This Space for Rent

Jan 31, 2017


More Muslims have been killed by Trump supporters in the past 24 hours than Americans killed by refugees from banned countries in 30 years.

Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) January 30, 2017

Jan 29, 2017


A stain that will never wash out

Trivial new code!

I’ve been shovelling a few little feature requests (from github, which has a rudimentary issue tracker built into it. Rudimentary, yes, but it organizes them and keeps them out of my local mailbox) into discount over the past week, and finally got around to looking at a feature request for C++ integration. The original request was to tweak mkdio.h so that it could be called from inside a C++ program, but some other people piped in saying that it would be nicer to have a RAII-style wrapper instead.

There are very few things that C++ does that I find interesting (I like operator overloading, but it’s basically a toy) but automagically calling deallocators when an object dies (“goes out of scope”) is one of them. So, after spending half an hour, mkdio.h++ (and a trivial program that uses one of the objects defined therein) which implements a MMIOT class (named MKIOT) and a subclass for github-flavo(u)red markdown.

It works on my mac (macos(x) 10.12.4) so it might work on any other machine that uses clang++ (and possibly g++, since clang tries to be gcc’s more obsessively-compulsive clone?) Try it out; it might not spontaneously create a quantum black hole and pop your workstation into another dimension.

Jan 27, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

This frame is much too large for a dust mite

Everything is terrible, but it is friday, so one must keep with tradition no matter what.

78 years, and here we are again

SS St. Louis

Sell the Statue of Liberty for scrap, because it doesn’t mean anything anymore.


This is what the “alt-right” wants.

Jan 25, 2017

It’s not going to go away if you pretend it’s not happening

Jan 24, 2017

Artistic bicycle repair

Dropout repair

I was given the frame from a Bianchi Strada (ca 2007, I think?) that had been discarded because the DS rear dropout had snapped at the chainstay (when the frame came into my hands it had a pair of replacement dropouts ziptied to the frame, so it looks like the person who owned it was thinking about replacing them themselves, but either lost interest or found a cheaper-than-repair-cost replacement frame before they could hack out the old dropouts and glue new ones in.)

I didn’t want to use the replacement dropouts that came with the frame (a pair of Columbus-or-clone short horizontal dropouts) because I didn’t want to have to melt the broken dropout chunks free, but when a friend got out of the framebuilding business a few years ago and sold me most of his framebuilding goop he included a set of half-plug-half-tab horizonal dropouts that were longer and taller than the original ones, so all I needed to do was to cut the chainstays & seatstays back and fit (after considerable filing to make the plugs small enough) the new dropouts into place.

And then I spun up the wheel and took a picture with my iPhone, which, as is traditional, could not keep up with the spinning wheel.

[Tomorrow I’ll braze the dropouts into place and replace the seized shifter stops, and then I’ll have a fully functional too-big (or french fit w/ insanely deep drops à la mode Eileen Sheridan) frame.]

Jan 23, 2017


Jan 22, 2017

Cat detection: successful!

Buckeley blinks

Buckeley was hiding under the bedclothes in Silas’s room, but we found him.

Jan 20, 2017

Apocolyptic Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

This is fine
This is fine

New Code!

Discount has been coaxed up to version 2.2.2 with a small handful of bugfixes making it possible to build/install inside directories with spaces in their name, another small handful of bugfixes that correct a long-standing table-of-contents feature which unartfully collapsed headers with out-of-label-namespace characters on top of each other, and a bugfix that corrected the teeny detail of mkd_line() returning a pointer into the middle of an malloc() block when discount was configured --with-amalloc (which meant that attempting to free that pointer would either do nothing (==memory leak) or dump core (not a memory leak, but somewhat less than useful if you actually wanted to use the code.))

In any case, it should not make any difference to discount’s ability (or lack thereof) to convert your machine into a heap of smoking rubble, so try it out and see how large the blast radius can be!

Jan 19, 2017

RIP The United States of America (1789-2017)

not with a bang but with a whimper
from imgur, I think?

Jan 17, 2017

Messing around with bikes

Agility in the mountains

Wider handlebars (some noname Sakai bars that I think came from Boulder Bicycles), new less-filthy black Chinese handlebar tape, and a Terry Zero saddle (from a Trek 560 frame a friend gave me.) The wider handlebars will give me a bit more leverage when the kit bike is grinding through the slushy ravines of the street (which may be covered with a sheet of ice tomorrow, depending whether it starts raining before it warms up or not), the tape is because the old cork stuff was incredibly grimy and not long enough to wrap these bars, and the saddle is part of my ongoing quest to find a non-leather saddle that’s close to as comfortable as a Berthoud saddle is.

