This Space for Rent

Oct 26, 2016

Trolley picture of the day

A (rare) single-car train heads north towards downtown Portland

A single-car train? Now that’s not something you see every day.

Oct 24, 2016

Trolley (construction) picture of the day

Rebuilding the SP line from Portland to Lake Oswego

When the Sellwood Bridge was replaced, the old Oregonian Rwy track under it (and a quarter to half a mile north, and a quarter to half a mile south) was ripped out so that it wouldn’t get in the way of the construction process. Now that the bridge is basically done (as far as I can tell the only thing left to do on the bridge is to finish the east end of the south sidewalk) the track is being replaced.

Oct 21, 2016

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

QA check: failed!

Dust Mite inspects the adventure in irregularity which is my old bagman clone


Repairing rack#0

Before I fired up my first torch and started making racks, I fabricated a Carradice Bagman clone, which had several horrible deficiencies (not being square was one, but more importantly the base was so triangular that bags wanted to fall over to one side or another) and, after a few brevets and tweaks, ended up being set aside and lost in my bike mess.

Today I was tidying up and I unearthed it, but rather than putting it back down for later I took it to my workbench and reshaped it to be not quite so teetery and unsquare as it used to be, then brazed a crossbar on the back (to discourage twisting, plus to provide a bar to tie saddlebars to), cleaned it up, and painted it with a couple of coats of purple primer. It will need to have the primer sanded (obviously; the visible dripping is not what I have planned for the final product) and then I’ll need to paint + clearcoat it, but hopefully this will make it actually useful for a change.

Scrub jay

Western scrub jay

Sitting in a bush in our front yard this afternoon.

Oct 20, 2016

Domestic vermin photo of the day

Shopping cat

Impromptu cat-cave

Oct 19, 2016



Mucking about with the photo editor Prisma; not something I’d use everyday, but it’s a nice toy to fool around with.

Paint the town green?

(not quite) Ral 6021

Green primer for a rack destined for an Elephant NFE – the primer is almost but not quite RAL 6021 (it’s a bit more saturated than FS green) so when the primer has properly cured (and had various drips and blotches sanded smooth & covered with another coat of primer) I’ll need to acquire a bit of FS green spraypaint and overpaint it to the proper colo(u)r.

Oct 15, 2016

All hardware sucks

The amber light of death

The Apple time capsule I’d set up in the basement to act as the backbone for our network smoked this afternoon during a windstorm – either the power surge when the power went out or back on again fried the disk controller (possibly the disk, but I can’t easily tell because it’s a big old server-grade 3.5" unit that draws more power than the USB port on my macbook can supply) and converted the thing into an inefficient space heater (I’m guessing the amber light of doom is because the disk controller failed, because that’s one of the two things people mentioned online as a reason for a pitiless unblinking amber light of doom and when I pulled the thing open and replaced the hard drive with a known-good notebook disk it still gave me the amber light of doom.)

So out in the middle of the storm to the local Apple Store where I plunked down more money than I care to think about (and why doesn’t Apple set up their Airport/Time Capsule OS to use dnsmasq or some alternative so that the thing can do dhcp+dns and give me proper forward/reverse mappings like Postel Himself intended?) to buy a Shiny! New! 2gb Time Capsule that will hopefully last as long as this one did before it stopped functioning .

(At least I’ve got one of those Next Thing SBCs sitting in the basement so I can put dnsmasq on it and have it be my local dns+dhcp server.)

Oct 14, 2016

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Examining the rack

Examining the ports for internally wiring a rack

Oct 12, 2016

Modern housing

A pretty modern house on a half lot

~1500 square feet? I think it’s a 20x30 footprint, but the roof impinging on the third floor + the stairwell will eat pretty enthusiastically into the square footage. Still a big enough house for a 3-4 person family (if the architect didn’t fall victim to the “must have a hyuuge Master Bedroom And Bath” syndrome.) Pity it’s in Portland; at current real estate prices you’re probably looking at a half-million dollar house.

