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the day is done

29 July 2005
We had our cocktail party tonight. While we weren't able to have all the people we originally invited, the mix we had couldn't have been better. I ventured into uncharted culinary territory (i.e. baking) and made a lime curd tart that came out beautifully. Mad props to my home girl, Ina Garten. The limoncello was a hit and the other deserts were amazing. Laura brought phenomenal chocolate covered strawberries and an Italian rice cake that got rave reviews.

I love throwing parties. The odd thing is, what I really love about them is putting them together and the very end, after most have gone home and it's just the closest circle of friends. There's something particularly warm about sitting round with a few close friends, exhausted after throwing a party, drinking port and just being. I also love the feeling that comes when everything's been tidied, the doors have been locked and the lights turned out and you realize that a respectable number of people had a very good time in your home.

ack

"The braying and neighing of barnyard animals follows."

That is to say...

Be thou warned,
fair reader,
as thou art about to enter into
the reading of a complete and total
bitchfest.


Or, more poetically,

Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.


Yesterday was, without a doubt, an absolute day from hell. I'm sure Hero had considerably more to complain about, but at least she wound up with Claudio.

At any rate, I woke up in the morning to a really annoying cough. It was bad enough that Elisa stuck her head in and asked me, "Are you going to work this morning?"

I said, "*Cough Cough Wheeze* Yeah."

Elisa looked at me like I'm crazy and said, "Are you sure?"

Me, less convinced, "Yeah."

Elisa shook her head and scampered off to the hospital. I finished getting ready and questioned my sanity. The rest of the day represented the cosmos reminding me that my housemate is a very wise woman.

In the morning, we found that one of our most important computers is sick. And I mean sick. For some odd reason, the machine we use most for video editing decided that importing 10 minutes of video was going to eat up 15 GB of memory on the hard drive and the 1.5 GB of RAM and dual G5 processors couldn't handle importing the same little bit of video from the Hi-8 deck. Fabulous. So I started digging around trying to figure out where the 180 GB of hardspace went. For the life of me, I couldn't account for it all. Alas.

Other than that, the morning was reasonably busy, but it was all with self sufficient clients.

After lunch, things really went downhill.

The other G5 started acting up, right when a professor needed to import and edit some video for a PowerPoint presentation. One of our DVD machines putzed out. On top of that, we had a major rush of clients and things got, well, uh... fun? No, that's not the word I'm looking for.... That's not to say that there weren't some delightful clients, there were. But I did lose my patience as well. Bad Sloane. No cookie.

By that point in the day, I was feeling really out of it anyway, so I'm sure things felt a little worse than they were. The good news is, I got the video stuff done for the prof just in time.

So work was done for the day. I told the person in the office next door, "I'm going to the grocery store and I'm going to have a drink."

She said, "Yeah, time for a rum & coke."

To which I said, "Nice idea, but no... I'm thinking martini."

I wandered off to the grocery store and somehow I managed to get out of there without forgetting anything. That said, it seemed to be heinous child day at Whole Foods. There were many. One was particularly, uh, special. He'd go running and screaming across the store, grab something on the other side, come running and screaming back to his mother's cart and slam dunk it in. His mother would then say, "Now honey, you don't need that. Go put it back."

The little shit darling did this time and time again. It got to the point that I almost walked up to his mother and said, "Silence your child, or I will silence him for you."

Fortunately, by the time they got to the dairy case, she put the breaks on her little spawn, and both he and I made it out of the market in one piece. Miracles abound.

However, in my brilliant state of mind, I forgot to go to the liquor store first and I had all kinds of dairy in the car. So, drive all the way home to Lawrenceville, empty the groceries, and drive my dumb ass back to West Windsor to go to the cheap liquor store for the cocktail party tonight.

By the time it was all done, I was far too tired to cook or think about dinner. Elisa wanted to go out. It took absolutely zero persuading. Had I been in the kitchen, it would have been peanut butter and jelly night. Perhaps surprisingly, nothing happened at Chili's, aside from an overly perky waitress, but they bother me even on my least misanthropic days.

After Chili's, it was home and drink.

*Relaxed sigh*

Today, well, today isn't going to be anything but good. I woke up feeling better. I'm having a party tonight. Language students get out of class at 12:30, we close the lab at 1. It is logistically impossible for us to get insanely busy. All the equipment in the lab can self destruct and it simply won't matter.

