Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Censored Internet Videos

I was just on the BBC website to see an article about non-trained people assembling "flat pack" bicycles in the UK.  There's a video at the top of the post and I cannot watch it because it is "Not available in your area"...what kind of bollocks is that?  This is the internet?  If I can see the text and comments from other readers, why can't the same 0s and 1s turn into a video on my bloody screen? 

I've encountered similar problems trying to watch spanish language videos from Mexico.  Seriously, I want to watch.  What difference does it make that I'm not in Mexico or the UK?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bike Shop in Vero Beach

Today I went to Bicycle Sport to get pedal washers for the Uno.  It's definitely the best bike shop in Vero.  My mom informed me that Bicycle Sport is where she bought my very first bike, a Giant ___model here_____.  It was a coaster brake model, I think it had 20" wheels.  I rode it from training wheels up until 6th grade when I got my Huffy Blades 26" mountain bike.  My parents wanted to get me a good bike but I insisted on a Huffy because other kids had them and I thought that made them cool.  What an idiot.

The pedal washers didn't fix my creaking noise.  I'm going to need to get a frame replacement.  Good thing it's under warranty.  I thought steel was supposed to be durable.  If you have any idea what's wrong, let me are the symptoms:

My bike creaks when I pedal hard.  Not when I'm "coasting" or relaxing down a hill, but it will creak when I accelerate or climb.  It's not regular.  Not every pedal revolution or wheel revolution or chain revolution.  I can feel the creek in my feet.  I've replaced the bottom bracket, the pedals, tried a new rear wheel, put on the pedal washers, and lubed everything.  It's not the headset because I don't even have to touch the bars to get it to creak.  Not the seat either.  I'm open to suggestion.  FYI:  I wrecked my bike a few months back and maybe the frame incurred damage.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pick #272

New Politics - "Yeah Yeah Yeah"

Edit:  Oh No!!! This is the same as Pick #260...I didn't update my previous picks file that I cross reference before posting :(

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Impaired Cognition

Yesterday I was trying to work from home.  I was trying to finish writing my final exam.  It took me a very long time to finish.  I was sick and my mind just didn't have its normal presence.

I was wondering today if my impaired mental state from yesterday matches the everyday mental state to lots of people.  I  sometimes think that it's easy to do the things I do and that almost anyone can do whatever they want.  Granted, I could have probably finished just a bit faster if I had the drive, but lacking the drive was part of my mental state at the time.  Maybe I just got some insight into where limitations come from.  I don't know if this makes sense to the reader or even myself when I come back to read later.  I think that means it's time to stop (or go back & edit).

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Eco Friendly Tissues

I happened to notice a new brand of tissues at Publix yesterday.  They're made by a company called Scotties. The best part is that for every tree they use, they plant 3.  The company uses trees that are certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and is somehow ambiguously linked to the Renewable Forest Project.

That's 10x better than using recycled tissues.  They're not that expensive (they cost about 0.75¢) when compared to something like Publix Greenwise (costing about 0.70¢).

Pick #271

Elvis Costello - "Accidents Will Happen"

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Engineers Without Borders 5k

I did not want to get up when my alarm went off at 7:20 this morning.  It took me a second to remember that I had a race to go to.  I got ready quietly, eating a banana and a granola bar.  I threw my running stuff together, put on some warmer clothes for the ride over, then hopped on my bike.  Due to my lack of preparation, I forgot my race number belt and had to pin on my number like Abe Lincoln did.

On the way to the race, I saw a dead dog in the road.  It had a collar on, so I stopped and called the owner.  I felt bad delivering that news.  I hoped it wouldn't funk me out of the race.  The girl cried when I told her about her dog and I felt bad for about 2 miles.  I figured that it would be better to get that call than to keep looking for a missing dog only to find it later and more decomposed.

When I got to the race, there was only one other bike on the rack.  Later on, some single speed pulled up with Christmas lights on the bike.  Nice.  I went to get my number and was amazed that I could pick any number on the table.  Also, when I told them my name, I noticed that the list of preregistered runners was not alphabetized.  I picked #22 and got ready for my race.  Just as I was removing my warm-up pants about 4 minutes before the scheduled start, there was an announcement that the race would start 10 minutes late.  Boo.  At least the weather was perfect.  It actually started 13 minutes late.  I led the race for about the first 1/4 mile or so then was passed by the man who would go on to win it.  I tried to stick with him.  When he pulled away, I planned to reel him back on the hills.  He didn't drop at all on the hills.  He kept opening his gap on me just as I kept opening mine on 3rd place.

I was 2nd overall and first for the tri team.  We won the team division with strong finishes by other members:  Bobby in 3rd overall, Alex in 4th overall, and Alexa won overall for the women.  Riley and Wren showed up too.  Chris was race directing, and Maggie and Peter manned the water station.  I won a $15 RoadID gift card in the raffle!  Add the free shipping coupon from the race number and that's a cheap item from RoadID.  BTW, if you don't have a RoadID, you should get one and wear it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Black Wednesday

I saw on the news tonight that some crazy people are camping in front of stores to be first in line for Black Friday.  They're skipping their Thanksgiving with families just to save a couple bucks.  At least the weather's not too bad here.  This must be a miserable strategy up north.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dog Catches Ball with Paws!

This is Purin the Super Beagle.  He does all kinds of cool tricks.  Check out his other vids on YouTube.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Unsanctioned Racing

This is amazing.  Pearl Izumi is the "unofficial shoe of unsanctioned racing."  They have a facebook page where you can create an unsanctioned race and people can sign up.  P.I. will give you some stuff for your race!  Amazing.  I'm thinking about making one.  Maybe put it together for the next tri it up to everyone!  If you're at all interested in unsanctioned racing, totally check this out!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mixed Use Development in Railroad Square

If you haven't seen, there is going to be a mixed use development in Railroad Square.  I think All Saints is going to be super pissed about the coffee shop in there.  I also don't know how well the ingress/egress is going to work with that tiny little stop sign and a traffic light one block south of there.  Some of the floor plans look insanely tiny.

I really like the idea of building using otherwise-rotting shipping containers.  The location is good for students.  I wonder what they mean by "below market" rents and who is going to pay the difference.

As for the site, I'm not sure where the buildings are going to go unless they tear down The Other Side.  There doesn't seem to be enough land between the road and the canal.  I'm looking forward to seeing something start to take shape in that space though.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Crazy Cycling Deals

There are a couple sites that provide really good deals on cycling stuff one item at a time.  The sales usually last for about 30-45 minutes.  The ones that I was introduced to are Bonktown and ChainLove.  I found a sweet pair of MTB shoes for $20 on one of them but they didn't have my size.  Maybe you'll have better luck.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Why Are We So Sensitive About Teachers?

Rick Scott just signed a "Teacher Merit" bill into law. It basically requires new teachers (and old ones who opt into the new system) to be evaluated annually with threat of being fired. No more tenure. Teachers are outraged. Name another job that has tenure. Why would you ever make a policy that you cannot fire a teacher? Bad teachers need to go. Let's chop at least the bottom 10% every year.

Admittedly, I don't think that standardized tests should be weighted too heavily in teacher assessment. Peer and student feedback along with maybe video analysis and demonstration of student work should all play in.  We need to bust up some teachers unions and not let them get away with silly demands.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pick #266

Sr. Trepador - "Dejame entrarte"

I think they sound kind of like Hombres G. Definitely españoles.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Old Swedish Bicycle

This bike was my great grandfather's. It came over from Sweden when he did. My grandmother told me stories about riding around on the back of it when she was a little girl.

