This Space for Rent

Jul 30, 2013


What does the Manning case say? I won’t say mean, because what does anything mean? It says that our rulers are small and vengeful and afraid. The language of security and peril that’s come to cloak every official announcement is decadent. The hounding pursuit of those who undermine and question the imperatives of security and the reality of the peril is decadent. The hollow liturgy of a show trial is decadent. I’ve never been much of a nationalist, never felt especially inspired by America, always known that we are a nation like any other, built on bones and fairy tales as much as anything else, but I do appreciate the power of myth to model society, and this lousy episode really makes you wonder, what is our national myth? What does America have to offer itself anymore? We’ve become very adept at hurting people for nothing. I wonder: is that all?

Jacob Bacharach

Jul 27, 2013

Birthday ride

Here we are again

Up to Ripplebrook, of course, but then beyond Ripplebook to Pipeline Road, returning through Three Lynx. A nice day for a ride, despite being enough out of shape to make a 10 hour loop time pretty painful in spots.

Jul 26, 2013

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Megamite & Pigu have a chat

A serious discussion

Volcano picture of the day

Caneberries, clouds, distant stratovolcano

Mount Hood seen, as is traditional, from Amisigger Road when I was doing my slowest ever run of the Estacada 100 this afternoon.

Jul 24, 2013

It’s the latest thing in Port Royal

New hairdo!

Bishop’s Barbershop was offering free temporary hair coloring, and the best suggested that I should do it. Our first choice – purple – wasn’t available, and there was very little pink left, but there was enough blue to do all of my hair with pink accents.

Nope, it doesn’t make me look younger :-)

Jul 22, 2013

A very short vacation

Looking up the Crooked River

The family is currently parked in Redmond, OR, waiting for my nephew to finish with his Outward Bound class so we can bring him back to Portland for the day, then shovel him onto an airplane for his return to Mississippi.

However, we made it here early enough so we could drive out to Smith Rock and spend half an hour wandering around and taking pictures :-)

Jul 20, 2013

Ow ow ow ow ow

Vacation in Ripplebrook

Note to myself; don’t go off and ride a 300k with nothing but cookie bars. They don’t have enough food value to get me up mountains without /extreme/ pain.

Jul 19, 2013

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Dust Mite bifocals

Dust Mite tries on a pair of glasses.

Jul 17, 2013

railroad picture of the day

Interurban bridge, streetcar bridge, Utah RSD-5

An interurban bridge under construction, a streetcar bridge, and the ex-Utah RSD-5 that lives in the ORHF’s museum yard.

Jul 15, 2013

Slime seems to work

I’ve been thinking about trying tubeless tires on the midlifecrisismobile, but wanted to see if having sealant in the tire would make it ride funny before taking the plunge. So I went out and bought a Slime tube and shoved it into my rear wheel (that’s the wheel that picks up the most debris, and the wheel where I most notice when it’s out of balance.

1500 miles later I realized that the DS rim was getting dangerously worn and pulled the wheel in favor of my Del Norte+White wheelset. The old wheelset went into the basement, and was tucked against the wall until I figured out what to do with it.

Today I was in the basement bending and filing tubes for another rack and I noticed there was a wet spot at the top of the Slimed tire – when I investigated, I also noticed that (a) the tire was flat, and (b) that there was a big cut in the tire in the middle of the wet spot.

I wonder how long it was there?

Jul 13, 2013

Bicycle tweak of the day

GT with Noodles

The super-wide Noodle bars that were on the mlcm have been pulled off (replaced with a pair of steel drop bars, because I’m starting to get tired of crashing and wrecking handlebars) and moved over to the GT because I noticed that the old Ava death bars went the way of all aluminum and got bent. Oh well, so it goes; but the nice thing about having 48cm handlebars on my sweet fixie is that it gives me a whole bunch more leverage when I’m trying to row the thing up a 10% grade.

The cat-pillow


Mavis naps on the loveseat.

Jul 12, 2013

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Dust Mite gamer

Dust Mite helps Russell play a computer game.

Jul 09, 2013

Oh, hello sailor!

Oops, I did it again

I climbed Larch Mountain again today. I’m sure if I keep doing this I’ll get used to the whole idea of a pretty much uninterrupted 3500 foot climb, but today was not that day. 6h39 (opposed to 6h31 on Saturday) and I was basically flattened when I staggered in the door this afternoon.

I guess I’ll do it again, though; the climb is wonderful for distilling my thoughts down to the immediate moment, and when I get home I’m too tired to even think. And I’ve got to get my loop time on this thing down under 6 hours (under 5 hours would be delightful, but I think I’d have to generate ¼th hp continuously for two hours to do that, and right now I can generate ¼th hp for about three minutes before completely running out of steam) so I can take advantage of that added horsepower on flatter loops.

