Monday, May 30, 2011

Condon to Heppner By Bike

On our Memorial Day weekend we joined the Schultz family out in Condon. We got out on Sunday morning for a bike ride  and got most of the Cycle Oregon III ride from Day Two.

Day Two: Heppner to Fossil, 62 miles

A 57-mile day will take us through Condon, a center for birds, deer and elk in the autumn.  We then begin entering the Fossil Beds National Monument, where you can actually witness Oregon’s geological history.Everyone will camp at Fossil, where you will find fossil exhibits of saber-toothed tigers, giant pigs and three-toed horses.  Fossil will also host a homestay program as an alternative to camping.

Bike Snob Book Review: Use Lights

I am currently reading Bike Snob and I have been surprised with how well reasoned some of the chapters are. I am finding I can actually apply some of the ideas he has and it is pretty funny at the same time. I haven't laughed out loud while reading for awhile.

His characterizations of the different types of cyclists was spot on. In the chapter, Velo-Taxonomy: The Various Subjects of Cyclists, he describes The Roadie, The Mountain Biker, The Loan Wolf, The Messenger, and so on. The Chapter on "Why is Everybody Trying to Kill Me" features how to survive on a bike and discusses his approach to embracing conflict on the road. My experience has been limited since I am on the Springwater Trail, but the chapter is helpful to think about the responses of a cyclist when a motorist doesn't see a cyclist.  Rather than get angry, he suggests saying "Do you know you almost killed me back there?", hoping that the driver will than be conciliatory as opposed to escalating the argument.
He gives tips on Riding in Traffic

  • Be Confident
  • Don't Ride Next to Cars at Intersections
  • Watch Out for Doors
  • Use Lights
The Use Lights bullet reminded me of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance's clever video encouraging people that lights are an important part of the bike. He also makes a good point on the bicycle industry's failure to put lights on bikes, comparing this to the only other fast moving objects that don't use lights include missiles, bullets, and bombs.

There is some clever marketing around his book and how he released it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Abby's 8th Birthday

Abigail got a big present for her 8th birthday. She wanted this bike when we went and saw it a few weeks ago at Sellwood Cycle Repair and the very next day Susan picked it up and they held onto it while it cleared its "background" check.
The guys at Sellwood Cycle Repair modified to fit her perfectly and even helped us with the delivery by letting us tie a bow on it and hang it in the shop.

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Amelia Rides a Bike

Very proud father of a 5 year old riding her own bike.

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rotterdam's World Database of Happiness and other fun sites

We're planning for our trip to Europe and I was listening to one of the old audiobooks that I enjoyed awhile back titled the The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World. The author highlights the World Database of Happiness, which is in Rotterdam at Erasmus University.

Since we're going to Delft I wonder if we could break away for a day and go visit.

Another place I came across on the internet in Rotterdam is the following housing which ranks 22nd on the World's Strangest Buildings.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Osama Bin Laden is Dead

The White House is reporting that U.S. officials raided a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan tonight and killed Osama Bin Laden. It's a big news story. Susan was sitting at the computer and there were several posts on my facebook account sharing the news. We turned the TV on to watch. I am not sure what to think about the event in our history. President Obama gave a speech to describe the occurrences. The speech gave me confidence that it was the right thing to do. A friend on FB mentioned that it doesn't make her feel safer. I get that.

Just some idle thoughts as time passes on.

I am sure it will improve Obama's approval rating, which could use some help.

I was looking at Abbottabad on Google Maps and on Wikipedia and it looks like a nice place with a Hockey stadium (field) and a Cricket team.

I am not sure this summarizes it well, but it is notable.
 ‎"I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure." – Mark Twain

Switching between CNN and Fox News, the Fox interviewee (Bush's former Chief of Staff  Andy Card) credits Bush for setting up Obama to find Bin Laden.

Lastly, thanking God for someone else's death makes me cringe. I think of the news clips (maybe from Al Jazeera) or videos I have seen when people in (insert country of choice) are praising (insert diety of those countrymen) have shot down a helicopter or killed a U.S. soldier.

Amazing that they could keep the 8 month effort quiet long enough to carry the effort out. A NY Times post is a sign of the times

The crowds at the White House and Ground Zero look pretty big. CNN describing how transportation security will be stepped up tomorrow. 

Interesting to see friends posting to facebook based on the news website they are referring to. Academics tend to prefer NY Times, conservatives definitely Fox, and lefties are MSNBC or NPR. 

I am hoping that this will translate into prosperity for the country. It would be nice if this could bring the world together, but I am uncertain we'll see that. May the world become a more peaceful place.

After a few hours of news coverage, it's time to turn it off. 

Breakfast on the Bridges

A great way to start a Friday. , VERY Portland!

I attended this month's and the camera crew must have gotten there after I left. I didn't get a late to work slip.