It's really amazing to see how similar this bike (from the 1920s if memory serves) is to modern bikes and yet there are some big differences.

Among the differences, not the handle bar grips, the 45° rear facing drop outs, the fold-up front rack, and the angle of the seat tube (if you're in to that sort of thing).

This bike looks really sweet and would be an amazing restoration project. I wonder if the spokes are strong enough to ride on and what size the wheels are. I bet there are some weird sized things that used to be the standard and are now difficult to locate. The single speed aspect (I'm assuming there's a coaster brake because I don't see any other brakes) would make it difficult to ride in Tally but not so bad on the coast.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Student Loan Forgiveness Demands from Occupy Wall Street

It makes no sense for the government to forgive student loans.

First of all, there was an agreement between the creditor and the debtor about how the money would be repaid. The balance sheet cannot be wiped clean. Someone must pay the debt or creditors will stop lending money to students. I do not want the government to pay the debt. They spend too much money already. It's unfair to take tax dollars from someone who did not have a child go to college or who had one go on full ride scholarships and make that person pay for an unknown beneficiary of the government.

Next, from an efficiency standpoint, it doesn't make sense to give money to college graduates. They are going to have higher earning potentials than the less educated of their cohort. Forgiving $50,000 in student loans for an individual might lower their monthly obligations by a couple hundred dollars, but will they spend all of that? If you gave that same money to 50 poor people in the sum of $1,000 each, the poor would spend that money a lot faster and probably on more "needed" stuff than the former students.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Put Liquids in Your Checked Luggage

What are my options regarding liquids if I don't want to pay at least $25 each way (and wait at the baggage claim) to check my luggage? The TSA website says that each traveler can't bring bottles bigger than 100mL each and they all have to be contained in a 1 quart bag. They say the 100mL size restriction is a safety measure. What's going to stop a bad guy from flying with 4-5 other bad guys and each splitting up the volume of liquid?

In fact, it wouldn't be too hard for separate bad guy to go through separate screening places and not raise any suspicions and maybe combine their couple hundred milliliters of inert stuff into boom juice once past security (and even before getting on the plane). It's nuts to make me go out and buy travel sized crap just so I can fly. Maybe I have small bottles at home that I can refill myself and that's better than buying stuff, but why can't I take my recently opened tube of toothpaste if I have the space for it? This is a pointless and arbitrary rule and it's slowing everyone down. Stop the guy trying to bring high odor mineral spirits on the plane or maybe 8 molar hydrofluoric acid...leave me alone with my cologne and shampoo. You can't even carry on canned food if there's liquid inside which seems to rule out everything except refried beans. Frustrating.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tri the Rez 2011 Race Report

I had a blast at Tri the Rez this year! It's so amazing to see my race grow like it has. I could not have picked a better successor than Jennifer.

Let's start with packet pickup. One of the smoothest ever. This would even have been smooth for a 5k!

Race day: I woke up before my alarm went off and naturally couldn't go back to sleep. I drank my smoothie while I got dressed and couldn't find my body glide. I thought I had 3 sticks of it. No idea where they are. I didn't freak out, just got some Aquaphor instead. I got to wear #1, which was super cool. I had the best spot in the entire transition area although someone with a bike # in the 150s had racked in my spot (so I had to make her leave). From my vantage point, it looked like everything was running smoothly behind the scenes. I never saw a line at the bathrooms since we rented so many port-a-potties and the Rez opened their bathrooms. There were 110 registered collegiate athletes, many of them from other schools.

Swim: the water was something like 74°F. I wore my wetsuit partially to get my money's worth out of it. I borrowed some body glide from Colin for the wetsuit but still it didn't come off super easily. The lake level is very low at the Rez and we had to run through a little bit of muck and vegetation that's been absent in years past. The buoys were easy to sight and I gave myself a little bit of space to the outside of the first leg of the swim to stay out of the herd (Javi got hit really hard in the nose). I was the 17th guy to come out of the water. The exit was a bit tricky in the muck and everyone had dirt on their hands and faces. Very nice entry to T1, a bit of wetsuit trouble, then my chip had come loose and I noticed only after unracking my bike! That was awkward. Oh and my watch broke during the swim. Blank display. I took it off while running and set it down with my swim cap & goggles. It was weird doing the rest of the race with nothing on my wrist.

Bike: I slipped into my shoes pretty easily. Not a whole lot of people around me. Nobody passed me on the bike! I passed a few people. I wish I could have pushed a bigger gear at the same cadence, but I haven't been training very hard. The bike course director went around yesterday and blew off the bike course with a gas powered blower. It was amazing. Hardly any debris on the course. The poorly paved portions were painted and highly visible. I saw Colin heading back in while I was on Lost Lake Rd! He wasn't that far in front of me! Colin definitely opened a gap on the bike back and the run. After getting back on to Springhill, I noticed a headwind. Boo. I wish I was better at cornering. I need to practice. I had to slow way down to make the turn on to Lake Bradford. I think I did a pretty good job turning on to Flastacowo where Nat & Erin were cheering for me. After making the turn, I took my feet out of my shoes and pedaled almost right up to the dismount line. I quickly racked my bike, seemed like I took forever to get my socks & shoes on, then headed out to the run.

Run: I thought the course was very well marked (what can I say). The only issue is that it was missing the 1 & 2 mile markers. The run course coordinator told me that she put them up the day before and this morning they were snapped in half and the 2 mile marker was thrown in the woods. The course was way harder today than any other time I've run it. Maybe I was a little tired from the race, but I definitely noticed the hill that takes you out of the Rez and the sand trap in the woods. The water station was staffed by plenty of people and the woods was a nice touch. I really like that course. Through the woods, I couldn't see anyone in front of me and I didn't check for anyone behind me. After getting back on to Longleaf, I saw a UF jersey in front of me a good ways. I was working on catching him for an entire mile and I got pretty close at the finish, but he kicked it in really hard when he heard people cheering for me and there was no way I could catch him although he only beat me by 1 second.

Post Race: Got a massage and some food after cheering a few people in. Went on a cool down with Colin & Tommy. Saw the broken 1 mile sign with the 2 mile one nowhere to be found. Came back and enjoyed some food...should have eaten more. Didn't win an award because I finished 14th in the collegiate division. I helped clean up and headed home around 1pm.

My Results: 22nd/288 overall. total time: 1:06:12 swim place 35, swim time 9:15, T1 0:56, bike place 32, bike time 34:57, T2 0:47, run place 10, run time 20:19

Friday, October 7, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

Online Library of Liberty

The Online Library of Liberty is a service of the Liberty Fund containing over 1,000 titles that you can download as .pdfs. Lots of different ways to sort through the library. Definitely something you'll find interesting.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Script Writing due to Ink Technology

I think I figured out why older people write in script and younger people write in print. It all has to do with writing technology. Back when a pen was really just a feather dunked in a bottle of ink, that ink would drip off the end of the pen. Every time you lift the quill off the paper, there is potential for a little drop to spill off. Since you only lift your pen a little over once per word with cursive, this limits the potential number of splotches when compared to lifting your pen a little over one time per letter when writing in print. Today's ballpoint technology allows us to print rather effectively without unwanted marks on the paper.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sexist Shirts

I got this email last week with the subject line Tell JC Penney and Forever 21: Stop insulting girls' intelligence. You kind of have to read at least some of it before scrolling down for my comments.

