This Space for Rent

Sep 19, 2017

Cat ambulance

The jitney

Taking Buckeley down to the the vet so they could take a look at an infected ear. How he managed to get an ear infection what with being a 100% indoor cat is a mystery, but they shovelled a bunch of antibiotics into the offending ear, so that should knock the infection out.

Sep 15, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

How about a nice cup of Mite?

Coffee, Tea, or Mite?

And suddenly this pile of tubing & castings is becoming a bicycle frame

Test-fitting the chainstays

Dry-fitting the chainstays so I can figure out how much of them to cut off to tuck the rear wheel as close to the seat tube as is sensible (35mm tire on the rear wheel right now, with about 2½" clearance at the perpendicular junction with the seat tube. I can probably lop off 1¼th" before the fit gets tight enough so that a fender won’t fit.)

Note the generously huge clearance on the kit bike’s fork; I’ve got a Nomad 28 in it right now, and there’s enough room for a Nomad 35 (32mm) and maybe a fender, which isn’t bad for a 650b fork.

Sep 13, 2017

One more frameset


A more conventional frame this time, except for the STA (71°), and as a radical change not for me, but for a beta tester in North Carolina.

Sep 12, 2017

Railroad picture of the day

Meeting a Portland Traction passenger train

Meeting an EPT passenger train whilst on the way home from REI and Office Depot.

Sep 11, 2017

Trolley picture of the day

A southbound train just south of Tacoma Street

A Park Ave-bound train just after leaving Tacoma Street, and just before passing under the Springwater Trail.

Sep 08, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Mite cages

Three new bottle cages for the IGH project bike or the emergency randonneuse; one Dust Mite as a hitchhiker.

Sep 04, 2017

Fire weather

Smoky sun

Western Oregon is on fire, so the sun is wading through a thick layer of smoke and ash.

Sep 01, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Framebuilding mite

Starting another frame

Aug 29, 2017

Trolley picture of the day

A Clackamas train overtakes me just north of Fuller Street station

A Type-1 (Bombardier/BN) car on a southbound Clackamas-bound train

Aug 27, 2017

Not randonneuring today, but still useful

Smokey-day shopping

A light shopping trip over to Trader Joe’s

Aug 26, 2017

Trolley picture of the day

An Oak Grove-bound train takes the rollercoaster bridge just north of Tacoma Street

An Oak Grove-bound train approaches Tacoma St station.

Aug 25, 2017


Dead tire

A few months back when on my way to either airgas, Henry Higgins, or both, I ran over a piece of glass that, aside from the indignity of letting all the air out of my inner tube, put a substantial slash into the tire. I booted it, finished that errand, replaced the boot with a glued-in piece, then went about my business and forgot about it. Until this morning, when I pulled the trek out to so I could run out to airgas for a bottle of air – the rear tire was a bit low, so I pumped it up to ~85psi, then went go back inside to grab my helmet only to hear a muffled *bang* as the boot disintegrated and the the tube stretched and blew out through the hole.

Alas, poor Nomad 28 – it only had about 1500 miles on it (I usually get about 3k miles on them) when its life was rudely cut short.

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Bike Shop Mite

The Dust Mite & the (headset) press

Sometime I just can’t

I’m been, for the last 20 or so years, a life member of the Hawaiian Railway Society, so I’ve been able to watch (increasingly from afar as I am no longer a well-to-do computer programmer) how the society is keeping the last bits of the OR&N functional. Mainly via the society’s newsletter (the website is, um, not useful), so sometimes the news is useful, other times it is not.

Recently, HDOT decided that they wanted to expand a suburban street (a new suburb; HRS’s yard & shops are at the Ewa (island directions; from Honolulu, you go either Diamond Head (anti-clockwise) or Ewa (clockwise) along the coast. The directions get a bit wonky when you overshoot the offending landmarks) side of Ewa (light farming & Barbers Point NAS) but as Oahu built up the farmland & the NAS were converted to subdivisions, so of course the DOT wanted to build More! More! More! roads because G-d knows that Oahu doesn’t have enough traffic already. And where to put the road? There was a big wide open space just Ewa of Ewa with the HRS’s yard on the Diamond Head side, so of course HDOT proposed to route a new surface (no bridge, of course, for reasons) road through the Ewa end of the yard.

