Thu, 31 Aug 2006

Ride starting Wed Aug 30 18:41:30 2006

25.74 km 84445.67 feet 15.99 mi 5838.00 seconds 97.30 minutes 1.62 hours 9.86 mi/hr

Went for one of my favorite rides today. Down the disused Old Market Road, North on CR47, and back on the Old Forge Road. Both of these roads have nobody living on the center of them. Old Forge Road is used to access active woodlands, which is the only reason it still exists. That section of Old Market Road used to have a farm in the middle of it, but there are no traces of it left except the orchard and stone walls.

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Tue, 22 Aug 2006

Speculators Blamed

"Speculators Blamed" comes the cry in Monday's Times of India. I'm in Mumbai this week, working for Rediff.com, India's premier web portal. People are concerned about the rising price of wheat, edible oil, and pulses. Speculators are being blamed for holding back stocks in anticipation of higher prices later.

I don't see the rationale behind blaming speculators for doing their job. Somebody has to plan for the future, and government officials show an alarming failure to plan beyond the end of their term in office. The function of a speculator is to pay producers at a time when nobody values their output, so they can later sell it for a profit when everybody is demanding it. Of course, this means that producers get paid less on average, but that's okay with them. They're usually not willing to take the risk that their product will have no market, plus it helps with their cash flow.

So why blame speculators? Because they're usually rich. It's not usual to merely break even in commodities markets, so the bad speculators go broke, and the good speculators get rich. They earn their money for the risks they take, so an informed person will not blame them for driving up prices that are too low, and selling products that are in demand, and making money for doing so.

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Sat, 12 Aug 2006

Ride starting Sat Aug 12 14:43:31 2006

44.65 km 146504.40 feet 27.75 mi 11205.00 seconds 186.75 minutes 3.11 hours 8.91 mi/hr

Went into Potsdam to buy some hornet spray. Took the scenic route ... through Parishville. Stopped by Stockholm State Forest to visit my geocache. I'm headed off to Sri Lanka tomorrow for FOSSSL, so I grabbed the geocoin out of it. It's in a race and needs more miles. I intend for it to get a few this week.

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Fri, 11 Aug 2006

Ride starting Fri Aug 11 18:46:30 2006

27.45 km 90073.69 feet 17.06 mi 5467.00 seconds 91.12 minutes 1.52 hours 11.23 mi/hr

Went down a road I haven't been down in a while. See the road that goes through the S of North Stockholm (actually called Knapps Station)? At the top of the hilll just south of the S, you can see forever, or just about. You can see Lyon Mountain, Mt. Azure, and Waterman Hill. An amazing view.

Did some noodling around in Norwood simply because the day was so lovely. Temperate, calm winds, blue skies, it was enough to make your heart ache.

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Sun, 06 Aug 2006

Ride starting Sat Aug 5 17:38:30 2006

36.63 km 120186.69 feet 22.76 mi 9362.00 seconds 156.03 minutes 2.60 hours 8.75 mi/hr

Rode the Rutland Trail again today, to see how the trail is faring. We've had a fair bit of rain this week, so the trail is quite muddy in spots. Not in the spots I dried out this spring, but that was at least ten hours of work to dry out about 500' of trail. Only another 2000' (of muddy sections over the length of the trail) to go. If I could borrow a mini-backhoe for a weekend, I could clear up all the muddy spots. At least .... they wouldn't have inches of standing water.

Anyway, besides the muddy spots, there was a tree down in the trail, which somebody took care of with a chainsaw. Nobody has made any trail improvements this year, besides mine.

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Sat, 05 Aug 2006

"But what about socialization?"

One of the classic objections to homeschooling is "But what about socialization?" The questioner wants to know how your kid is going to get out in the world and learn to deal with non-family people. We just got back from the Community Performance Series's production of The Sound of Music. Of course, it's a musical with lots of young people.

Of the 18 children (18 & younger), 5 are home-schooled and 13 are government schooled. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the percentage of children being homeschooled was 2.2% in 2003. That figure is probably higher now; maybe as much as 3%. 3% of 18 children is, um, a half a child. If homeschooled kids were not well socialized, they wouldn't be given a chance to perform in a musical like the SoM. They probably wouldn't even be interested in it.

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Thu, 03 Aug 2006

Ride starting Wed Aug 2 19:37:29 2006

10.62 km 34831.46 feet 6.60 mi 1806.00 seconds 30.10 minutes 0.50 hours 13.15 mi/hr

Wow. Bitchin' hot today. Got a good speed on and it's still not enough to evaporate all the sweat. Unfortunately, my Foretrex didn't figure out where it was until nearly halfway through the ride. But notice the average speed. Clearly my speed goes up after I'm warmed up, since this is the first ride with an average in excess of 13mph.

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Tue, 01 Aug 2006

Lead Wheel Weights

I find lots of lead wheel weights when I bicycle. It takes but a moment to circle around and pick up the weight. It's important to collect them because lead is a neurotoxin which apparently has no safe level. At some point in the future, cars will probably have lead-free wheel weights, but after they're banned, they'll still be on wheels for decades.

Please pick them up whenever you see them. Recycle them at a metal recycler, or if you're friends with a tire store, add them to their stash. Wash your hands afterwards.

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