Just this week, retailer Forever 21 began offering for sale a shirt for girls emblazoned with the slogan "Allergic to Algebra." And a few weeks ago, JC Penney offered similar girls' shirts with the slogan "I'm too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me."
Sexist slogans like these play into and perpetuate the incorrect stereotype that women are innately bad at math or being pretty is more important than being smart. By selling these shirts, the stores give their implicit support of these stereotypes to convince girls that, to be stylish and fit in, they must be bad at math or less interested than boys in academic achievement. Slogans like these are also harmful to boys and reinforce with them the stereotype that they are innately better than girls when it comes to math or that a girl's worth comes only from her looks.
After backlash from outraged customers, both shirts were pulled from the shelves and online stores.1 But how did the sexist shirts get there in the first place? Clearly, something is totally broken within the corporate culture of these retailers. There is no effective review process for the clothing sold at JC Penney and Forever 21 if offensive clothing like this that demeans young girls makes it to their shelves.
These retailers are clearly sensitive to public pressure, as evidenced by how quickly they pulled the shirts after a public backlash arose. But that's not good enough. We must pressure JC Penney and Forever 21 to make the changes necessary at corporate headquarters to ensure sexist shirts like these never even come close to making it to the shelves.
Dozens, perhaps hundreds, of people at JC Penney and Forever 21 encountered these shirts before they were made available to the public. Why didn't employees of these retailers at some point say, "Hey, are we really going to sell shirts to young girls that say 'I'm too pretty for homework' or 'Allergic to Algebra'?"
It's obvious that these shirts perpetuate offensive and harmful stereotypes about the ability of women to achieve academically relative to men. Of course, many studies have confirmed that these stereotypes are baseless, and that women's minds are just as well suited to performing academically as men's.
But, because popular culture is so powerful, many women and girls will conform to negative stereotypes of what a woman is supposed to achieve if they are continually reinforced. Stores like JC Penney and Forever 21 help shape that culture through the clothing they sell.
It's clear that these stores listen to public pressure, but we must pressure JC Penney and Forever 21 to take concrete steps to ensure that clothing this sexist never even comes close to making it onto shelves again.
[end email]

First of all, the girls wearing these shirts are probably not good at math. Maybe they could be if they tried. But I could also be good at caring for children. I just have no desire to do that. "Allergic to bratty little 3 year olds" would be a fine slogan for my shirt.
We could make these shirts for guys too. Would that be a problem? The responsibility falls on the parents buying these shirts or the allowing their kids to buy these shirts. The market will take care of things by making bad designs lose money.

There is plenty of other sexist clothing in stores everywhere. Why don't they routinely carry thongs for men? Is that sexist? I guess it is because they're treating one gender different than the other. BUT it's not a problem and the market hasn't demanded that stores carry man thongs. There are special stores that cater to that market.

The too pretty for homework slogan is offensive, but so is "too rich for homework" or something along those lines, but other flashy displays of wealth and shirking of responsibilities are also encountered in retail stores. What about that app for the iPhone called I'm Rich?? You paid $1,000 for it to display a ruby on your phone. No other features. Just to show that you're rich. Apple did away with that app and they can do whatever they want, but people did buy it.
Even things that you don't like or you think are stupid might not be bad for other people. It's a slippery slope when you start deciding what people can and can't purchase with their own money. Let them decide not to buy the shirts.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

STOP Government Spending

Write to your elected officials.  Let them know that we can't just keep letting the government spend all this money.  What does AA+ mean to you?  To find your representative, go here.  To find your senator, go here.

I sent the following letter to Steve Southerland, Bill Nelson, and Marco Rubio:

I need you to stop government spending.  When we are in debt, we should save as much as possible.  Even when we run a surplus, historical evidence shows that government spending is not as great a boon to the economy as private sector spending.

In addition to spending less, I realize that the government needs to take in more money.  I'm not a fan of taxes.  I know they cause distortions in the market.  I never like paying taxes nor does anyone else.  We need to face the fact that tax revenues need to increase, but it's tricky to say whether that means we should raise or lower the tax rate.  Any adjustments should be made carefully.

Everyone understands that a household encumbered by credit card debt needs to pay it off as soon as possible and do whatever it can to avoid borrowing more until the original principal is paid off.  Why is it that we cannot scale this same logic up to the level of federal government?  The easiest way to stop borrowing is to stop spending.  Stop funding peanut festivals.  Stop pork barrel spending.  Stop giving away agricultural subsidies.  Stop fighting 3 wars.  Stop blindly giving "aid" money to the corrupt governments in developing countries.  Aid money would be better invested in microfinance firms where we could recoup the investment after a couple years and the aid would go directly to the people.  Simplify the tax code and get rid of 3/4 of the IRS.  Stop trying to save failing companies.  The market NEEDS bad businesses to go away in order to free up capital for more productive endeavors.  Cut your losses on the failing post office (sell the rights to a private company).  Stop the war on drugs.  Legalize pot & prostitution...there's some sources of revenue that would reduce expenditure on law enforcement and lower crime.  Give a pay cut to all elected officials to show real leadership.  Stop giving idiosyncratic tax breaks to big campaign contributors.  Close tax loopholes.  Don't put the burden on the shoulders of my generation and those who come after me.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Riding a Fixed Gear Does NOT Connect You to the Road

I hear fixed gear riders talk all the time about how they are so connected with the road. They talk about having ultimate control over the speed of their rear wheel like it matters. I think it's especially silly when they say that kind of stuff without being clipped in.

I feel connected to the road when I tune in to that feeling.  When I pay attention to the feedback that I get from the bike.  When I feel the uneven pavement beneath my tires.  It doesn't matter if I have a more complex drivetrain on my bike; I feel the same.  Don't get me wrong, each bike provides different kinds of feedback (for instance, the mountain bikes have a front suspension).  But beyond mechanical efficiency, there is no inherent superiority in a fixed drive system.

I've been riding a fixie for over a year now, so it's not that I'm so new to the bike that I can't connect.  I have 4 bikes now and each of them feels different.  I can appreciate those differences and hopefully use the bike that best suits my needs.  The Diamondback 26" is great for getting around, hauling small stuff, having fun, and light off-roading.  The Kona 29er is great for off-road and kind of a bear to push on pavement.  The Trek 1200 is my choice for long rides.  The KHS fixie is a great commuter.  Each bike works different leg muscles.  Each bike responds differently to flying down a hill.  Each bike has its own unique personality (although I'm still getting acquainted with the Kona).

If you want to feel connected to your bike, just ride it.  Ride it a lot.  Everywhere.  Every day.  You can connect with your cruiser, recumbent, hybrid, TT, road, mountain, fixed, single speed, or vintage bike.  You can get high on cycling while retaining the ability to coast.  I encourage you to do so.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

What Happened to the Victory Garden?

Back in WWII, our country's debt to GDP ratio was around 120%, which is higher than even today although our current ratio of about 100% is nominally larger. We are fortunate that the government has not imposed on us a rationing system (other than the prices that serve to ration goods in a market system).

When the nation was in deep debt during WWII, residents were encouraged to grow their own food in a back yard "victory garden." The name comes from the idea that we'd be able to better feed our troops and domestic residents with the assistance of such gardens. I want to know why there's not a push for more victory gardens today.

Growing a substantial amount of one's own food encourages saving, which we will need to pay off some of this debt. There are also positive environmental effects of eating extremely locally. The country could save some on fuel costs from transporting produce. With more mouths fed at home, we could export more of our industrial agriculture, thus helping the balance of trade.