Land is hideously expensive on Oahu, so having the yard condemned out from under the HRS would have been a complete disaster. So the HRS swung into action and went into full complainy mode about it, and when the governor caught wind of it he (as best as I can tell from the article in the HRS newsletter) told HDOT not to be stupid and not to do it under his watch. (And, for heaven’s sake, there’s an El being built just a couple of miles east; there’s absolutely no reason to make it easier for people to drive up to H1 and sit in a parking lot when they can just hop on the El and ride into town.)

This was announced in the most recent HRS newsletter, which was good to know, but then for some completely unknown reason the reporter lunged off into conspiracy theory land and started reporting that “some government bodies” were trying to do some unspecified evil things to the HRS and that “we can’t afford to relax”. No details, not one bit. Just “some goverment bodies” which are “trying to tell” the HRS how to do MOW. Very much unlike the issue with HDOT, where the government agency was mentioned and the offending action was described.

Jesus, Ahahele I Ke Ka`Aahi-editor, what’s the point of letting this sort of vague McCarthyesq insinuations take up column inches when you could instead of said more about HDOT being told to stop or even explicitly mentioned the alleged government bodies and their alleged demands about how the HRS should do MOW.

So I sent the HRS a piece of mail asking if they could just not do this shit:

In the “Thank You! You did it!” article there’s a vague ominous mention about “some government bodies” trying to tell HRS how to do MOW. It’s implied that these anonymous government forces are trying to drive HRS out of business, but it could just as easily be that someone forwarded a best practices document along to the HRS (because it’s not the only railroad in the state) or that there’s an issue with damaged rail/suspiciously sourced ballast that came to this conveniently anonymous government agency, or even a note from the department of labor about ergonomics.

Whatever the case may be, I don’t think this is particularly useful because it says nothing. It’s very much unlike mentioning that the DOT was saying “hey, nobody will miss the last island gauge railroad yard on Oahu so let’s just shove this city street across it”, because in that case the HRS said what this problem was and how to deal with it. Here, it’s just “be afraid”, but of what nobody knows about what.

If there is actually a problem, please please please say what is it, and where it’s coming from, and then the membership actually has a fighting chance of being able to do something productive about it. “We can’t afford to relax”, indeed. We can’t afford to come across as a bunch of poorly-informed anti-government lunatics when we’re preserving an important part of colonial Hawaiian history.

-david parsons, 662-L

Aug 24, 2017

Fat bike, tiny rack

10x8 hunter-gatherer rack

An 10×8" rack on an Endpoint/FBM Hunter-Gatherer frame. The H-G is spaced for huge tires (a 2.4" tire only starts to look like it’s big enough) so a 47mm tire looks tiny and out of place, and, of course, the rack looms way higher than the tire does.

Aug 21, 2017

The end of the eclipse

End of the Eclipse

The sun cranks out a lot of light compared to the corona, so the diamond ring effect is more of the tiny fusion reactor on your finger ring effect.

Three planets, two(?) stars

Point-and-shoot eclipse

planets: Mars, Mercury, and the Moon.
stars: The Sun, Regulus(?)

Aug 20, 2017

The frontiers of tire deflation

Parked at the foot of a steep ramp, just after fixing the first of approximately 100,000 flats

Parked by the side of the road after fixing the first of approximately 100,000 pinchflats yesterday. I hit a stone that was large enough to pinchflat the front tire, then discovered that YET ANOTHER Zefal pump (this one is the one that came with my Trek 1000 decades ago) had reached the point where it didn’t have much puff anymore. And I’d just reached an 8 mile section of road that had been repaired(?) with freshly crushed and very jagged gravel. So thus began a sequence of not being able to get the front tire much above 30 psi -> chunk of gravel -> pinch! -> 30 psi -> chunk of gravel -> pinch! (with, after the first three, the additional step of spending 5 minutes visually inspecting the tire for the latest pinch so I could slap a patch onto it and pray that I’d found all the punctured parts) which meant that it took approximately 5 hours to get the next 20 miles down the road (it would have been almost as fast to walk; 4mph walking speed compares favorably to 12mph riding speed, then 0 mph repairing a flat speed.)

Aug 18, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Hello Dust Mite

The programmer

Aug 17, 2017

A blue heron at Tacoma St

Blue Heron

In the section of Johnson Creek between Tacoma, the ex-Espee mainline, 99e, and the trolley station.


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