1337, man, 1337.

congradumalations!

27 July 2005
Kevin, husband to my cousin Merrin, is one of the two minds behind Fanblogs. Granted, I know next to nothing, if not less than nothing, about college football. That said, Forbes has named Fanblogs one of the best of the web!

Ergo, I wish to extend a hearty congratulations to Kevin for all his fanbloggy hard work. And if you're into the college football thing, well then get your e-butt over to Fanblogs!

and i'll form the head

26 July 2005
According to a story linked from Slashdot, Voltron is coming to movie theaters!

Yeah, I know I'm a big ol' geek but damn, son, this classifies as both hella schweet and old school!

indeed

25 July 2005
A good friend introduced me to this song last night. The poetry of the line I've put in boldface is staggering.

Kissing You Goodbye by John Denver
on Disc 2 of The Harbor Lights Concert
Oh, at first it was just like heaven in your heart and in your arms
And paradise discovered in the sweetness of your charms
Yes, and every day a miracle to awake and be with you
And every night in your embrace another dream come true

But castles sometimes crumble some rivers still run dry
And fairy tales are witches tales when the truth becomes a lie"
And a pocket full of promises won't buy a diamond ring
And every word you said to me just didn't mean a thing

It's over now, you've gone too far I can't take anymore
Be careful now - don't hurt yourself when you walk through that door
I can hardly stand to look at you it makes me want to cry
Get your tongue out of my mouth because I'm kissing you goodbye!

Now I suppose I'll never know why things turned out this way
And why the one you love the most is the one you drove away?
Yes, and I suppose I'll never, ever really understand
How I could think that you'd make me a happy married man

So now I sit and contemplate the reason for it all
The climb to heights of ecstasy the failure and the fall
If a broken heart is purposeful it's in the lesson learned
No matter what the reason is it hurts when you get burned

Now I don't care, I don't think I'll ever love again
"Kemosabe" used to me good and trusted friend
But now it stands for therapy and all the tears I cry
Get your tongue out of my mouth 'Cause I'm kissing you goodbye!
Bye, Bye. Bye, Bye.

a sop-ish welcome

Yet another of the Princetonian cohort has joined the blogsphere.

Take a minute and go pay a visit to Michael D.

like unto the callinectes sapidus

Ever since the silly thing was published, people have been asking me about Unholy Death in Princeton by Ann Waldron.

To answer these questions once and for all (as if it were that easy):

Yes, I've read it.

No, I didn't like it.

Waldron's writing leaves much to be desired. Being a bit of a language man, what struck me most was her frequent attempts to include "GRE words" in what seemed to be an attempt to make her writing seem more erudite. It reads more like a sophomoric attempt to over utilize Micro$oft Word's thesaurus, or the writing of one who is compulsively motivated to use the "Word a Day" calendar from last Christmas. More often than not, her word choices seem artificial and simply don't fit with the rest of her writing style. The plot is loosely strung together and her characters lack depth.

The overall sense of the book is, "Look everybody, I've been to Princeton!" On that note, Waldron does manage to work in such an astounding number of local references that only a Princeton insider would understand them all. She is fascinated with name dropping and has little concern for developing the significance of where she places her characters.

While Waldron is right in that the Seminary can be a bit of a snippy place, it's not nearly as exciting as she makes it out to be.

And, what would a snide book review be on my page if I didn't mention my favorite literary whipping boy? Ergo, at least Dan Brown can write an interesting story that pulls you along and is genuinely (if mindlessly) entertaining.

The "GRE word" I'd hand back to Waldron is "schlepp." (The first attestation of which is, incidentally, in a real novel.)

lucky 7

24 July 2005
w00t.

w00t indeed.

Well done, sir.

discovery channel

I love going to the zoo. And it rarely has to do with the animals. I like going to the zoo to listen to parents try to explain things like this:

to their children.

The top two explanations I heard were:

"No honey, that tortoise is just playing with a rock."

and

"Look honey, the turtles are fighting."

Riiiiight.

And, from the credit where credit is due department, this photo was taken by Karen.

there's a first time for everything...

For the first time in my life (with the notable exception of utterances from cousins 15 years my junior), I was addressed as an "old man" today. This occurred on the occasion of the twenty-seventh anniversary of my ontological debut. There were, of course, mitigating circumstances: it was entirely in jest and came from my priest, who is precisely 30 years and 6 days my senior.