Overall, we would be more productive at home. We could have more household saving and use some of that to pay down our national debt. Victory gardening is something that you can do even if you're unemployed or lack the resources to save in other ways. All you need is a little bit of dirt and water.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Tri Family

Tonight was the first meeting of the new school year for my beloved triathlon club. I got brain drained in my office, so I showed up about 15 minutes early to the meeting. It was so nice to see everyone. I've not had contact with some of these people since the spring semester ended, but we're all such a close team that it really feels like a family. No matter how long you go without seeing your grandmother, she's still your grandmother. I guess it's like that with the tri team. Kind words were spoken of Tommy B and I feel like even someone as long gone as Dan C can still give off that family vibe.

The new officers are doing a great job and it's nice to sit back and admire from a distance now. I'm confident that the club will be in great shape when I leave. The new race director is doing an amazing job. I will be an enthusiastic participant. I hope to make it to an OK number of workouts. I fear that my newfound focus on school is going to get in the way of some of that. I might just have to re-prioritize to spend time training with the fam.

There were also a lot of new faces. I hope that they feel welcome and get involved, thus becoming a part of the family.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Otra manera de enseñar español a un nivel de la escuela secundaria

Con una meta de que los estudiantes aprendan la idioma y empiecen a hablar, tengo una idea de una nueva manera de organizar las clases de español en una aula de la secundaria.

Al principio, el profesor tiene que hablar en español y repetir la misma frase en inglés. La repetición es muy importante para poner las palabras en la mente de los estudiantes. El currículo debe enfocar en interacción entre los estudiantes y la lengua. Por ejemplo, una tarea es que tienen que ver por lo menos 1 hora de la televisión en canales de español cada semana. Escriben notas en que han visto. Durante el año, el conocomiento de las escenas crecerán.

Ganan "dinero" por cumplir las tareas y por las marcas de los exámenes. Este dinero se puedan usar para comprar cositas del mercado de la clase. Este mercado puede tener opciónes como puntos de extra crédito o dulces o trozitos de la cultura (por ejemplo un tapíz o una calabaza del día de los muertos). El precio de los artículos puede cambiar con las fuerzas de la oferta y la demanda. Se puede tener subatas en que los estudiantes tienen que ofrecer "dinero" y combatir con los otros estudiantes para ganar el artículo.

Es más, estudiantes ganan dinero durante la clase por su participación. Tengo una idea de una actividad. Empiezo y pregunto algo a un estudiante. Dicho estudiante tiene que responder sin usar inglés y eligir otro estudiante para preguntarle otra pregunta. El último estudiante que no ha usado inglés gana lo más dinero.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Finish Tags

Perhaps you've heard of Finish Tags. They're trying to compete with Road ID. They have a slightly different layout and plan for disseminating the medical info. There is no subscription with Finish Tags like there is with the Road ID interactive. I got a set of Finish Tags for free from a Facebook promotion. I decided to buy the "Sprint" which is basically a long nylon strap with velcro on it. It will fit just about any sized wrist and athletically sized ankles. It has some advantages and some disadvantages over Road ID. All around, Finish Tags are cheaper and if price is what's holding you back from Road ID, I definitely recommend getting the Finish Tags.

As for the receipt of emergency medical info, you can either enter an individual ID # online, call/fax it in, or text it. I texted my "lifepin" to the specified number and I got TWENTY NINE texts back with information about myself. That would totally suck if someone did not have an unlimited texting plan. Some of the texts were very short. Others weren't. Overall, it was pretty helpful and it would be easy enough for a first responder to get good info about a victim from the Finish Tags.

I'm not giving up on my Road ID. I like the wrist band way better for the Road ID. I haven't taken the Finish Tags swimming yet, but I imagine that it won't stay on the wrist as well.

Monday, September 5, 2011

ZipCar at FSU!!

If you haven't heard yet, FSU has a ZipCar program now! It's a car sharing club. You pay $25 to become a member and you can use the car for $7/hour. I think you can get it for $65/day or something like that and you can drive up to 180 miles without additional charge. There's a card in the visor that you use to pay for gasoline. You don't have to pay for maintenance or insurance or any of that. It's super cool and you should check it out, especially if you live on campus and sometimes need a ride.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Get Rid of Some Junk Mail

You can get rid of some junk mail for free at Direct Marketing Association. Good for the environment and your mail carrier. Saves you the trouble of throwing away unwanted mail.

Monday, August 22, 2011

No Free Water Past Security

I was flying out of Kansas City today and I jettisoned my water before passing through security. Upon safely reaching the secure area, I went to find a water fountain only to find that there is not one available in that part of the airport.

It's bullshit to make people get rid of their water then try to sell them bottled water for $3. I ended up filling mine in the bathroom sink. Sometimes my bottle is too tall to fit in a sink and that trick doesn't work. I'm not advocating making airports install a ton of water fountains...but there should be some sort of workaround to the liquids restriction. I propose that you can take any liquid through security as long as you ingest at least 4 fluid ounces of it. That way I can keep my water but I have to ditch the gasoline or whatever those crazy kids are using these days to blow up planes.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pick #255

Brian Keane, "I'll Sing About Mine"

wow...this guy is definitely attacking some prominent country musicians. I've had the same thoughts he sings about and it was cool to hear this on the radio.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My Diamondback is Fixed!

I fixed my Diamondback Peak yesterday at Damn Good Bikes. I'm so excited to have it operational again. The final fix was putting on a better rear derailer. Thanks to Justin Pogge for verifying that my frame was not bent.

I feel so good on that bike. I've ridden it more than any of my other bikes and I hope to have it around for a very long time. I practically have a new bike now...I have new brakes, new cassette, new chain, new derailer, new derailer hanger, new cables, new-to-me shifters, and new pedals stolen from my Kahuna (because I put my sweet pedals from the DB on my Kona 29er).

It's been pretty easy to neglect repair when I have another bike to commute on and nothing seemed to work right (I couldn't even adjust the old Tourney derailer to be in the proper alignment). Maybe now I'll put the rack back on and see how my saddle bags fit on it. I'm going to switch up commuting on my Uno and the Peak. Hooray.

p.s. sorry if you read all of this and it was unintelligible.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Eco Tip #7: Rapid Refill

There's a business called Rapid Refill that refills old printer cartridges and sells them to you for way cheaper than new ones. The Tallahassee Rapid Refill is in the plaza with Capital City Runners and Red Elephant in Midtown.

I'm just about of color ink and I'm going there to get some more. If you go to their website, you can get a $5 coupon to use on your first visit!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Recycling Expanded in Tally

Now you can recycle almost ALL plastics in Tallahassee. #5 plastics used to not be recyclable without going to a special non-city program called Gimme 5. I'm not sure why plastic containers over 3 gallons are not recyclable. I'd think that bigger containers would be easier to recycle. If they don't fit through machines, then you could just chop plastics up earlier on during the recycling process (or so I think in my ignorance).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Education Pays

I guess I'm posting this to remind me why I'm still in school...maybe provide a little motivation.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Shaving Lubricant

Tonight I tried a new shaving lubricant. I'm not crazy about shaving cream. I don't go through it very fast, so it's not super expensive for me. I also don't like that it clogs my razor. I had been using Shave Secret ever since I got a hold of a free sample at a race. Tonight I used my face wash. It's made by Desert Essence and it's their Tea Tree/Awapuhi variety. The razor slid comfortably across my skin and the hair didn't get stuck between the blades. The only downside is that it's the slipperiest of the shaving lubricants I've used so far which made it hard to stretch the skin to get a really close shave.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

High Tech Invisible Sunglasses

Knockaround was selling (is now sold out) of a pair of invisible sunglasses. They're pretty sweet. I think they'd go with anything.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bike Crash Today

I'm ok. No injury.