Annoying misfeatures of getting old

Most people, as they get old, get more farsighted. Not me! Apparently I’m special and am getting more nearsighted as I get older; I went to the eye doctor + glasses place today to get an eye exam + new glasses, and discovered that I’m actually more nearsighted than I was eight years ago.

So I ordered two pairs of glasses; a set of single-vision glasses for wearing when I’m out on the line and don’t have to read any fine print except for cue sheets and brevet cards, and then a set of bifocals for reading things at home. The eyeglass place could provide the single-vision glasses right away, but the bifocals had to wait, so I picked up what I could and swapped out my now extremely battered old glasses for new ones.

My increasing nearsightedness and decreased ability to change my focal distance (I think my uncorrected focal range is 0->4 inches) means that reading gets a bit more fun; a laptop in my lap is close enough to me so that me+new glasses makes all of the small text a bit blurry, and is far enough so that me-glasses imakes everything a blurry unreadable mess.


I hope the bifocals arrive soon. They’re progressive bifocals, which means they’ve got a pretty pathetic near-vision zone, but it will be interesting to see just if they make any difference to my reading/coding style (right now I’m just interpreting letter shapes and trusting that my fingers remember where the keys on the keyboard are :-) And if they don’t work it will be time for regular old fashioned bifocals (the ones with the nice split lens) work out, or just a pair of dedicated reading glasses that are just a couple of diopters worth of correction (+ the regular absurd amount of astigmatism correction.)

Jul 06, 2013

Trolley picture of the day

A Hillsboro-bound interurban approaches from the east

At the Roberts Street crossing in Gresham.

Bicycle picture of the day

Larch Mountain MLCM

The mlcm rests at the summit of Larch Mountain Road this afternoon.

Jul 05, 2013

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Low Trail Mite

Dust Mite tests the cargo capacity of this porteur rack.

Jul 02, 2013

Scheduling wishlist

Now that I’ve got my first two series done for the year (permanent series, so they don’t count for PBP credit or for most of the organized 1200k rides out there. I’m too agoraphobic to deal with a 1200k ride with 5000 of my closest friends, and if I’m going to ride 1200k solo there’s no point in spending several hundred dollars to do so) I need to find some good ways to use up the consumables on the mlcm and the GT before this summer is up.

Maybe it’s time to consider a fixie series? I’ve managed to shove the GT up to Pipeline Road a couple of times, and there aren’t any ramps much steeper than that on the High Rock 300, the Logger, or the Hot Springs/Covered Bridges 400k – the two Portland-loop 600s I know about (Portland-Portland-Portland! and Grawp!) have some insanely steep ramps, but they aren’t all that long in the grand scheme of things (Clapshaw Hill Road would probably take about 30 minutes to shove a fixie up, and Gilbert Creek Road would take about 2 hours) so they are dimly feasable if I can avoid hardware or weather-releated failures on the second day.

But in any case I’ll take it easy and do a 200k this upcoming weekend, then High Rock (and Sellwood to Hood & Back, perhaps?) next weekend, which will give me a good starting point if I want to do another series before my birthday at the end of July.


Jul 01, 2013


During the first day of my latest 600k the outside of my right knee started to hurt a bit. I wrote this off to the teeny detail that I’d not done much riding at all since last weekend’s 600k, but yesterday it was still hurting and when I looked down at the offending appendage I noticed first that my foot was rotating outwards on downstrokes and secondly, and more horrifyingly, that there seemed to be a rip on the outside of my right shoe and that my foot was attempting to escape out that hole.


The soles of the shoes had been getting kind of floppy this spring, so it was clear that they were on their last legs, but I was kind of hoping that they’d hang on a little longer.

Oh, well, time to start digging through the used shoe bins at the CCC again. Maybe I’ll find a nice pair of used Sidi’s or something along that line in size 10.5 regular human width.

1 comment

Three times in a row now

Climbing climbing climbing, then stopping for a photo

I finished my second permanent series of the year yesterday by riding my Portland-Portland-Portland 600k again, which makes it three weekends in a row that I’ve ridden down to Detroit via the Mount Hood National Forest.

I’ve now ridden highway 224 up to Ripplebrook so many times that I find myself starting to fall asleep while riding uphill if I didn’t get enough sleep the night before the ride :-) But fortunately NF 46 hasn’t yet lost any of its appeal (though I did sail right by the NF 42 turnoff without noticing it this Saturday.)