I bought myself a proper espresso maker.

catching up

Two of my dearest friends, Karen & Scott, were in town this weekend with their son, Alexander (my godson). We had a grand old time larking about all over central Jersey and Philadelphia. As proof, I give you this photo of Alex and I on the Princeton University campus:



In my defense, the wet spot on my shirt was Alex's doing.

That said, I was quite pleased to see what seemed to be a latent affinity for the Ivy League.

q.o.t.d.

21 July 2005
One of my dearest friends is visiting this week, along with her husband and their 18 month old son. As we were watching a movie this evening (Garden State), my friend was changing her son's diaper on a mat in the living room floor. I heard this exchange:

K: Say bye-bye to your penis.
A: Bwwaaweee!
K: I know. But you can play with it at bathtime.
A: Bye-bye.

r.i.p.

20 July 2005
James Doohan has died at the age of 85 after suffering with pneumonia and Alzheimers.

Memories of watching re-runs of the original Star Trek remain some of the happiest of my childhood.

May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace, and light perpetual shine upon them.

funny because it's true

19 July 2005
Grad Student Maladies, brought to you by the good folks at the University of Texas.

knocking it around

18 July 2005
As I'm waiting for the cat to finish taking his evening drink from the tap in my bathtub, I thought I'd post a little something.

(I should, perhaps, first explain that both the cats like to take their night cap from the tap in my bathtub. The only catch is, Digit will only drink when he's in there alone since he also gets baths in my bathtub. Hence, I'm sitting at the computer, waiting to make my evening toilet.)

Anywho, several weeks ago (Proper 9, to be exact), the text appointed for the Old Testament was Zechariah 9:9-12:

Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!
Lo, your king comes to you;
triumphant and victorious is he,
humble and riding on a donkey.
He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
and the warhorse from Jerusalem;
and the battle-bow shall be cut off,
and he shall command peace to the nations;
his dominion shall be from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you
I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.
Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope;
today I declare that I will restore to you double.


This has been positively haunting me for weeks. Prisoners of hope. Such is the Christian condition, no? Even without letting the medieval exegete in me run rampant, I can't help but dwell on this. We are prisoners of hope in the already-and-not-yetness of the life of the Church. We are prisoners of hope in our yearning for a better tomorrow, as citizens of the world and as citizens of these United States. We are prisoners of hope that our leaders and our brothers and our sisters and we ourselves will learn to overcome fear, learn to over come hate, and learn to overcome the selfishness that sows the seeds of our own destruction.

For gay and lesbian Christians, we are prisoners of hope that the promise of Good News means something more than occasional acceptance. We are prisoners of hope that governments will follow the examples of Canada and others. We are prisoners of hope that all communities of faith and our families will open their hearts and minds to the love of God at work in all God's children.

Most of all, we are prisoners of hope of the mystery of the incarnation, life, death and resurrection of our Lord. In baptism, we have been brought into his life and death (after all, "the bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble").

For the moment, I'm still working out what this "prisoners of hope" business is all about... my mind is swirling with tensions: Guantanamo and Lamentations; Irenaeus of Lyons and St Augustine; Incarnation and Exodus; Paul in prison and Palm Sunday; Revelation 4 and, perhaps most of all, this image.

So, the cat's done with his drink and I need to go wash my face. Not much of a punchline, I'm afraid, just disconnected ramblings on something that continues to (relentlessly) stick in my head.

le tour

17 July 2005
I am not known for paying attention to sports. I watch the World Cup finals (men's & women's) with some interest and I watch the Olympics. But, once a year, I become a sports nut that even talks to the TV. We're now 15 days into that time of year and I've been following the Tour de France with great interest.

This afternoon, I had some down time, so I thought it might be fun to aggregate a few helpful links about cycling and the Tour.

So, here you go:

Our man Lance's home page.

And of course, the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

The official Tour de France website.

The BBC actually has a couple of very good pages.

Another Tour page.

Just to be fair, this being a French event and all, here's Le Monde's page of Tour coverage.

because your mother said it's good for you

I just found out that the organist at my parish has a web page. Tom is amazing.

For the past half hour, I've been listening to the music he's got posted online. It's really quite impressive.

