29 January 2010


Peter just reminded me that I had promised to do a write-up on Vibram Fivefingers!

Ok... not me personally: he linked to Labrat at Atomic Nerds, but it reminded me that I had meant to do a piece myself.

Beginning to think that I should go back through the archives, and make sure I haven't missed any other ideas. Then I wouldn't have to worry as much about my muse!



Purchased a pair of the Vibram "KSO" shoes a little less than a year ago. My main plans for them were: a) a work shoe that would be more comfortable and durable; b) a shoe that I could have in the saddlebags, but which wouldn't take up too much space. With that in mind...

I will admit, they take some getting used to: if you're used to walking around in modern shoes, the feeling of being barefoot is odd. Comfortable at first, walking around in an urban setting WILL start to hurt your feet after a bit. Vibram suggests slowly working up to wearing their product all the time, and that's a VERY good suggestion.

Being me, I ignored that: wore them that night when Spoon and I went for a walk. After five miles, my feet HURT. But were fine the next day. And the pain gradually got less, until wearing them all day didn't bother me in the least.

As for my intended purposes...

Using them as a work shoe was interesting. Took my bosses and coworkers quite a while to get used to them, and I was still getting complaints when I finally stored them in the closet (they are NOT a Wisconsin winter shoe!). However, once I had adjusted to the "barefoot feeling", a couple effects were shown (for me, at least):

- felt MUCH less fatigued in my legs after the day was over
- noticed an enhanced level of coordination and balance

How'd they fare as a shoe to change into after riding?

Given their size (VERY compact, take up about the same space as a pair of tube socks), they were able to basically live in my saddlebags. It was nice to be able to take off the heavy armored boots when I arrived at a destination, and wear a comfortable shoe (also cooler: vintage motorcross boots are HOT in summer).

Do I have any complaints? Well, a couple... but they're minor.

First off: I REALLY need to get a pair of their Flow model, and see how it handles cold weather. They had a "boot" version called the Surge, but it's been discontinued. If I find a pair in my size, I'm snagging them.

You also REALLY want to get several pairs of toe-socks for these. Gives you more versatility, temperature wise. Since ordering socks to go with the shoes, I've taken to using the toe-socks as "liners" even now (Coolmax fabric actually between your toes GREATLY reduces the feeling of "sweaty feet". Just sayin').

So... would I recommend them? Not just yes, but hell yes. Honestly, after my riding boots, these were probably the best footwear purchase I've made.


Obligatory FTC disclaimer: Vibram Fivefingers did NOT in any way reimburse the author for this review. The product in question was purchased by the author, and the above review was written entirely as a public service.

Not to say I would turn down a pair or three for "review purposes". Just sayin'... ;)

Wisconsin politics

I still haven't forgotten that I need to post pics from National. Drama has been slowing that down: they'll be done this weekend...


So... while trying to relax from today's drama (I just wanted to enjoy my anniversary), I read this over at Boots and Sabres.

I have to agree with Owen: we need a part-time legislature. Maybe, I should revive my thoughts on running for assembly, with that as one of the planks?

I'll be honest: I start thinking about it every couple of years. Then I remember all the BS I've seen in our Puzzle Factory, and all the time wasted by the clowns we have there. And I realize I just do NOT have the temperament to deal with 'em.


Not gonna touch Obama's STFU (excuse me, SotU) Address. Would rather deal with perps trying to explain away their transgressions: they're more believable...


And another from B&S: Wisconsin is getting money for high-speed rail between Milwaukee and Madison.

Great: so my tax dollar are going to make life easier for liberals to go from one stronghold to another. And there was much rejoicing (yay).

Don't get me wrong: there are times and places where mass transit makes sense to me. Hell, there've been times I've been tempted to use the train to go to National (driving has been more cost effective, so that's been the choice). However, like any business (to my mind), cost and benefits have to be weighed.

San Diego (when I was stationed there) had a fairly effective and useful mass transit system. The trolley went most of the places that folks needed to get to, and the buses took up the slack for those places the trolley didn't hit. Worked out great (for the most part).

Here in WI, there just isn't that much infrastructure. Manitowoc has a bus line, but it's usually empty. Which makes me wonder: who's paying for these buses to drive around? Fuel, maintenance, and the drivers all have to be paid for, but I don't see how the few folks actually riding are making that happen.

Yes... as Owen pointed out, building a rail line will create jobs... in the short term. But eventually, that service has to be paid for. Personally, I don't like the idea of even more tax dollars going to subsidize a system that only benefits a handful of people.

Oh, yeah... that's how MOST government programs work. Silly me!

20 January 2010

BACA International 2010: Aftermath

It's been pointed out that I missed a couple days. Sorry 'bout that.

Saturday night got a lil' foggy. I FINALLY got to be at the banquet: usually working security, last year was passed out. Was much fun, sitting with my little big brother Stinky.

One of these years, I'll remember to actually USE my camera during the conference. Right now, I have to spend some time on facebook, looking for pics to show y'all.

A great deal of fun was had by Spoon and I, as well as a bunch of fun. Some changes were made to policy, bringing us together as one BACA.

The drive home, predictably, sucked. It's always a bit of a let-down, leaving: especially since some of our brothers and sisters were still gonna be there. Next year, we're pulling a couple extra days...

Give me some time to find pics, and I'll get 'em up...

16 January 2010

BACA International 2010: Day Two

Wow... time, it is a-flyin'...

Didn't get TOO drunk last night. Which means I'm NOT passing out in the meeting... even if it is a pain stayin' awake.

Have pictures from the official trip that was made to Europe: even got permission to post a few of 'em. I'll get those up in the next couple days...

15 January 2010

BACA International 2010: Day One

Ok... got through the opening ceremony. For some people, we have some good news: the BACA Nation has grown by two states. Virginia and North Carolina gained full charter: welcome to the family, brothers and sisters!

We also have to more states in temp charter status: New Jersey and Iowa. They've got a long haul ahead of them, but I think they'll be up to the challenge.

One last piece of news: looks like there's a movie telling the story of how BACA started. Working title's Hawk Dances. More as I have more...


14 January 2010

It's that time of year again!

Well... I'm in St Louis yet again. Time for the BACA International Conference!

This year, we've added folks from Italy and the Netherlands. The communication gap is sometimes... interesting.

Came down LATE Wednesday night, arriving here @ 0900. Things don't really get started until tomorrow, although there's a steady flow of arrivals.

More as it happens!

11 January 2010

Beauty Standards

Holly over at the Pervocracy has a brilliant post up about beauty standards. Go, read: it's worth it.

I have a friend who could REALLY learn from this. He's a bigger guy, low self esteem, who will only chase after lithe lil' hotties. He's also always been chronically short on dates: the combination of "oversize" with "low self esteem" doesn't seem all that attractive to women, for some reason...

I've always laughed at folks who ask about "my type". Personally, my head always turns most with athletically built women (slender, small chest, LONG legs). And I've always had a thing for redheads. Usually end up with blondes, who are more on the "stacked" side (go figure).

Folks, "attractiveness" is more a function of chemistry between two people. Get caught up in the packaging, and you'll loose out: trust me on this...

10 January 2010

Around the net

Ok... getting back to the helm after some... drama. more on that later.


Lawdog gives a critique of Dances with Ferngully. And says everything that needs to be said.


Jay G makes a t-shirt of what is probably the most WRONG shooting implement I've ever seen ("uncommon minds", indeed!)


That's it for tonight. Busy with getting ready for the trip to the International conference. And working my tail off.