I was stopped at the light at Call & Stadium on my way in to campus. It turned green and I began to cross Stadium. At about 3/4 of the way across the road, I hit the pavement. My left foot had come off the bike because the left crank arm had cracked about halfway between the spindle and the pedal. Luckily, there was no car traffic moving past me and I wasn't hit by a car. A pedestrian asked if she could help so I asked her to drag my bike to the corner. I assured her that I was OK and thanked her for her help. At that point a motorist who was turning left from Call Street campus side onto Stadium Drive said that her husband works in an adjacent building and that she could help. I asked for ice. She was very nice and I am grateful. That ice helped me keep the swelling down.

At that point, I appraised the damage: bloody left elbow and left knee. I can bend my joints fine without pain, it's just a little bit of road rash. A minute later, I noticed that my shorts were torn from above the wallet pocket to below the cargo pocket on the right side. My boxers are also torn and my butt's visible. At the moment, I didn't care. Later I wished I had a safety pin, but then realized that I had a pair of board shorts in my backpack so I slipped them on over everything else. Further damage was only noticed when I got home and took off my shorts. I'm scraped up on my right butt cheek and bruised and scraped on my left one. When I was taking a shower, I noticed that my left hand has a few pieces of black top inside. I pulled the biggest piece out but I think I'm going to let the tiny ones work their own way out.

I called Micah to see if he could get me since he has Mondays free and Erin had to work. I forgot that she was on her lunch break and would be free. I had been on my way to eat lunch with her so she offered to pick me up when I called to cancel our lunch plans. Micah showed up with first aid stuff and ended up taking my bike to the shop. He had already spoken with KHS by the time he arrived. The bike will be fixed tomorrow. Erin took me home, but had to go back to work.

If this crank arm had to snap, it did so at an ideal time. I was going slow on flat land without moving traffic next to me. I wasn't on my way to an appointment (or to run my experiment!). I didn't get injured and my head never touched the ground. I'm feeling a little sore now a couple hours later. I bet I'll be pretty sore tomorrow. With the exception of it happening on grass, I couldn't ask for a better crash.

The failed crank arm broke almost perfectly in half as you can see in the picture. I didn't get an amazing photo of the fatigue, but you can see the metal has turned a different color near the convex portion of the crank arm. There is some missing metal because the two pieces won't fit together quite right.

Cat on Boat Plays with Dolphins

See a video of a cat playing with dolphins.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


I was on my bike at an intersection today and my Stem Captain thermometer said it was 120°F! I wanted to get a pic and post to fb, but I was in traffic. By the time I got to Publix about 3 minutes later, it had dropped to 110°F and that happens all the time so it didn't really warrant a picture.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Fake TV

There's an energy efficient device called FakeTV that's a burglar deterrent. It makes it look like you have a TV on in the house but it's really just an array of LEDs. They have an assortment of good arguments for why this is a good product. It's good to use when you're home alone or out of town. I only saw this recently and thought it was cool enough to share on my blog, so check it out.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Science/Lab Themed Bathroom

I had an idea while brushing my teeth. It would be cool to decorate a bathroom with a science/lab theme. I already have a Periodic Table shower curtain and the thought of using a beaker (300mL?) for a toothbrush holder kicked off these other ideas:

wallpaper with molecular structures on it
safety shower style shower head (would need a flow restrictor)
lab style sink and bench style counters (you could hang a towel on the metal arm)
nalgene rinse bottle for soap dispenser (using thin soap like Dr. Bronners)

Anybody have other ideas? I was trying to think about ways to have the medicine cabinet look like some sort of lab storage.

note:  links are not necessarily the ideal products.  Many of the items I liked to are laboratory grade and therefore very expensive.  I think you could find/make some similar looking products way cheaper.  The wallpaper would probably have to be custom.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Eco Tip #6

Buy refills for your pens instead of throwing the whole pen away.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Accidental Bathroom Upgrade

I was preparing the shower to be re-caulked on Monday when I noticed that the linoleum flooring was starting to peel up by the door to the hallway bathroom. I looked beneath it and saw what looked like tile. I asked Erin what she thought I should do and we were curious, so I ripped up the linoleum only to find another layer of laminate flooring beneath. Ripping up that second layer wasn't too hard except where it was under the toilet. I ended up pulling the toilet out. I couldn't get the tank or the seat off, so I extracted it in one piece. The rest of the flooring came right up. The difficult part was removing all the adhesive to get to the concrete slab below. I am lucky enough to have a nice neighbor who lent me the lion's share of the tools I needed and didn't have.

This is an opportune time to redo the floor since nobody's using that bathroom anyway. I have been wanting to get rid of my linoleum, but not knowing what to replace it with. Tile seems like a good option for resale. I don't like how cold tile gets in the winter. I decided I wanted to paint the floor. Then I came across the other options of staining or epoxying. I ended up going with paint, inspired by the floors at Damn Good Bikes. My neighbor introduced me to an awesome local paint store where I consulted with a guy who recommended floor paint. We got a small paint container and it was super easy to apply. It'll dry overnight then I'll lay down a second coat, let it sit for a couple of days, put the toilet back on, then looking bathroom. I imagine it won't hold mold as easily as before (that stuff in between the two layers of laminate was nasty) and I think it looks cool. If I'm advised that it'll make the house harder to sell, I can always tile over top of it later.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tri the Rez 2011 Registration Open!

Registration for Tri the Rez 2011 is now open!! Go to our page on and click the "Register for this event" button and rock on! It's only $55 if you register before July 1st!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Someone Stole My Bike... least it was my polo bike. I'm least attached to it and it is the crappiest one I have (had).

I rode past the polo garage and didn't see my bike's handlebars over the short wall. I went back a couple hours later and verified that my bike was not there any longer. I saw what I thought was my U-lock on the ground, but it was some other OnGuard U-lock that had been cut by bolt cutters. I have no idea why people would want to steal crappy polo bikes. They won't have much fun using them for anything else. They won't be able to bring them to Krank It Up! to work on them. It's not like they just walked up and took an unsecured bike. Someone put a bit of effort into the heist. A few bikes have been stolen and I don't think they can do the thieves much good. I guess we're going to have to start keeping them in a more secure location.

I just don't understand theft of this sort.

Friday, June 10, 2011

I Don't Know How Old I Am

Back when I was 21, I could tell you my age when asked. These days I have to sit back and do a calculation based on my birth date. I guess there's nothing special until I hit 30. I'll probably be able to know my age again at least when I am 30. I just don't think it's quite as important anymore. Maybe a year makes a difference on one of those max heart rate calculations or something, but not socially and not practically. Who cares how old I am?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pick #243

Madonna - "Open Your Heart"

We're Still Here!

If you haven't heard, Judgement Day was supposed to happen on May 21, 2011, according to Family Radio(.org). A fun synopsis of these silly heads is summed up in this article.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Today I was trying to ride a unicycle as I was wrapping up my shift at Damn Good Bikes. At the end of the day, Micah told me to take it home with me and practice this week. I have a feeling that if I can actually manage to learn to ride it this week, then I will end up buying it. I've tried test driving it in the past, but to no avail. Today was my best day yet. I think there's hope!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Eco Tip #5

When you wash your car, do it in the grass. That way less of the soapy water and grime mixture will run off into the drainage system. That's good for rivers and lakes and their inhabitants.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Eco Tip #4

Carry a handkerchief to dry your hands after washing them so you don't waste paper towels. It can also double as a napkin or a rag or a tissue as long as you've only used it to dry clean hands earlier in the day.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Another Apathetic Smoker

Today I was riding my bike and saw a woman at a red light throw a burning cigarette out her window. I picked it up and told her that she dropped something. She replied that she didn't drop it. I tried to hand it to her and she took it, but then threw it back on the ground. I said something about how she could at least extinguish it before littering and she dismissed my advice. Then the light turned green and she took off.

