Saturday, November 28, 2009


Last night, I had to apply some patches for OpenBSD, which some of you may know is my favorite operating system. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, it's software like Windows or Ubuntu, or Mac OS X. Except more secure and not very easy for people who aren't nerds to use.

My least favorite part of patching any system is the part where you have to reboot, and the computer is not in front of you, but 15 miles away or even further. If something didn't go right, I'd have to mess with a bunch of stuff to fix it.

Today: Patching a pinch flat.

Also, taking advantage of this awesome sunny weather to recharge my radio. I haven't yet had to use the crank to charge it up. I know from past experience that cranking for power sucks, but on just solar power alone, it lasts many hours at a reasonable volume with mixed flashlight use. It finally died on me this week. I usually leave it in the window to charge.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Consumer Zombies

Bus stop at the Maul.

While I love frobs and gizmos just as much as the next geek, the whole Black Friday Blitz thing is not my style at all. I'm going to attempt to get excited make things for Christmas. I can bake. I have hand tools. I am deft with the soldering iron. I'll figure something out.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I am convinced that bananas are probably the ultimate on-the-go breakfast for bicycle commuters. This morning, I placed the nutrient-rich peel at the base of some bushes at the bus stop and was promptly read the littering riot act by a fellow rider. I picked the peel up and placed it 'where it belongs:' in a plastic trash bag on the bus where it'll still bio-degrade, but its benefits will be trapped in a plastic barrier, isolated in a landfill somewhere. Go Green(tm)! Don't litter.

This passive-aggressive moment has been fueled by Chiquita Bananas and The Roasterie coffee.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

FlashBak safety light

I've been using this since about the beginning of November. It can clip to a jersey, backpack, pannier or whatever.

Here's a video. Yeah. It's kind of bright.

Check out my full review on

Another November WTF

I took this a week ago, and didn't run into it until tonight.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

First Snow!

Camera phone. I know.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ripple Glass

RippleGlass bins are showing up all over the greater Kansas City area. Since the city itself doesn't have an easy-to-use glass recycling protocol, some local companies rallied together to make it a lot more convenient to recycle glass. While I have my reservations about the whole "green" thing, the benefits of easy glass recycling are many, and reach beyond saving the Earth. Namely: I'm hoping it helps reduce the amount of broken glass we cyclists must subject our tires to.

I was also happy to see my company's logo on them. This one showed up in the far corner of the parking lot northwest of the 11th and Wyandotte intersection, right near my office. This is cool, because even suburban commuters can throw a bag of bottles into their vehicles and easily drop them off on their way to work instead of how things used to work: Make a dedicated glass drop-off trip to some part of town you probably wouldn't otherwise visit.

Pretty nifty, if you ask me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I had to snag something from CCCKC for a friend on my way home. Hey, I got some extra room on the road today. It was a whopping 2.5 pounds. I know, because I had to ship it. Heck, I'd almost be willing to lug this thing around all year long. I didn't even notice it, and had to look back a few times to make sure it was still back there.

I'm pretty sure the UPS guy who passed me was thinking "Jeez, FedEx is really cutting back!"

I could have done without this, though. I was okay, but this kind of glare makes it hard to see cyclists on the road.

I'm still awestruck that we're in the middle of November and we continue to have this kind of weather.

Random Tunage:
808 State - Olympic
Orbital - The Moebius

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Repeat Weekend

Another spring-like November morning.

The wind out of the south was a fight, adding almost 20 minutes to my trip to church this morning. Well, and I was hauling a pannier full of canned goods and other stuff for a local food drive.

Of course, after jettisoning the ballast and getting a lot of help from the great tailwind:

I averaged about 19 MPH on the way home, and saw a brand new Nissan GT-R (R35) near Johnson County Air Center. That's a slick machine. About $90,000 worth.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Tattoo. Kind of.

This is what happens when you have full panniers and take both hands off the bike at a stop. It falls over and rolls forward. When you lean into it to catch it, you get gouged.

It looks a lot less intense (and not nearly as cool) now that it's all cleaned off.

Random Tunage:
Junkie XL - Mushroom
Jerry Ropero - The Storm (Inpetto Remix)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Thought / rant: punctuality

Of all the ways to be inconsiderate to others, I find tardiness to be the most selfish. Unabashedly demanding your peers wait patiently on your behalf expresses the utmost of disrespect for their time, and a narcissistic exaltation of whatever it is that happens to hold you up. Isolated incidents are easy to forgive, but when this kind of behavior occurs repeatedly, I can't help but feel personally slighted.

To all of you constant late-runners out there: Pack the night before. Go to bed a bit earlier if you struggle with the snooze button. Keep some breakfast bars on hand and skip the Starbuck's and McDonald's. Put off your TV-, Internet-, or whatever-addiction for a few hours.

You might expect this rant to be related to my personal life or my office environment; It's not. Most of the people in my personal and professional life are both prompt and meticulous. This one has to do with transit, as one of "the regulars" has taken to showing up to the bus stop several minutes late -- almost daily -- while expecting the bus driver to stall. This morning, it was to the point of asking a friend that was already on the bus to see if the driver could hang out a few minutes longer than usual.
I find this action particularly repulsive because one person's brazen conceit directly affected the punctuality of dozens of others. Many transit devotees have transfers to catch downtown, or expect to be in their offices at a specific time.

Fortunately, the bus eventually left without the person on board, but it was still 5 minutes later than usual. Yes, I could have spoken up and rattled the bus driver's cage. Instead, I'm going to be curmudgeonly passive-aggressive about it. I can only hope that one of the late-runner's friends has a chat about punctuality and manners sometime soon. I'm growing quite weary of untenable tardiness.

Turning this around, I did meet another occasional bike commuter on the bus this morning. John works for a local bank, and has a nice road bike that he's planning on riding all the way home this evening. John, if you see this, contact me. I have the perfect route to get you back home, using some roads that for some reason or another aren't on Google Maps yet.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

November, huh?

Last night was chilly, as I was walking around my friend Don's neighborhood with his youngest kids while they went door-to-door trick-or-treating. It felt like a typical late October night, and there was a great harvest moon to match... not quite full, but close. Imagine my surprise this morning: I had to go outside to grab something, and the temperature had probably climbed 10 degrees overnight. I had to be at church around 10:00 this morning, and I couldn't bring myself to drive. I saddled up a little after 9:00 and took a modest pace for the 11-mile jaunt to church, thinking of a post on repurposed by Joey Haney. I haven't ridden to church in quite a while.

After church, I had to go to my parents' place in Stilwell, which is about 12 miles from church. Most of the ride to church and to my parents place was into wind about 10-15 MPH. My aunt and uncle were in town from Seattle, so we had a nice family meal with my sister and grandmother as well. Then it was time to come home. I pulled over next to Johnson County Executive Airport's VOR Ground Station (a type of directional radio broadcast that helps pilots navigate) to snap this one:

It figures that just as I put my camera away, a plane would take off almost right over the top of my bike. I missed that shot. I saw a total of five cyclists on the road today. I dropped one roadie northbound on Metcalf, got left in the dust behind two others on 159th, and saw two more cyclists going the other direction. It was about 73 degrees when I got home, and I had a great tailwind for most of the return trip. I couldn't even believe it. What a gorgeous day for some errands by bike!

Distance: 43.5mi
Rolling Time: 3h04m
Avg. Speed: 14.2 mph
Top Speed: 33.4 mph

Random Tunage:
The Postal Service - Brand New Colony
Way Out West - Call Me

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