This Space for Rent

Aug 29, 2015



Aug 28, 2015

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Lego earrings

Dust Mite tries on Julie’s Lego earrings.

Aug 27, 2015

This caboose has seen better days


A battered wooden caboose sits on Portland Traction trackage on McBrod Ave.

1 comment

Aug 22, 2015

There is a god, she loves us all

2015 Hugo awards:

What? Who?
Best Novel The Three Body Problem.
Best Novelette The Day the World Turned Upside Down.
Best Graphic Story Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal.
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form* Guardians of the Galaxy.
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form Orphan Black, “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried.”
Best Professional Artist Julie Dixon.
Best Semiprozine Lightspeed Magazine.
Best Fanzine Journey Planet.
Best Fancast Galactic Suburban Podcast.
Best Fan Writer Laura J. Mixon.
Best Fan Artist Elizabeth Leggett.

No Award in the Novella, Short Story, Related Work, Editor (Short Form) and Editor (Long Form) categories.

This is nice because some right wing authoritarians attempted to play politics with the award by setting up a slate of their friends (and a few unwitting bystanders) and getting their fellow travellers (including some GamerGaters) to stuff the nomination box. This didn’t go over very well with the rest of fandom, and the nominations on that slate (with the notable exception of Guardians of the Galaxy) got stomped very systematically into the ground.

It’s unfortunate that so many deserving writers got left off the ballot, but the backfire worked and saved the village this time around.

Wildfire sunlight

Bagel Overload

The smoke/haze wasn’t quite so bad when I went out this morning for bagels, but I was just looking at the picture I took of the mountainhack after loading it up, and, my, the “sunny” parts of the pavement look ominously red.

Wildfire weather

Pasadena Weather

Eastern Washington & Oregon are on fire, and the smoke is being blown south and east into the Multnomah River valley. Maybe a mile visibility? Earlier this afternoon I couldn’t really see the bluffs on the west side of the river from 39th, and if I tried to accelerate the bicycle past about 15mph I ended up wheezing and panting for breath.

Aug 21, 2015

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Dust Mite & Mavis

Mavis is not too sure about this Dust Mite.

Aug 19, 2015

Parts is parts!


A few weeks ago I dug an old mtb frame out from a free pile and brought it home to see if there was anything I could do with it. This frame still had a crankset rusted into place, but with penetrating oil and a long lever I was able to extract it, at which point I looked it up and discovered that it had been recalled several years ago.

So I talked to my LBS and they said “sure, bring it on in and we’ll send it back to Shimano!”

So I did, and they did, and this morning a box with a crankset, BB, front derailer, and chain showed up at the LBS for me to bring home.

Not bad for a free pile.

Aug 18, 2015

Airport signage

A sign of the times

The world is a bit different than it was when I was young

Aug 17, 2015

Internal combustion vs hybrid

Mountainhack & new Prius

In this case the IC vehicle doesn’t pollute nearly as much as the hybrid. True, it’s not nearly as fast as the hybrid, nor does it have the cargo capacity (we’ve put 800 pounds of paving bricks into a 2001 prius and gotten it back from the builder’s supply store w⁄o ripping the bottom out of the car; I don’t think I could even move the mountainhack if it had 800 pounds of cargo (on a trailer than can carry 800 pounds w/o collapsing or exploding the rear tire)) but I don’t need to lug around 3500 pounds of machinery for 9944100ths of the errands I do.

Alas, the pollution from my bicycle is more tightly regulated than the pollution from an automobile.

Aug 15, 2015

Flat-pack, just like at Ikea!

flat-pack 7x9 rack, #1 flat-pack 7x9 rack, #2 flat-pack 7x9 rack, #3

A completely demountable rack, mainly so I can fit it into a (relatively) cheap priority mail envelope and send it to Tasmania w/o bankrupting myself in the process.

Aug 14, 2015

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Centering the Dust Mite

Rackbuilding, avec Mite

Aug 12, 2015

trolley picture of the day

A test train @ Bybee & 99e

A test train at the Bybee station

Aug 11, 2015

Trolley picture of the day

A train sits in the pocket track east of the 11th-12th-Milwaukie-Clinton station

A test train lays over in the pocket track just east of the 12th & Gideon St station.

Aug 09, 2015


Trolley bridge and bucketloads of pedestrians

It’s a good thing I wasn’t in a hurry to get across this bridge

Aug 08, 2015

Rack #50

Endpoint rando rack prototype, #1

Half of a rack order from the east coast & the 50th(ish; I count it as a rack when the deck is made, and I have 4 decks downstairs that need to have legs tacked onto them) rack I’ve built. It’s a prototype, so it’s doing to be scrubbed and then sent out without having the brazes cleaned, but that puts it at the level of completeness that half the racks on my personal machines are at :-)

It has a double fork crown stay because the buyer requested a sturdier fork crown mount and I’m not going to argue that if I can carry 60 pounds on a rack with a single mount everybody else should be as experimental as I am.