I rode away dismayed at my lack of impact in this situation. She didn't even care! What's a guy to do? I think I decided that next time I should throw the still burning cigarette stub into the back seat of their car! Opinions? I know it could be slightly dangerous, and no I wouldn't do it to a truck full of rednecks with a shotgun rack on the rear window.

I just feel like smokers don't take account of all the litter they make so they need to have a reason to think twice about it. You might not see it from where you sit, but take a close look as you walk along the beach or a roadside and you'll see that a large fraction of the litter is comprised of cigarette related objects, mostly butts. Sometimes you'll see a McDonald's bag, but for some reason people know that they shouldn't throw out their grease stained paper bag while they can't realize that throwing a cigarette out the window is bad. Especially one that's still on fire.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Eco Tip #3

Hang dry your clothes.

I'm fortunate enough to have an outdoor clothesline where my clothes dry pleasantly on nice days. If that's not an option for you, then you can use an indoor drying rack or even just hang shirts from hangers (you can also clothespin socks to the bottom of hangers) and hang the hangers on your fan's light kit. The extra air from the fan will help. Other places you can hang clothes inside include: shower curtain rods, door frames, pull up bars, wire shelving, and any other place where you have a place to put a hanger that will leave decent air flow around the garment.

Not only is it energy efficient to hang dry your clothes, but you also reduce wear and tear on your clothes because they aren't being super heated in the dryer. According to this website, clothes dryers can use between 1,800-5,000 watts. If your load takes one hour to dry, then hanging it gives you an energy savings of 1.8-5 kilowatt hours.

Today is Earth Day, making today a great time to try hanging your clothes if you never have before.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

City Name Stealer State

Georgia is a city name stealer state. I'm sure they made up some of their own, but check out these stolen city names:

Lake City

There may be more, but I say a state with this many stolen city names is a city name stealer state.

p.s. I realize that Georgia was one of the original 13 colonies and as such, may have been the first to name a city such as Springfield

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Timing the Palace Saloon 5k

I got an email from Jacob the timer asking me if I wanted to help him time the Palace Saloon 5k this past weekend. It's a point to point race, so there's a little bit more set up and break down involved than starting and finishing in the same area. Of course I was excited to see a part of racing that has eluded me until now. I got to help set up the finish line area and cone things off. I saw him set up the wireless transmission for the chip timing. I used some really expensive equipment at the starting line and I learned a lot about RFID timing. Part of my job involved standing over a camera with an umbrella so it didn't get rained on. I'm fine doing such menial tasks all the way up to my important job of not messing up the starting data when I had to transport the timing mats and the computer thingy.

I liked it a good deal and I must have done an alright job because I got invited to work a marathon with the same people!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Eco Tip #2

Borrow a book from a friend (or go to the library) instead of buying a copy for yourself.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cut the Side of My Lips

I cut the left side of my lips about a week and a half ago. That's probably the worst spot to cut your lips because it splits open every time you open your mouth to take a big bite of something or to yell. I'm still not healed. I felt it crack open when I was having dinner tonight. Be careful with the side of your lips.

Pick #237

Na Palm - "Go Go Girl" from Dirty Girls Like Dirty Beats

You can download this album here for free.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

National Right to Work

This senator is trying to eliminate forced unions. I'm glad to live in a right to work state and I think that everyone should have the choice of whether or not they want to join a union. See what you think.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Safety Maps

There's a website where you can make a map about where to meet up when certain types of disasters strike. Sounds like a good idea, but I can't think of an example for myself to use.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Eco Tip #1

I've decided that I should make a blog entry series about eco tips. They won't be as regular as picks of the week, but will hopefully now be a recurring entry type on my blog.

Tip: refill old travel toothpaste containers by putting them head to head with a full size tube and squeezing the full size tube. Note that you might have to finesse this a little bit.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pick #236

Them Two - "Am I a Good Man" from Eccentric Soul: The Deep City Label

Band of Horses used this song as their encore this past weekend. I guess they've recorded it and some people think it's their song. It's a little bluesy for BoH, but they pull it off nicely.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tally Bike Routes

Here's a map showing lots of different kinds of bicycle routes in Tallahassee.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sharpen Your Knives on a Coffee Mug

So, I was recently reminded that you can sharpen knives on the bottom of a coffee mug. This is good since I've been complaining that my santoku knife is getting dull. Over the weekend I tried sharpening it by honing the blade on the unglazed portion of the bottom of a coffee mug. In the process, I managed to cut my finger. I stopped short of an optimal sharpening, but the difference was very noticeable.

Today my roommate cut his finger with the knife; a cut that probably would not have happened had it been duller. He cut himself in the same spot I did. Strange coincidence. Anyway, you should try coffee mugs for sharpeners. That way you won't have to buy a sharpener. Save money, save space in your house, save resources.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Large Bills Not Accepted

While I'm on the subject of legal tender, I want to vent. It pisses me off when gas stations, or any business for that matter, says that they don't accept bills over $20. Isn't my money legal tender for all debts public and private? Don't they have to accept my money?

I can understand that sometimes at a garage sale or if I owe a friend that the individual might not have change for a large bill and that issue has to be worked out person to person. However, businesses need to be prepared to take large bills. I want to go to a gas station and slap a Benjamin down on the counter and say I want to fill up on pump 5 and see what they do. Could I get them in trouble for not accepting my money? Maybe the FBI could get involved like it did with the Liberty Dollar.

Does anyone know anything about the legality of "not accepting" large bills?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Minting Mayhem

I would have believed that this article I just read came from The Onion. Instead, it's on the FBI's website. It's about a guy fined and put in prison for minting his own money (well, it was part of an organization) and trying to mix it in with the US money supply. The Liberty Dollar coins do kind of resemble US currency, but the bills are far from it.

The Supreme Court said that Liberty Dollars are not legal tender and that use of Liberty Dollars as circulating currency is a federal crime. Now, I certainly understand that it's not legal tender. But I don't think that it should be outlawed as currency. It was backed by the gold standard and I think the value was supposed to be pegged about 1:1 with the USD. If I want to trade you something for a Liberty Dollar or a pack of cigarettes or one of your used DVDs, that mutually agreed upon transaction makes us both better off. Of course it's way more common to trade USD for goods and services in this country, but people can barter favors or have plenty of other ways to pay for things than using greenbacks.

The Liberty Dollar coins maybe should have been altered a bit so as to be obviously different that the money put out by our government. I do not believe that making your own money is a federal crime, but I could get behind that sort of label for counterfeiting. The problem is that these notes were good. They were not fraudulent. They were backed by gold and you could cash them out for precious metal. There are tons of other examples of privately minted money. One of the earliest examples I learned about was babysitting vouchers. The vouchers allow you to redeem one hour of babysitting for a 1-hour note. It was a way for families in an area to trade babysitting services with other members of this group instead of paying teenage girls.

There's no reason that I can't print money that says Tallahassee Treasury and circulate it around town. As long as a value is agreed upon (I think I'd like to peg it to the US Dollar), then everyone can use it. Maybe it'd only be accepted in Tallahassee where people know that other Tally residents will take the TT notes for payment. I realize that these notes would not be legal tender and that's certainly ok. Anyway, I believe the FBI is out of hand in this case.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sock Guy Review

Sock Guy makes great looking socks. They fit nicely, especially the ones with elastic around the arch. I like their length and I don't usually have issues with the toe seam. Moisture wicking works fairly well, although not the best I've encountered. They're excellent for layering under dress socks or under a padded sock to form a dual layer sock for blister prevention.