So, go visit Tom's page and be sure to listen to the music!

promised pictures

Here are the promised photographs:

Steeping:


Filtering:


Finished:


In the end, I got a yield of almost 3 liters.

it's thuper

16 July 2005
I finished the limoncello today and its phenomenal. My housemate who has spent a considerable amount of time in Italy assures me that this stuff tastes completely authentic. I'll post pictures later.

fin

15 July 2005
Incredible! One of the worst performances of my career and they never doubted it for a second. How could I possibly go to school on a day like today?


German is done. Finished. Over. Through. The final was today.

And I never thought I'd be saying this, but...

Thank God for Jürgen Moltmann.


Let me clarify:

I hate Moltmann. Not personally, of course, but I really detest his theology and writing. I had to read more Moltmann than any person really should have to during my MDiv, starting with this book. I think I respond so strongly to him because he'll start to say something really good, then he'll utterly ruin it.

But, one of the principal benefits of forced overexposure to German theologians is, when they show up on a translation exam, you're in pretty good shape, at least if you're anything like me. (I tend to remember things that I dislike quite well). I had to translate a section of Moltmann's Dogmatik on Faith and Knowledge. My immediate response was, "OH! I know this! I've read it at least five times in translation. I hate Moltmann!"

But hey, he got me through German. So really, Moltar ain't so bad after all.

hrm... study or blog?

14 July 2005
Yeah, third post today. I'm going to start studying after I finish this one. Honest. Really. Unless a client comes into the Media Lab.

Yeah. Right. Whatever.

So on a lark, I decided Google "religion test" to take a couple of quizzes online. The results were interesting. I understand myself to be a pretty died-in-the-wool Anglo-Catholic (in the original sense of the term: socially liberal as all get out and liturgically traditional). I get cranky if I don't get my daily dose of liturgy (preferably chanted). I also get a bit testy if you call me a Protestant without very promptly following it with "and Catholic." I'm happier if you start with Catholic (Protestant is optional).

That said, according to Beliefnet's "Belief-O-Matic," my results are:


BUT, according to "The Very Offensive Religion Test," I'm supposed to be a Buddhist.


Buddhist
Holy Crap! You're taking 3 souls with you to hell!
-20 to 10

You choose not to speculate on the existence of a higher consciousness. You seek contentment and spiritual awareness. The answer lies within. Not by transferring responsibility to a Messiah or holy figure.

Buddhists in their quest for a balanced content life also miss out on the full range of human emotion. So you're probably content and boring.




My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 89% on Idiocy
Link: The Very Offensive Religion Test written by youallwantme on OkCupid Free Online Dating


I am amused.

but i don't believe in jebus





You May Be a Bit Schizotypal ...









A bit odd and socially isolated.

You couldn't care less of what others think.

And some of your beliefs are a little weird.

Like that time you thought you were Jesus.



What Personality Disorder Are You?

a disputed grade

Jason claims to have earned an F- on the "How American are you?" quiz.

He managed a 41%.

I, on the other hand, garnered this result:

You Are 19% American
You're as American as Key Lime Tofu Pie
Otherwise known as un-American!
You belong in Cairo or Paris...
Get out fast - before you end up in Gitmo!

How American Are You?

a glowing review

13 July 2005
When I go out cycling, I never leave without my cell phone and my inhaler out of fear that I'll have a bad asthma attack in the middle of nowhere and not be able to get home. Yesterday, my paranoid cell phone toting was validated, though not by my otherwise uncooperative respiratory system.

Last week, I changed my route home. Normally, both going into Princeton and coming home, I take a combination of the Lawrenceville Hopewell Trail and NJ Route 593/Princeton Pike. Just recently, I've changed my route home, going by way of Rosedale back to Cold Soil. Well, about halfway home (here), my bike threw its chain.

Now, bike had been having problems for a while. When I would go up hill at speed, my chain would start to jump, like it was going to change gears, but then slip back into place. So, I took it into the repair shop, but they couldn't find anything. So, they made a few minor adjustments and sent me on my merry way. Yesterday, the problem decided to manifest itself in a more obvious manner. So, I called Jay's Cycles with the intention of walking my bike back into town if they were going to be open late enough. So the (first) phone conversation went something like this:

Jay's: Hello, Jay's Cycles. How can I help you?
Me: Yeah, how late are ya'll open?
Jay's: 6:30 for repair pickup, 7 for everything else.
Me: Excellent. I'll be in later to drop my bike off.
Jay's: Cool. What happened?
Me: I got about half way home and threw my chain.
Jay's: Uh, where's home?
Me: Lawrenceville.
Jay's: Ok. See you in a while.
Me: Cool. Thanks.