The windows are kind of tacky, but that might be an artifact of the windowframes?

Oct 10, 2016



Who knew traction orange could be a camouflage paint?

Oct 09, 2016

Closer to matchy-matchy

Gone (damply) shopping

I replaced the stem on the kit bike with a custom-painted 3t Mutant, and then took the machine out on a bunch of shopping trips, ending up with a damp squelch down to the Big Big Store for lunch supplies for the bears. The mutant is ~110mm while the old stem was ~100mm (it’s actually about 5mm longer) and it sits a little bit lower, so I will probably need to nudge the saddle forward 5-10mm to effectively rotate the bars up and restore my previous riding position until I can get that little bit of additional flexibility.

Note that I pulled the Garmin mount from the stemcap. Part of it is an artifact of the stem having a shorter clamp (I’d need to put a spacer under the stem to lift it to the point where a cap wouldn’t foul against the top of the expansion plug) but it’s mainly because the USB connector on my Garmin 200 failed and I can’t use it until I am able to solder in a new connector (a Lightning connector instead of USB, because it’s a sturdier reversable connector than the horribly fragile mini-USB plug) and modify the case to fit everything inside a waterproofish enclosure. Until then, the stemcap is a silver one resting on a 10mm black spacer to remind me that my version of matchy-matchy isn’t quite the same as everybody else’s.

Oct 08, 2016

Flat tire/flat spare tire


I ran over a nail on the way up to Sauvie Island this afternoon, and discovered that not only was my first inner tube flat but my spare inner tube was also flat and that the rubber cement in my patchkit had congealed (I was able to patch one of the holes in my first inner tube, but even if I had found the second one I couldn’t have patched it because I used up all of the tarry rubber cement blob getting the first patch to stick on.) So instead of riding up to Sauvie Island I took the bus+trolley home from metropolitan Linnton. Oy.

It’s going to rain tomorrow, but I may just go up to Sauvie Island anyway because it’s been almost a week since my last nontrivial ride.

Oct 07, 2016

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Size comparison

My giant rando bag makes a Dust Mite look small

Oct 06, 2016

Railroad picture of the day

Twinkie #40 leads a northbound Cascades away from Portland Union Station

A northbound Cascades passes new development in the Pearl District

Oct 05, 2016

A new bag for the new rack

Giant historical reenactment rando(porteur?) bag, #1

I had a couple of yards of waxed canvas in my fabric pile, so I decided I’d use some of it up (and also use up the faux nubuck (I suspect it’s not real because I bought about 5 yards of it and there were no seams in the fabric. I suppose that this nubuck could have been taken from a oxskin if the corpse of the ox was chucked into a giant version of one of those automatic apple peelers, but I’m dubious about the effectiveness of that approach) that was in my ragbin) so I made a semi-historical-reenactment bag instead of an xpac one.

Approximately 10x9x9, so much bigger than the rando bags I’d made for the previous and much smaller rack that the kit bike used to use.

Oct 03, 2016

And a new rack

It's also new rack day

… now to sew a rando bag to fit to this rack.

One year on

Birthday donut stop

It’s been a year since I first built up the kit bike and took it out for a “let’s see what breaks” loop. ~4000 miles (and one chain, and one bottom bracket, and one wheelset) later and I’m still waiting to see what falls off.

Oct 01, 2016

Two racks

The mini-rack for the Waterford rando bike (black) and my prototype internally routed O/S blasdel-style rack

The black rack uses standard-diameter tubing (though, really, I could have used quarter-inch tubing for such a tiny rack), the orange one (destined for the kit bike – the hideously steep HTA makes my normal-offset fork teeter on the edge of low trail, so a larger rack + bag might settle the high-speed shimmy it sometimes gets) uses oversized (38“) tubing.

It might be the paint, but it’s not immediately obvious that the O/S rack is made of larger-diameter tubing than 516“ standard tubing. It’s considerably harder to work, but that’s not immediately visible when I look at the final product.