Ridiculously misleading software behavior of the day

Eight years ago, I ported git to my macbook so I could make it into my development machine (there were more recent versions of git available, but they had really bizarre behavior when faced with my scheme of replicated repositories (one Linux, two FreeBSDs, and the macbook), each of which would have changes made to them and pushed to each other to keep everything in sync (git 2(?) complained bitterly about being used for local changes and having things pushed into it from other repositories, and then started just vanishing pushes into different branches which would make everything puke when I merged them into my baseline and attempt to then push out to everywhere else. It didn’t take more than 3-4 iterations of “oh, look, this repository is borked; time to delete it and reclone it from the current master” before I snapped. isn’t perfect either, but having to do git checkout -f on my SCCS tree before I can build against pushed changes doesn’t fish up the tree and force a delete/clone cycle.)

So I’ve been using on everything (including on my current development machine, which runs osx 10.10 and has version 2.3.2 on it by default) for basically ever now, without fuss muss or bother.

But over the last few weeks I’ve been using my spare time to update a first-gen Intel mini as a replacement for the existing FreeBSD 4.4 incarnation of downbelow (mainly because fsck is faster on the mac, but also because Time Machine is a much less painful way of doing backups than my previous method of having a second disk which I rsync everything onto every night, and faster fsck + many fewer files means that the server will be able to drag itself back to life in finite time after a power failure takes the whole network down) and a couple of days ago I installed git as part of moving Postoffice (postfix? Ick, no, no way; I’m willing to write a maildir local mail delivery agent, but not to use some industrial strength write-only mail server) and discovered that when I made the universe the git directory bloated up to 200+mb.

WTF? This didn’t make any sense, so I looked around to see what the dickens was going on. And it turned out that in this case the dickens was that all of the git builtins were hardlinked together and thus du was cheerfully counting the same file over and over and over and over and over again. Sigh.

I replaced all of the lns in the makefile with ln -s, which doesn’t actually save any space (it may actually cost space; I’m not sure how symbolic links are stored on the mac) but it at least makes the output of du a little less terrifying (it would have been much more annoying if Linus Torvalds, et seq, had followed the FSF’s lead in installing as separate binaries programs that are aliases of each other) and keeps me from doing more unrecovery than I absolutely have to. Yeah, I’m sure that symlinks are philosophically impure, but nobody is paying me for this and I can make whatever dog’s breakfast of my network that I want.

Aug 07, 2015

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Peering through a bottle of wine

A bottle of wine, no bread, & thou

Aug 05, 2015

Oh, look what I found; another junk(?) frame

Another mountaintrack?

I went down to Brooklyn Pharmacy to pick up a prescription this afternoon, and when I got there I found this MountainTrack frame sitting in the free pile out front. Including the cranks (with horrible cheap stamped steel Altus chainrings bolted to the cranks), a bottom bracket that was rusted in place (I could not turn the DS cup until I unthreaded the NDS cup and extracted the solid block of rust that used to be the cassette) and an Altus pusher/dangler set. It was (poorly) rattlecanned, but other than that (and the aforementioned rust) I can’t see anything wrong with it.

The mountainhack is teetering on the edge of being too small (though the saddle-bar distance as currently configured is approximately the same as the midlifecrisismobile), but this one is size waytoobig. Maybe I should strip & paint it, then build it up as a 650b MTB and flip it?

YAFYE picture of the day

A southbound UP freight approaches (and is about to bypass) what used to be Brooklyn Yard

A southbound UP freight interrupts my trip to Brooklyn Pharmacy.

I think I’ve finally gotten this machine dialed in

Yard lead mountainhack

Still not sure about the plastic saddle (I’ll have to take it out to Multnomah Falls or Estacada tomorrow to see how it works for 4-5 hours out on the line) but it has reached the point where it starts to vanish out from under me when I’m riding.

…. except for the pedals, which have loosened up enough so that my cleats slide fore and aft when I’m pushing my way up a ramp. Annoying, so I’ll have to cut some shims and epoxy them under the tension arm of the latches.

Aug 04, 2015

Avert your eyes


If a toasted bagel with guacamole is wrong I don’t want to be right

Aug 03, 2015


90+ pounds of soymilk, #1

~28 liters of soymilk, ~12 liters of lemonade, and a couple of kilograms of misc other stuff from Trader Joe’s. 95 pounds, give or take a pound. Lemme tell you this makes that Yak an exciting thing to bring down a steep ramp – when it gets up to ~30mph the whole me+mountainhack+yak assembly starts a slow but increasingly enthusiastic shimmy which will not go away but needs to be ridden out until the train gets down to 20mph.

I didn’t snap the rear triangle off, which is good.