So, I hang up and start walking. About three minutes later, my phone rings again.

Me: Hello?
Caller: Hi. This is Jay's Cycles. Where are you?
Me: Uh, on Rosedale.
Jay's: Ok. We're coming to get you. Can you give me a more specific location?

So we chat for a little while longer to establish my exact location on Rosedale and where I'm going to be when they come looking for me, and within 15 minutes, a guy from the store who happens to be a seminarian in New Brunswick has come to get me and my malfunctioning bike.

I can't say enough good things about Jay's Cycles. They took a lot of time when I bought my bike to help me find the right one for my wants and needs. And then, they came and got me so I wouldn't have to walk all the way back into town. Their customer service is phenomenal! I really didn't think folk provided customer service like that any more.

So, if you're looking for a bike or looking for a place to service your bike, go to Jay's Cycles in Princeton. They'll do right by you and then some.

feast of st benedict

11 July 2005

In commemoration of the Feast of St Benedict of Nursia, I give you a quote from the great liturgical scholar, Dom Gregory Dix. Given that the Rule of St Benedict is built around the corporate life of prayer of the monks and nuns, I'm certain Benedict would approve. In The Shape of the Liturgy, Dix writes of the celebration of the Holy Eucharist:



Jesus told his friends to do this, and they have done it always since. Was ever another command so obeyed? For century after century, spreading slowly to every continent and country and among every race on earth, this action has been done, in every conceivable human circumstance, for every conceivable human need, from infancy and before it, to extreme old age and boyond it; from the pinnacles of earthly greatness to the refuge of fugitives in the caves and dens of the earth. Men have found no better thing than this to do for kings at their crowning and for criminals going to the scaffold; for armies in triumph, or for a bride and bridgroom in a little country church; while the hiss of scythes in the thick June grass came faintly through the windows of the church; tremulously, by an old monk on the fiftieth anniversary of his vows; furtively by an exiled bishop, who has hewn timber all day in a prison camp near Murmansk; gorgeously, for the canonisation of St Joan of Arc - one could fill many pages with why men have done this, and not tell a hundredth part of them. And best of all, week by week and month by month, on a hundred thousand successive Sundays, faithfully, unfailingly, across all the parishes of Christendom, the pastors have done just this to make the 'plebs sancta Dei' - the holy common people of God.


Obsculta, o fili, praecepta magistri, et inclina aurem cordis tui, et admonitionem pii patris libenter excipe et efficaciter comple, ut ad eum per oboedientiae laborem redeas, a quo per inoboedientiae desidiam recesseras.


Benedictine Links


And, from Lesser Feasts & Fasts, the collect for the day:

Almighty and everlasting God, your precepts are the wisdom of a loving Father: Give us grace, following the teaching and example of your servant Benedict, to walk with loving and willing hearts in the school of the Lord's service; let your ears be open to our prayers; and prosper with your blessing the work of our hands; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

he knows me well

When you're at PTS long enough, the receiving of an unexpected package slip in one's mailbox is quite the pleasant surprise. It is nothing short of an affirmation that the outside world (beyond folks that send you bills) acknowledges your existence.

I received such a surprise today. In what I assume was an early birthday gift, a fine gentleman sent me this:

He, perhaps, knows me too well.

The only challenge will be not tormenting the cats with the wee livestock.

editorial thoughts

Given my impending final (Friday) and the overwhelming need to study, I have naturally turned to blogging.

That said, I humbly offer the editorialization of one far more eloquent, wise, profound and cynical than myself: Mark Twain in his brilliant essay "The Awful German Language."

i missed one

10 July 2005
My goodness, it seems I've missed quite the important link in my posting of things useful and Latin...

Vocabula computatralia.

This ranks right up there with Hrodulf rednosa hrandeor or the ever popular Ode to a Semiconductor, composed entirely in Old English.

r.d.a.

Your recommended daily allowance of things Latin:

wee!

Okay, the header's done and up and the comment bugs should be fixed. If anyone finds anything else wrong with the new template, please let me know, either in a comment or by popping me an email.

