Scattered Electrons

Somewhere between micro-blogging and blogging there are Scattered Electrons

Logic bomb —

I’ve been listening to “Snow Crash” by Neal Stephenson again, and I had a logic bomb blow up in my brain during one of the conversations.
Basically they were taking about binary code and how everything we see in the metaverse just a bunch of 1’s and 0’s.
Then it occurred to me. If the “Metaverse” is represented by all these 1’s and 0’s… What’s the inverse of that… What is there? The “Negaverse”?

A break —

Some time has passed since my little run in with a car… Or, more accurately, a car’s little run in with me… and I’ve had some time to kind of think back about the whole event. The only thing that seems clear is that I just need to forget it and move on.
It’s going to be difficult. There is an element of trauma involved that I am not entirely sure I have conscious control over. The day after the accident I stayed home, rested, recovered and worked on my bike. There was something therapeutic about tearing the bike down, giving it a good wash, replacing little bits, making sure everything was in it’s place. After that I took it for a short ride. I stuck to internal residential streets as best I could. I wanted to make sure the bike was good to go. Everything was fine.
Fast forward to the next day. The ride to work was just fine. It felt good… liberating even. Everything a commute by bike is supposed to feel like. Then on the way home, it decided to rain. Of course it did. I no longer have fenders, so the logical thing for Fate to do is make it rain. Everything was going swimmingly, almost literally, until at an intersection, a driver turning left onto the street I was riding on decided to do something that defies explanation.

The person just peeled out into my direction of traffic. Scaring the living hell out of me and possibly triggering a mild panic attack.
The next day was also wet, but without incident. Going to work was fine… going home was stressful. So I might have some small form of post-traumatic stress going on. Awesome.

Anyway. I guess all of this couldn’t have happened at a better time. And by “all of this”, I mean the accident, not getting all that hurt and stuff. The family and I were scheduled to start a vacation that Saturday. Luckily, by my not getting seriously injured, the trip went off without a hitch. In fact… I’m still there. I’ve cycled the last two days, and its been challenging and pretty much awesome. After a hell of a winter, I can finally get in some consecutive -longish- rides. There’s a huge difference between home and where I’m at. At home we don’t have anything you’d even generously call a hill… except for freeway overpasses. Here on the other hand, is nothing but hills. To make it even more challenging. My front derailleur has decided that I don’t need the inner ring. ( 2 x 10 ) There are a couple 10% grades out here, and I’m having to big ring it. LOL, it sucks as much as it is awesome.

I know I’m not supposed to say this. But I could really use a flat stretch to spin down on today. My legs are tired, and I need a rest day. I only commuted in the winter and spent only a little time (comparatively) on the trainer. My body isn’t ready for a long course. But I did find a mapped 100k course out there that I am dying to try.

Anyway, on the ride, I’ve been using the GoPro to do a 30 second time-lapse. Nothing spectacular has come of it, but it is neat, just the same.

I should have a couple more days of riding, so I’ll make the most of it. After this little rest.

That was an Ouch —

Well it started off a good enough day. I worked late last night and ended up being woke up by a runaway process at work at 3am… so I rewarded myself with wet and dirty ride.

IpBike_2015_03_31_07_40_55 – Tim Womack’s 23.4 miles bike ride

Work was work, nothing special… maybe a little extra annoying, but not extra special annoying or anything.

Then it was time to go home…

As you can guess, things kind of went downhill from there.

The gist of what happened is that the car’s brakes allegedly partially failed. The driver suggested the left caliper, which to me says that it was a known problem. +10 in the asshole column for you. And I say partially failed due to me writing a post on my blog.
I remember hearing a short burst from a horn, then smash. I hit the back of my head on the car… Where, I don’t know. Oh… and all you schmucks out there that might find this post and think helmets don’t help or don’t want to wear them because they muss your hair or you think they look stupid. KINDLY FUCK OFF AND GET OFF THE ROAD. My noggin has been saved more than once by a helmet, and I’m glad that I am so adamant about wearing one.

Anyway, the driver and someone else stopped. The someone else called the police and EMS. They showed up, did their job and left. I wasn’t confident in the bike’s condition so I called home and got a ride.

What was the damage?

  • The poor driver’s heart.
    The guy was bawling. So -1 from the asshole column
  • My pannier.
    Though it should be noted that my laptop survived wonderfully
  • My rack… maybe.
    One of the arms going from the frame to the rack is twisted. It’s meant to twist, so I may be able to twist it back.
  • My fenders are toast.
  • Right lower leg, right elbow, left knee.
    All pretty banged up and I’m sure I’ll find all kinds of new stuff tomorrow.

The rest of the bike needs a good going over to be sure.

What’s next? I don’t know. As far as I’m concerned, the damage is minimal and may not be worth my time seeking reparations.

What now? Well, I’m home… in a bit of pain. But I ordered takeout and am fed. The adrenaline has worn off and I had a brief moment of what felt like going into shock. But that has all passed and I’m feelin’ all kinds of relaxy.

What if? How could this have been prevented? Well, nothing short of a walled, completely isolated bike lane could’ve stopped this from happening. Provided the driver’s story is the truth, think about the scenario. You notice the brakes aren’t working, you blow your horn and try to dodge the cars in front of you only to find a cyclist in front. Given where we live, a cyclist in the road, obeying the laws, is something of a rarity. So imagine the driver’s surprise. You might wonder why I didn’t react to the blown horn. The truth is, there is hardly a day that goes by where I’m not honked at, yelled at or otherwise passively assaulted. I’m desensitized.
At the same time, if the driver was driving with a known mechanical fault… well, I don’t know what would be appropriate.