Even though they've got those positive attributes, I don't think I'm very crazy about buying any more SG socks in the future. Of course I will if I want to support whatever is on the sock, but I will not buy them for performance. Sock Guy socks wear out much faster than other comparable socks. In fact, most of my worn out socks (with under 1,500 miles on them) have been Sock Guy. While Wigwam's Ironman socks tend to lose their elasticity around the ankle and Thorlos seem to stretch a bit, Sock Guy socks tend to become threadbare and sometimes they also lose the elasticity around the ankle. My problem areas are the back of the heel and sometimes the big toe. If I walk around in socks without wearing shoes (as I might do at home in the winter), then the sole begins to wear out. I haven't had this problem with DeFeet, Balga, Thorlo, Wigwam, Wright Sock, Save Our Soles, or any other technical sock I've worn.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Unorganized, Self-Adminstered Communion

I've been going to E3 for a little while now, but last weekend's service was the first time they offered communion. It was a different experience than what I'm used to. There was no organization to get people up to the Triscuit crackers that were moistened via intinction by the hands of the very people who would then put them in their mouths.

Basically, the band played a song and people got up whenever they felt like and went to one of 2 tables, took a cracker, dipped it in the wine, then ate it. I've always had a pastor give me my communion and there's almost always been some sort of organization determining who goes when to receive it. I just thought I'd share this experience because it was something entirely new to me.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mighty (Tyvek) Wallet

A woman came in to Damn Good Bikes a couple weeks ago and pulled out a wallet made of Tyvek when it was time to pay. She said that she'd had it for years and it's still holding up nicely. I thought it was pretty cool. It's expandable! and waterproof. It didn't have the best credit card system, but it looked pretty tolerable. I think I might want one.

I was in Quarter Moon the other day and I saw a few. There was a really cool one that looks like this. Check out the website because they have tons of cool designs. Not all of the designs are at Quarter Moon, but if you want one, go to QM instead of buying online b/c it's cheaper and you can see them in person before buying. Plus you get to support a locally owned business for cheaper than buying online!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Dinotte Lights (review-ish)

I got some DiNotte lights for my bike for my birthday last year so I guess I've been riding them for about 11 months. Dinotte Lighting is a reputable company in the lighting industry. I saw a guy in Bloomington with them on his bike and wrote down the name of the manufacturer. They're so expensive, I don't know if I could have justified buying them on my own. It is super nice to be able to ride my bike in total darkness, even off-road, at night and still be able to see where I'm going (as opposed to when I rocked the crappy $20-30 lights).

These lights (I have the 600L-Li headlight and the 140R-Li tail light) have changed my life. They change how and where I am comfortable riding. They actually illuminate the road. You can clearly see my tail light during daylight hours. I can ride about 25mph without feeling like I'm going to outrun my headlight. Cars give me more respect/passing space. I've heard people say after I passed "I thought that was a motorcycle."

My headlight is so bright that it can trip red lights to turn green (if they have the light sensor). There are some traffic lights that have a sensor on the top that detects headlights from oncoming vehicles so at night they can be tripped by shining a bright enough light on that sensor. I was thrilled to learn that I could do that with my new headlight. I used to have to go press the pedestrian crosswalk button. If I time my light shining right, I don't even have to slow down. Sometimes I can trip a light by putting my wheel over the sensor that's cut into the pavement.

The lights are really high quality. The batteries mount to my bikes with a big velcro strap and the lights each have their mounts. The headlight mount swivels left and right and I have it set up so that I can push it up and down. The light has 6 settings: 3 flash patterns, low, medium, high. There are 2 buttons. The right button changes between modes and the left one always brings the light to full power. It's really nice to be able to switch it like that.

I like the versatility of being able to mount the headlight to my helmet or handlebars and I can easily switch between bikes.

The only downside is the battery life. I can usually ride them for about a week without recharging, but sometimes I have to do it every other day, depending on how much I have them on. It's nice that if you start to get a low battery, you can lower the power and get a lot more ride time out of the battery.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dry St. Patrick's Day

I didn't drink on St. Patrick's Day this year. Not sure why, but I just didn't feel like it. Not even a beer at home. I did think about this day my freshman year of college where I had a good deal to drink and I was wondering if I would now be more likely to abstain from alcohol in the future on St. Patrick's day. In reality it's a day where the bars are packed with really drunk and obnoxious people, it takes forever to get a drink, and it's really loud. Probably better to drink the day before or the day after. Does this mean I'm old and boring?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Free File Your Taxes

I did my taxes today. I normally do them by hand then mail them in a big envelope. I've used TurboTax before and it's OK, but it doesn't really help me that much. I decided that I'd get with the times and use the e-file option. I went to and used their software. I was very happy that the online calculator came up with all the same figures I did. It was super simple to add forms. In addition to getting my refund sooner, there's the added benefit of knowing that my return was received by the IRS because they will send me an email in a day or 2. I imagine that most of you reading this already e-file your taxes. If you don't, then you might want to give it a shot. I did so in the name of adventure (trying something new) and going green.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Inappropriate Sing-Alongs

Have you ever found yourself singing along with a song only to realize that those words probably shouldn't be coming from your mouth? I've noticed with myself that I have 3 basic categories of this: 1) ideas with which I don't agree/think, 2) love songs written by heterosexual females, and 3) something that just sounds stupid.

Examples: 1) the recent POTW by Adam Reid "I'm sick and oh so tired of the south." 2) Sarah Mac Band "I only want to be with you boy" 3) Buckwheat Boys "it's peanut butter jelly time"

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ambigram Generator

This site is dedicated to ambigram tattoos. The link I gave is for a page where a computer will generate an ambigram for you!!! I thought this was a super complicated process that an artist would have to pour over to get right. I was amazed. You can play around with it and see what you think.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Microchip Your Pets.

After I got home from my run today, I went in to grab a drink. When I came back outside, there were 2 dogs on my front porch. I took them through the house to the back yard. My neighbor said they belonged to my other neighbor, but then I learned that they didn't. The dogs had collars but not tags.

Erin was at my house and we were supposed to go for a walk, so we walked up and down the street asking anyone who was home if they recognized a digital picture of the dogs. I called the animal shelter to see if there was a lost report filed but I forgot to check the sex of the dogs. I ended up taking the dogs to a vet's office to get scanned for a microchip.

One of the dogs had a microchip but the other didn't. They seemed like friends and it turns out that they have the same owner. The microchip company didn't have contact info, but the animal shelter did (they had done the chipping). The first number didn't work, but I called another which turned out to be the owner's girlfriend. He came to get his dogs a couple hours after I found them.

Had the one dog not been chipped, I would not have been able to identify the owner and I would have had to turn the dogs over to the shelter. Hopefully the owner would have filed a report and been notified when I turned in the dogs. Otherwise the dogs would have been adopted into another home or put down. It's definitely worth every penny to microchip your pets.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Early Bedtime with Old People

I went to visit Erin's grandparents this past weekend. It was nice to meet them and we had a good time. I was getting over a cold so I was a little less energized than normal. We ended up going to bed pretty early both nights. I think 10pm might have been my bedtime. I imagine my recovery played a role in my wanting to go to bed so early, but I think that spending the day with people who go to bed early helped more.

