This Space for Rent

Mar 30, 2016

Finally springtime

The RossIsle & the -- doomed to become expensive condo towers? --  Zidell shipyard

It’s sunny and actually warm, yay!

Mar 29, 2016

And now to take it out on a permanent or three

Red xpac bag, #5

I have three rando bags with one experimental feature or another in them, so now I suppose I should take this machine out on the line and see if any of these features turns out to be a horrible misfeature or not.

Mar 27, 2016

Spam of the day

Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2016 15:46:29 PDT
Subject: Learn more about your wife

Ideal ways to gratify your women Binary file (standard input) matches

Julie’s comment: “I feel betrayed that you have a woman binary file”

Beware of the ducks

The mallard family, #1

A pair of mallards hanging out in front of the Milwaukie Sheri’s.

Mar 26, 2016

It’s not conspicuous consumption at the rate I drink it

Why, yes, it *is* a single malt with an ice cube in it

Ten years or so ago, when I was still destroying my soul as a computer programmer, I ran through my previous stock of single malts (collected on several trips to Scotland; the Cadenhead’s bottlings – cask strength in particular – are really nice, but when you’re buying whisk(e)y on decade headways it’s always a horrifying shock to see how prices have gone up) I made one (last?) sweep through the local distilleries and liquor shops to stock up on various whisky|whiskey|eau de vie’s. And then my alcohol consumption dropped like a stone, so I’m still sitting on easily half of the last batch I purchased, and at the rate of a glass like this every month or so it’s becoming possible that some of this pile of booze may actually outlast me.

Maybe I’ll put in my will that all of the remaining Macallan be poured over my corpse and set afire? That’d be pretty conspicuous, particularly if it set the funeral home on fire?

Mar 25, 2016

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™


Dust Mite is working in the mailroom.

Mar 21, 2016

New bag day!

Red xpac bag, #3

Made from xpac fabric so it will be lighter & more waterproof than my purple bag (which I can now repair – the side panels were not joined properly at the top and the coroplast stiffeners I put into the thing are sliding upwards and ripping the seams) and tapered to clear the kit bike’s handlebars. Maybe 8 hours of work so far (I still have to sew a liner, put in some grommets, rivet in some hooks for the lid closure, and handstitch the tape on the box corners) and $25 in materials, so – modulo the spasms of “WHY AM I DOING THIS???” – I could theoretically sell copies and clear minimum wage before taxes.

Mar 18, 2016

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

The discussion

Dust Mite hangs out in the kitchen

Mar 17, 2016

The terrible sea lion(s)

The terrible sea lion(s)

Hauled out on a dock about half a mile north of Willamette Falls. They’re probably tired after a long morning of grazing at the foot of the fish ladder.

Mar 13, 2016



The shifting on the kit bike’s rear wheel has been periodically funky (a couple of the middle gears need to be nudged when shifting up) and after riding around Powell & Clatsop Buttes & Mount Tabor I took a look and realized that I had the rear wheel in a bit crooked (the rear triangle was a tiny bit offset to the DS, but that’s not why the wheel was crooked – the wheel was crooked because I hand-fabricated an axle end for the 7-8 speed White hub I was using – I bought it cheaply on ebay because it was missing the no-longer-made-by-white axle end – and didn’t put an axle stub on my replacement. So over time the NDS end of the axle would slide backwards and crook everything out of alignment) and when I straightened it out the wheel was shifted noticably towards the NDS.

No problem; I’ve a truing stand, so it’s just a matter of carefully – because of the handmade axle end – putting the wheel in and then sliding the rim sideways by tightening the DS spokes and loosening the NDS spokes.

A good idea up until one of the spokes went PING and the nipple started spinning freely on the end of the spoke.

One of the NDS spokes. One of the “already not very tensioned because it was an NDS spoke on a hub that I’d narrowed to 128mm by fabricating a short axle end” NDS spokes.

Sigh. At least some nice driver had given me a pair of spare wheels by running his car into the bicycle that had them attached to it, which means that the 700D CR-18 rims that I bought from Kevin Brightbill quite a few years ago are now sitting on yet another 650b machine (the Murray Baja Experience!, the GT, then the born-again Trek, then the Mountainhack, and now the kit bike. The only machine these wheels haven’t been on so far is Russell’s Kogswell.) And this will give me an excuse to completely unlace that wheel and relace it with the air valve centered in a spoke window instead of being offset two spokes to the left.

But an NDS spoke? Where did enough tension come from to have it strip the threads out of a nipple?

Mar 12, 2016

Open Source®™© obnoxiousness

Spamassassin, which suffers from both perl & open-source, has multiple configuration files and directories (at least on Linux – there’s /etc/mail/spamassassin, with a, and /usr/share/spamassassin, that also has a There are also three different perl module directories that spamassassin creates, each containing basically the same collection of modules, but only one of which is actually looked at. This was great fun when I was trying to turn off the third-party whitelist checks, which had been letting spam through because goddamn spamassassin trusts those third-parties as if they were family members) and it took me several days of debugging (--dbpath is another peeve; it’s not a directory oh no, it’s a combined directory and filename prefix. Huh) before I realized that if I wanted to enable bayesean spam checking I had to configure it in /etc/mail/spamassassin/ instead of (or along with) /usr/share/spamassassin/

Ugh. I’m sure someday the “let’s just fuck with it and see what happens” design method that is so beloved in the open source world goes away, but, sheesh, until then it’s a pain in the butt having to rediscover the wheel every time I set up a new machine.


A rainy day on Powell Butte

Pausing in the middle of a rainy day loop around Powell Butte

Mar 11, 2016

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Track Mite

Dust Mite is thinking about doing some framebuilding

Mar 10, 2016

The city in white

Downtown Portland from Mount Tabor, with a little bit of sunshine

NE & NW Portland from Mount Tabor

Mar 09, 2016

Star-bellied sneetches

Two star-bellied sneetches

The kit bike and a similarly decorated machine hang out at a bike rack.

Mar 08, 2016

All hardware sucks

The trackpad on my macbook has decided to go insane, which means I’m now using a mouse for doing the usual navigational things I do on a mac. It’s, um, less than optimal (I theoretically can use the trackpad, but it occasionally goes into an spasm of randomly moving the pointer around the screen (or, better yet, almost working and letting me move it, but either (a) not quite enough or (b) to the right spot, at which point it will lunge off in one direction or another as soon as I try to do a button click) because I have completely lost the habit of using a mouse and the repeated motion from the keyboard to the mouse and back again is seriously messing up my left – and broken – shoulder.

The solution I may need to do is to pull the macbook apart and replace the trackpad, but you can imagine my lack of enthusiasm for doing that. Ugh. But I’m not sure just how my body will be able to put up with the repetitive motion needed to navigate in the land without trackpads :-(

Mar 04, 2016

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Rack sculpture

Dust Mite & an artful pile of racks in various stages of construction (one needs fork leg stays, two need fork crown stays, 3 need light mounts, one needs wire guides, one needs to have the fork crown stay adjusted for clearance + fork crown eyelets brazed in, all of them need to be cleaned, and 3 need to be painted.) Given any luck, all of this will be done (except the paint, which will need to cure for long enough so it won’t flake off immediately – I neeeeed to learn how to powdercoat and to set up an oven, but that would require kickstarter-style money and marketing) by monday so I can box them up and ship them off to their destinies (not Dust Mite, just the racks and supporting paraphernalia.)