Mon, 31 Jul 2006

Ride starting Sun Jul 23 12:47:36 2006

39.22 km 128675.38 feet 24.37 mi 9586.00 seconds 159.77 minutes 2.66 hours 9.15 mi/hr

Went to OSCON this week. On the way there, I flew through Burlington. The flight left at 17:40, so I got to Burlington early and went for a ride on the Island Line (history). It's partially paved and partially rock dust. The causeway out on Lake Champlain was a really neat ride. It's built on unusable marble blocks which resemble more than anything else extremely large salt crystals.

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Sat, 22 Jul 2006

Ride starting Fri Jul 21 19:12:59 2006

23.50 km 77106.70 feet 14.60 mi 4804.00 seconds 80.07 minutes 1.33 hours 10.94 mi/hr

This was a fun ride! I biked into Potsdam, and then rode up and down nearly every road on the north side of town. Try clicking on the map below and follow my route using the Google Maps mash-up. Stopped to talk to a friend. GPS says that my moving average was 12.9 mi/hr.

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Wed, 19 Jul 2006

Scaring my Father Half to Death

I remember, to this day, when I scared my father half to death. I used to stay in the bath until the water got cold, and sometimes warm it up again. Of course, there were many floaty things and many poury things with which to amuse myself. Beyond that, I used to enjoy sensory deprivation. I'd fill the tub really deep, get the water to body temperature, and lie down in the tub with my ears under the water. If I lay there still enough the only sounds I could hear were those carried through the plumbing into the tub.

The astute reader may be way ahead of me here.

One day I was doing this, holding my breath and lying face down. My father had apparently been calling me from downstairs and of course I couldn't hear him. He hears nothing, rushes upstairs, flings open the door only to see me lying motionless face-down in the tub. He grabs my arm with one hand and pulls me out of the tub. I, knowing nothing of parently concerns about children drowning in the bathtub, shouted at him "What? What??" because of course I was completely confused. There I was, in my own private space, thinking deep thoughts, only to nearly have my arm ripped out of its socket by a frantic father for no reason apparent to me.

That was the day I scared my father half to death.

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The Acoustic Motorbike

In 1992, Luka Bloom recorded a song and album entitled The Acoustic Motorbike. Took me a while to hear and understand all the lyrics. The trickiest is just before he says "The Acoustic Motorbike". He says "It's a Muddy" (in spite of what the Bicycle Music page says), by which he refers to a bicycle manufacturer named Muddy Fox.

This category of my blog is dedicated to that song. I'm always careful to give it a lusty sing, as loud as I can, with the breath that I have, given the terrain I'm riding. Sometimes that means singing out while breathing in, which is a trick, let me tell you.

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Tue, 18 Jul 2006

Ride starting Tue Jul 18 19:29:43 2006

26.40 km 86628.58 feet 16.41 mi 4626.00 seconds 77.10 minutes 1.28 hours 12.77 mi/hr

Sigh. Silly GPS receiver only keeps a sample of points so it undercounts the distance slightly. Coming down the hill towards my driveway I saw an average speed of 13.00 mi/hr on the GPS. Went for a slightly different ride today. Headed up towards Stockholm Center. There's a sheep farm near there, and on the way past, I was baaaaaaa'ing at the sheep. The shepherd heard me baaaaaa'ing from the road and whipped his head around as if he though a sheep was out of the pen and on the road. Hehe. Gotcha!

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Qi is Electricity 2

News on the "Qi is Electricity" theory. First, it seems that a majority of the cells in the human body are bacterial cells, not human cells. Apparently it's been known for a long time that a majority of human fecal material is actually dead bacteria. I didn't know it, but LSNED. So, lots of bacteria in the human body.

More news: bacteria can be persuaded to produce wire-like appendages that conduct electricity. Even more interesting news:

Gorby's team coaxed Shewanella oneidensis -- another bacterium that dumps electrons onto metal -- into producing nanowires by growing it in vats that carefully control the amount of oxygen available.
Qigongers (which is a horrible bastardization of English and Chinese. Fortunately, I am neither English nor Chinese) well understand the need to regulate the breath.