I know that girls can all get on the same menstrual cycle when they spend enough time together. They all end up following the alpha female's cycle. I wonder if it's the same with sleep...the old people had the stronger circadian rhythm (perhaps because we were in their environment) and it kind of rubbed off on us. Another idea I have is that there wasn't much to do and we were trying to be quiet, so it's easiest to go to bed.

I think the stronger circadian rhythm theory gets some other support from when I go visit my immediate family and my mom ends up staying awake later than usual when I'm home. Part of it may be that she wants to catch up with me but it might also be that my presence influences her sleep routine. Does anyone know of any studies done on this? Anybody have personal experience?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Groupon: Hook Me Up

If you haven't opened a Groupon account, you can hook me up by using this link to sign up: You should create an account within 72 hours of clicking the link.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Vero Bike Tragedy

My mom sent me this article about a 21 year old on a bike who was struck by an 83 year old driving a tour bus. I'm always struck by the heinous comments of the anti-cyclist camp on news stories like this. There are also assinine comments on this article about a driver who plowed full speed through a group of critical mass riders in Porto Alegre, Brasil.

It turns out that motorists are least everyone is more of an asshole when they are behind the wheel. You can be a nice person, but get behind the wheel of a car and you feel somehow empowered. You are more susceptible to road rage and you're in a killing machine. Driving is a dangerous, expensive habit. Drivers don't care about paying full attention to the road. They send text messages and eat hamburgers while they reach for something they dropped and change the radio station. Drivers view their license as a birth right, not a privilege.

Let me also take this time to say that some cyclists are assholes. They run red lights and flick off cars who go on green. They ride on the left side of the street. They don't have reflectors or lights and ride in the dark. They slowly cross the road in front of oncoming traffic. Some of the ill will of drivers toward cyclists is engendered by this behavior.

If we had more bicycle infrastructure and made it feasible for people who aren't quite as extreme as me to get around using two wheeled transportation, then we could drastically lower the prevalence of accidents like this while reducing obesity and pollution. We would lower health care costs and road maintenance costs. Bikes are much lighter than cars and you can fit way more of them into the same area. A parking spot for one car can hold 6+ bikes. Likewise a lane for moving traffic can hold way more bikes than cars. Also, people I know who drive despise their commute (except for some motorcycle drivers I know). Cyclists generally enjoy their commute. If more of your colleagues biked to work, there would be a friendlier work environment and probably higher productivity too.

In many cases it's just as fast to cycle or cycling can add 3-5 mintues to a trip. Not much time is lost by cycling. Everyone can win. Get more people on bikes and cars can have less traffic to contend with. The question is "how do we shift the paradigm?"

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Changing my Birthday

My dad was born really close to Christmas and always talks about how he'd like to change his birthday. He doesn't have a facebook account, but if he did then he could put a different birthday on there. I think it would be funny to change my birthday on facebook and see how many of my "friends" wished me a happy one. I hear that this stunt has been done before. I imagine it's pretty effective at drawing birthday wishes on a day that's not actually your birthday.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Take Back the Tap

Food and Water Watch (.org) has a campaign to "Take Back the Tap" where they want you to stop buying bottled water and instead use tap water to fill your reusable bottle. I saw some of their reps at the Rez Goes Green event this past weekend. One of them asked me if I would agree to stop buying bottled water. I had to tell her that I've been one step ahead for a few years.

There's a section on the website on how to "free your event" from bottled water. It was super easy for Tri the Rez. We just put water in those big 5 gallon coolers and let people fill their own cups. Now, I know you're thinking that there's still cup waste going on and you're right. It would be best if people would fill a reusable water bottle with the cooler water. However, it's way more eco-friendly to transport 500 empty cups than it is 500 half-liter water bottles.

Check out their website then stop buying bottled water!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Judgement Day Date:

I ran into a dude on campus today who was down here from New Jersey on a tour with Family Radio letting people know that the world would end on May 21, 2011!! That's soon!! I tried to engage this guy in conversation, but he wouldn't really have it. He told me that he's convinced himself that this is the correct date and that I need to convince myself. He recommends using the King James version of the Bible because it's the least watered down. I told him that it's not in the vernacular and he said that I could work through the olde English. I asked about the Jehovah's Witness version of the Bible, which is translated from the original source and he just repeated to use the King James.

I said that this group was taking a big gamble on this. If May 21, 2011 passes without incident, then they've lost ALL credibility. He said that he would be ready for Judgement Day when it comes and that it's best to be prepared. He had definitely made up his mind that this is happening. He would not entertain a counterfactual (or in this case, maybe just a factual).

I took his literature even though, or perhaps because, I thought this doomsday prediction was a little out of the ordinary. It has interesting math in it and some questionable stretches of the imagination (e.g. "In 2 Peter 3:8, day is as 1,000 years. Therefore, with the correct understanding that the seven days referred to in Genesis 7:4 can be understood as 7,000 years, we learn that when God told Noah there were seven days to escape worldwide destruction, He was also telling the world there would be exactly 7,000 years (one day is as 1,000 years) to escape the wrath of God...")

If you're curious about this, I would totally recommend checking out their site. I especially like the 2012 with a circled red slash through it, but there's such other gems as: Another Infallible Proof and Gay Pride: Sign of the End. I wonder if they'll have a radio show on May 22nd.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tri the Rez 2011

Edit: 4-25-11 - Tri the Rez 2011 will officially be on October 8th! Mark your calendars!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Band of Horses Coming to The Moon

Band of Horses will be at The Moon on April 3rd! When I found out, I saw the event on The Moon's website, but not on Band of Horses's website. Weird. Anyway, you should totally go. I saw them when they came to the Beta Bar (the place that's now the Engine Room) a couple years ago and they were amazing.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Pick #229

Dminor - "Can't Get You Out of My Head" from an untitled album (and I can't find a link, but I heard it on Pandora)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Costume Parties as Signaling

When I moved to Tallahassee, I noticed a big difference between Tallahassee parties and HC parties. The majority of parties I attended in Tally my first year here were themed such that attendees were encouraged, if not required, to dress up. Not that there was an absence of themed parties at the HC, it's just that there was maybe one pimps-n-hoes party to every 15 normal ones. In Tally, there are about 15 themed parties to every non-themed one. Why the difference? If you guessed economics, you must have read the title of this post...

Have you ever been to a normal (non-themed) party when some people who were not invited stopped by and somehow ended up ruining everyone's good time? I can remember everyone being sent home because some unknown dude punched an invited party-goer in the nose. There was a party from which I was fortunate enough to be absent when some kids tried to sell hard drugs then stole some personal property. I think everyone's had the experience of wondering if some of the people at the party are vouched for or if they're just drinking free booze.

Dressing up is a way to let everyone else at the party know that you are on the inside. You got the invite and prepared for the party so you belong there. This mechanism wasn't needed at the HC because everyone knew everyone else at a glance. If a stranger was spotted, they were asked who they were with. That's not so easy to do in a school a couple hundred times as big as the HC.

I went to a party in Tally where I knew one of the guys who lived there and some other invitees (who had confirmed that they were coming via Facebook). Well, these other invitees ended up going to a different party and I was there with a ton of people whom I'd never met. Luckily, I was dressed for the occasion and nobody thought that I might not belong.

Signaling is costly. It means that one must dress up for parties in Tally. This act requires forethought, perhaps purchase of new attire or accessories, and time to get dressed up. However, the benefits of keeping strangers away (and having an automatic topic of conversation with fellow party-goers) outweigh the costs in places where this phenomenon exists.