This is the risk we all take when we make the choice to ride our bikes, however legally, on the rode to get from point A to point B. These risks can be mitigated to a degree by wearing helmets, glasses, gloves and good shoes as well as following the prescribed traffic laws.

It’s time again —

It’s time again to start stretching out the commutes, taking the round-about way and seeing what there is to be seen. I do want to do things a little differently this year. If I’m going for a longer ride (10+ miles) I want to take the road bike out, do the ride, come home, shower then ride to work. I don’t know how well it will work out, but it is what I want to try.

I ventured out, beyond the beaten path, for the first time this year. It was both cool and fun, and a really bad idea. I’m still fighting some kind of chest cold that has me wheezing after a couple miles. Plus it was really damp and in the 30’s. Normally those last two things wouldn’t be a problem, but I had dressed for the warmer weather I’ll have this afternoon on the way home… And my gloves were too warm. I couldn’t ever decide if I was burning up or freezing… kinda sucked. The other crappy thing was when I decided to take the Craig St. Trail. Huge patches of ice and an impassable mound of frozen slush at the end. Ended up having to low-gear it through some half-frozen mud… Made a little mess. The good part was the Greenbelt Trail. Pretty much clear except for a couple large puddles that were frozen over. The sound of my tires rending the ice was intense.

Another thing that made the morning’s ride interesting was the fog. I can’t wait to get the footage from the GoPro. As long as the lens didn’t get too fogged, it should have some great shots… including a suicidal rabbit. (Finally I have proof that they’re out to get me)

I also stopped to take a few pictures, which ended up being the ultimate disappointment of the morning. I’ve been using Wahoo’s Fitness app to track my rides lately because I’ve been wearing the TICKR X and the Fitness app can use that to calculate cadence. Sometimes it is WAY off, but on smooth roads, it does a good job. Well, when I stopped to take what must’ve been the second shot, the app stopped tracking… Ended up losing 2.5 miles worth of data. That is the last time I use the Fitness app. Until I get a new cadence sensor for the commuter, I’ll live without it. (Really the only reason I wanted it was for the videos).

Here are the pictures from this morning:

Some things that took my money this week. —

Humble Subterranean Press Book Bundle

More often than not, HumbleBundle is offering something pretty cool. For their book bundle, they have some cool items as well as supporting Worldbuilders this time around.

CLICK HERE to support All Crumbs Artisan Bakery Retail Store Launch

Because we should be spoiling ourselves with good bread made by someone else on other days than just Saturday… And you know, its good for the city.

Summary —

A couple days ago I had myself a little pity party. I guess its something that needs to be done. But let’s get things back to normal.

gevalia-coffeeI recently found Gevalia coffee, and man… this is some of the best home brewed stuff ever. It’s smooth, sort of chocolaty. Seriously, go get some.

My wife got me a GoPro for my birthday. I want to record my commutes. On Friday I messed with time-lapsing the ride. Its kind of cool, but I don’t know if it’s what I want. Here’s a look

Windows Tablet
I now have 2 reasons for keeping a PC around. The first being Zwift, which I have to use my work laptop for because this tablet thing does not have a keyboard. I do plan to remedy that. The second is the GoPro studio. It’s a lot faster to do things from that program than trying to use their rather mediocre app on my phone. I’ve found an updated driver for the digitizer and it seems to be working quite a bit better. It is far from perfect. Hell, trying to write this post in the “modern” IE interface is a complete pain in the ass. But again, until I get a keyboard, I’m stuck with it.

Finally we come to the winter commute. I honestly don’t know which year has been worse. I suppose I need to look at the data and see. But things have been cold, cold, cold. The kids have had few opportunities to go out and play in the snow because it has been too cold, too consistently. Anyway, there are some pictures that I’m sure haven’t made it here.

I’m back at it, creating things. Nothing really groundbreaking, or very unique. But there was what felt like a long time between times I felt I wanted to cook.

Sometimes; Work —

There are times that I love my job. And there are times when I can’t wait to run away.
I’ve been working earlier mornings and later nights lately. Partly due to projects that need to be done and partly because I’m online with Australia and Hawaii again.
The worst part is once I’m done for the night I can’t get to sleep. Last night I finally got to sleep around midnight, then was forced awake at 4am to deal with a server issue.
I dunno, I’m just tired, and sometimes the people and the hours get to me. I need some warmth and some sun, and 100 miles on my bike.

Trying something new —

I’m spending some time with a Windows 8 tablet this weekend. Trying to decide is it’s something I might want/need. My laptop is on its way out. Honestly, I hardly use the thing any more… except for Zwift.

First impressions don’t lean one way or the other. I need to install Zwift to see how that acts.

Anyway, I really wanted to see what typing on the screen is like. (hint: it kinda sucks. They see be taking notes from the Android keyboards.)

Here I am! —

Ok, so there’s been a distinct lack in presence on my part both here and social media in large lately. So I wanted to do a big, but quick update.

First off. This weather sucks. It’s just cold. Not extreme enough to be cool. Just cold and it sucks. Get it? It sucks.

On the health and exercise front, things were looking pretty good until I got sick. I’ve been on the trainer almost everyday riding on Zwift and watching what I eat. It’s helping. In a lot of ways.

Zwift… Yeeeeeeah. A video game for my bike. I am so wanting a Wahoo KICKR ($1000) so bad right now. Seriously. It’s pretty sweet.

Wahoo TICKR X. I haven’t got around to testing all the other stuff it can do. But yeah, I bought one.

Food. Been cooking again. Enjoying it too.

Work. Decided my office is poisonous. Working from home, I feel better, more accomplished. One day at the office ruins an entire week.

Sick. Yup, got sick. It was awful in a nice sort of way. I laid around for 2 days and actually got some good sleep (eventually).

That’s about as nutshelly as I can get.