the funny red stocking hat up there was the greatest undersea adventurer of the modern age, and today (were he still alive) would mark his 100th birthday.

People of my generation may have only a passing knowledge of JYC's legacy on motion pictures and of his oceanographic research, and are far more aware of the current careers of his grandchildren; Alexandra and Philippe Jr. Also of the vast references to him in popular culture. I remember reruns of The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau playing on the Disney Channel when I was a kid, and being fascinated by its scary other-worldness.

Many have marveled at the great mysteries he unraveled through a lifetime of oceanic exploration, yet still struggle to decipher the code to his private persona. For you see, not only was he an inventor/adventurer/environmentalist/philanthropist/businessman/, but he was also a very dark and haunted philanderer that physically and emotionally abandoned his own family members for years at a time. Perhaps his escape into the sea was the only way in which he could rectify the emptiness and isolation that he felt on land.

I grew up along the Gulf Coast of Texas, and to me, the sea is everything. That dark and enchanting magical mistress tempting you with its dangerous charms. That is why I am completely sickened by the catastrophic images I see daily as a result of British Petrol's little "mistake" down there. I can overlook Cousteau's 1950s offshore drilling contracts with B.P. if he could grant me one wish...

I would love to see the graceful little Calypso appear across the Gulf one last time, chugging along and bouncing across the waves with a red-topped Cousteau riding stoically at the helm. Accompanied by his merry band of adventurers they drop anchor, don their Aqua-lungs, and descend into the oily depths. He could plug this leak. I know he could.

The Aqua-lung is arguably the single greatest invention of Cousteau. Here he is as a young man sporting an early version.

The Calpyso. The Cousteau team's famed vessel.

Not familiar with the man? Read Jacques Cousteau: The Sea King. It is a fine place to start.

The Cousteau channel on YouTube has a load of historical footage.

I like this one:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow

I have a bit of a green thumb which I inherited from countless generations of gardeners. Maybe it's the British side of me. Every summer I plant a different array of seasonal plants and flowers, and move my indoor plants outside.

I generally shoot for the buds that attract butterflies, and have even seen the occasional hummingbird hovering around. I love to cook as well and have an assortment of herbs that keep coming back year after year.

My condo benefits from at least 5-7 hours a day of direct sunshine with modest shading from trees in the late afternoon. Once I plant these things there isn't usually much work involved aside from regular waterings.

Last summer I experimented with three different kinds of tomatoes, green peppers, and cucumbers (which was totally ridiculous but almost worked). I just about s**t the bed when my weird German neighbor told me recently that last summer he "helped" my veggies by dosing them with insect spray. I'm leery about planting edible foods from here on out.

There is nothing better in the summer than a sandwich made with fresh tomatoes. I have an awesome recipe that I'll eventually get around to posting online.

Purple Shamrock.

A random assortment that I threw together. The Persian Shield (in purple) is starting to dominate. I hate the crappy plastic chairs by the way. I keep getting outbid on eBay on vintage metal tulip chairs; or motel chairs as they are also known. I should probably try and purchase during the winter instead.

Lavender at upper left and tomatoes - which I finally got into a pot.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Breather Hose Fix

Not a very exciting post but I "fixed" one nagging problem on the bike today.

The original breather hose was so cracked that the excess oil and other gunk was getting ejected all over the crankcase and onto the pavement.

I went back and forth on how to address the problem after doing a lot of research, and learned that the configuration on my model year is part of a design flaw that improperly handles the engine's exhalation (so to speak). I decided to just replicate the existing setup until my back-ordered ACE filter canister arrives in the mail.


The original breather hose. Excess oil residue gets blown out of the engine from this point. Note the severe cracks in the upper left of the hose. After a ride the oily gunk would leak from here and get dumped onto the crankcase.

It then routes underneath the battery box.

And up to the oil catch can (in black). The "goal" of the can is to catch the overflow, but it needs to be emptied fairly regularly. The major problem is that some of this residue can shoot into the airbox which will stifle the engine and kill the air filter.


I picked up a length of heater hose from AutoZone for a little under 2 bucks. Aligned it with the original and cut to size.

Along with these hose clamps.

I really need a size larger for the clamps, but since I don't see this as a long term fix they'll be fine for now.

And to the catch can.

I took her for a ride on this gorgeous afternoon, but had some problems half an hour into my ride. The engine kept stalling at speed which I think is because of the residue. Scary? Yes. As another temporary fix I plan to plug the end of the catch can that feeds into the airbox.

Eventually I will remove the catch can entirely and run a breather hose that has a duck bill attachment out and over the chain. The excess oil will be able to self-lubricate the chain. Talk about going green!