To those who sent feedback, positive, negative or otherwise, you rock. Many thanks.

take 2

08 July 2005
Ok - for those of you that have sent me feedback, many thanks. Here's take 2.

soliciting feeback

I spent a good part of last night and most of this morning screwing around with different things in Photoshop in an attempt to come up with a cool banner for the page.

This is what I'm liking just at the moment. So, what do we think? Thumbs up or thumbs down?



Woops! Just noticed the white spot between the horse's forelegs.... that's been fixed, but I'm too damn lazy to upload the new image. So, yeah, just think horsey without whitespot. ;-)

a jolly good idea

07 July 2005
According to the BBC, Markets Initative, a Canadian environmentalist group, is urging consumers in the US to purchase their copies of the forthcoming 6th book in the ever popular Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince from a publishing house that uses recycled paper. Aparently, Scholastic, the US pubishing house that has the rights to the Harry Potter series, refused a deal to publish their books on recycled paper.

Per the BBC article, recycled paper editions can be obtained from Raincoast Books.

C'mon, get the recycled Potter. Dumbledore would.

it must be thursday

Why? Because I'm sitting at "work" getting paid to do jack squat since we have all of one client at the moment and he's about as self sufficient as they come. Ergo, time to make substantial changes to the blog.

I've decided to change the template (again) and things won't be setteled for a while... So if you're more than a little OCD about page design, apologies. I've got a little cleaning up to do (pulling out the nav bar, yet again) and I want to do something cool with the header, like Kevin has done.

only 5 left

So
Happy
It's
Thursday.

Seriously. German took 7 hours last night. Only 5 classes left counting today, then the final.

I believe one of the less loved Star Wars characters once remarked, "Ouch time."

just for the redhead

06 July 2005
First of all, credit where credit is due, I found this over at the origional directory of wonderful things, Boing Boing.

Now that we have that taken care of, go print yerself a sheet of these übercool Darwin stickers, as it seems ol' Chuck has a possee.

more filler

I realized that it's been something like 5 days since I posted last. Lots going on, just nothing to post. So, for your reading enjoyment, more poetic filler. ;-)

I have attempted to use appropriate tags for the formatting of this poem. If you don't have indented text and crazy mad indenting in the fifth stanza, I apologize. It's supposed to be there, really!


beloved

i saw you there, beloved
dressed in finest red silk
draped over your supple form,
sliding across your un-concealable
raw muscle.

i reveled with you there, beloved
dancing to seductive drums,
drunk on the wine of your own desire,
dragging me dithyrambically to you,
drunk as well.

i embraced you there, beloved
beckoning me into your arms
yearning to hold me torridly close;
pulling me in, pressed against your
cardamom skin.

i dined with you there, beloved
glutting myself at the great feast,
delighting in your sweet wine kisses
and savoring honey scented breads
broken by you.

i wept for you there, beloved,
after the feast, as you began
the last,
still,
hard,
lonely
dance
your lithe form now

hanging

limp and frail.

i saw you there, beloved
arrayed in fair white linen, and
though blind to your familiar form,
my heart deep within knew
your passion’s embrace.

Unlinke other material on A Sop in Wyn, which is held under a Creative Common Licencese, this post is copyrighted with all rights reserved. Permission must be obtained for any republication of this work.

in the buff

01 July 2005
I tried out a Buff today.

Not only did I try it, but I really liked loved it.

Over the past few months, I've been biking more and more. I commute (about 14 miles round trip) to school and work every day on my bike, at least when it's not raining. On top of that, I try to get at least two serious rides in a week. It's on the real rides that I found the sweatband in my helmet to be seriously wanting.

Normally, a product's connection to reality television would be an instant disqualifier for me. (Buff made it's US product placement debut on Survivor.) And frankly, I thought they looked silly enough on their own that they didn't need the help of reality television to render them uninteresting.

I stand corrected. After using my Buff for only one day, on one ride, I love it. While the company says that a Buff can be worn something like 12 different ways, I don't see myself ever using it for anything other than a helmet liner. But damn if it isn't a good one. Normally, when products under the $75 mark say they are breathable and provide wicking, it means they're breathable in that you can feel a 50 mile an hour wind through them and the wicking provided works only by the good graces of gravity. Buff is definitely not in that category. They're totally worth the $18 and they actually live up to the advertising.

So, if you're in the outdoorsey/active crowd, do your self a favor and go buy a Buff. They kick ass.