All you need now is a way for the brain to control the gut to make conditions in the gut appropriate for one bacteria over the other.

Oh, and years of training.

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Sun, 16 Jul 2006

Ride starting Sun Jul 16 19:58:00 2006

15.60 km 51185.35 feet 9.69 mi 2913.00 seconds 48.55 minutes 0.81 hours 11.98 mi/hr

Just went for a simple loop. Started the ride at 8PM; maybe a little late. Still, I had plenty of daylight. Stupid deerflies pestered me the whole way around. Any speed less than 8MPH (relative to the wind, of course, so a downwind ride wasn't the lark it usually is) lets them land on you and pester.

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Sat, 15 Jul 2006

Ride starting Sat Jul 15 18:54:54 2006

21.51 km 70581.43 feet 13.37 mi 4263.00 seconds 71.05 minutes 1.18 hours 11.29 mi/hr

I got a call from Christopher Muka while I was on vacation. He owns the portion of the railbed from the edge of Norwood to the next road east. As I expected, he is aware that people are using the railbed as a trail, and he's fine with that. He even gave me permission to dry up the wet areas in the cuts.

The areas that I had worked on earlier this summer have now (mostly) dried up. Because they're not wet, it's hard to see if they're draining, so I think I'm going to tell the YCC not to bother digging out the drainage ditches. They can better spend their time digging out nasty rocks and cutting brush.

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Fri, 14 Jul 2006

Handbells in a Pickup Truck

Okay, if somebody can make a movie about Snakes on a Plane, then I can write a blog entry about handbells in a pickup truck. No, not carried; playing. We got invited to play handbells in the Potsdam 200th anniversary (aka bicentennial) parade. Without time to arrange for a flatbed truck, we used the next best thing at hand: our pickup truck.

We put one of our 6' tables in the back of the truck. At the end were two chairs for the middle note ringers who preferred comfy chairs over the pickup truck side rails. Taped "Noteworthy Handbell Choir" signs to the side, practiced two pieces playable by six people, we're off! Got lots of smiles and compliments.

I will update this blog entry when I have photos.

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Progressive but with economics

I found out from a friend of a friend that he's been introducing me as someone who "Used to be one of us (that is, progressive) but he read a book on economics." Perhaps he means that I got corrupted? I think it is rather that I saw that progressive goals are being subverted by secondary progressive agendas. A classic example is "doing good" versus "feeling good". Is it more important to actually help people? Or is it more important to feel like you're helping people? The secondary progressive agenda (to which I no longer subscribe) is to feel like you're helping people. I think that progressives, like conservatives, are genuinely good people. They actually want to help people. Trouble is that their agendas conflict with their goals.

So if I'm a progressive but with economics, that implies that progressives are without economics. I think they're not accidentally ignorant. I think they're purposefully ignorant, because they love their agendas more than their goals. Basically, they don't care about economics. This makes them, unfortunately, like spacefarers who don't care about physics, or seafarers who don't care about navigation. You can't help poor people until you understand why they're poor. To those who don't know: poor people aren't poor because they have no money. They're poor because all their choices in life suck. Giving them money doesn't automatically solve this problem for them. It might give them a few better choices, but for example, money won't cure a mental health problem, or a substance addiction problem, or an abusive spouse.

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Tue, 11 Jul 2006

Ride starting Sat Jul 8 14:16:36 2006

22.37 km 73376.95 feet 13.90 mi 11944.00 seconds 199.07 minutes 3.32 hours 4.19 mi/hr

Rode down to the Potsdam Summer Festival. Met up with bunches of people: Ed Sazonov, Jason Rohrer, Robin McLellan, Michael Greer. Wandered up to Clarkson to see who was back for the reunion. Didn't see anybody I was particularly close to, so I headed home.

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Sat, 08 Jul 2006

Makezine mention

Got blogged by Phillip Torrone on Make Magazine's blog.

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