Jan 13, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Nocturnal Mite

Dust Mite at night

The land with no snowploughs


The main roads have been ploughed, but there’s still a sizable amount of ice on the traffic lanes, and cars + busses with chains are grinding the top layer into tiny ice chunks, which are mixing with blown snow and snowmelt to make a slush that’s much like a foam filled with bbs. Terrifying to ride on, even with studded tires (I’ve already had one fall where the bicycle slid sideways off a ridge of ice onto a mass of slush which kept the studs from reaching the road surface – the front wheel was already sliding sideways and it didn’t stop until after it (and me) reached horizontal.)

Ugh. Maybe I need to set aside some time to make a snowtrike?

Jan 11, 2017

keeping warm

Mavis sits by the fire
(Pentax *istDS, SMC 50mm @ f/ 1.2)

Mavis sits by the fire

Not exactly sane…

setenv SNOW "Almost too much for me"

… but we needed to get paper baking cups, so I had to go to the store and get them despite the foot of snow on the ground. Even with the mountainhack’s Nokian A10s I was still sliding all over the place (too much snow to ride on the sidewalks, so I had to ride on the sheet of ice left by the busses) on the way to and from the store (and fortunately I got there soon enough after it closed so I could beg my way in. Yay for New Seasons!)

I’m not seeing Portland getting back into the regular routine by tomorrow (it’s supposed to stay below zero for the next 3 days, so there’s nothing making the snow actually melt except for warmth from the ground, which means that there’s going to be a lovely sheet of ice under the snow when it starts to actually melt) or friday.

The view from our front porch

Real snow, #1

Yup, it’s the apocalypse.

Jan 10, 2017


THE WHITE DEATH (round 4), #2

The fourth snowstorm of the season has just rolled into Portland and is now making everything grind to a complete halt. Fortunately for me I’ve got a bicycle with studded tires so I can actually get around when there are multiple inches of snow on the road.

Jan 08, 2017

“Ice,” said the maple, “is bringing me down.”

Ice, said the maple, is bringing me down

A slow but persistant ice storm is covering all the trees around us.

Jan 06, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

11x8 hoverrack, #1

Dust Mite helps me align a hoverrack

Jan 05, 2017

Belated holiday gift

Trek 560

A couple of tip finds from my friend Kevin; this one is a size huge Trek 560 with a hodgepodge of Shimano 600 (tricolor & arabesque) and SLX SLR parts, with a set of Ritchey ergo bars thrown in for good measure. Basically none of this is actually usable for me (I might be able to use the fork if I glued on some canti posts, rack, and fender mounts and cut it down to be a proper threadless stem) but I can move some of the parts over to one of my other junk frames or give them to friends who need or want vintage bike parts.

Jan 04, 2017

Flash-frozen chicken? Not exactly…

Rando cargo

The New Seasons rotisserie chicken is cheaper than buying it raw and preparing it (mainly because they use tiny chicken carcasses for the rotisserie, but the ones in the butcher’s cabinet are ~4 pounds. If there were a lot of people in our house, this would be significant, but with only three meat-eaters a rotisserie chicken lasts for a couple of meals + being rendered into broth, and then some of it ends up being tossed or fed to the cats because nobody is willing to eat it) so when Russell said he wanted chicken for dinner tonight I went down to the Big Big Store to pick one up. My historical reenactment porteur-rando bag isn’t officially insulated, but two layers of fabric + the coroplast stiffeners create enough insulation so I can ride the 1.2 miles back in -1C headwinds and arrive home with the thing still hot.

The vegan chocolike sauce isn’t for the chicken; if we were planning chicken mole we’d use cooking chocolate instead of this stuff (which I dump on my non-dairy frozen dessert that fills the ice cream gap in my lifestyle.)

Jan 03, 2017

Midwinter shopping

Ice Bike :-)

We’re having a few days of ridiculously cold for Portland weather (20-30°F) so all of the water-filled potholes on the unimproved streets have become ice-filled instead. Fortunately for me I can get around the potholes when I hit a section of gravel in the middle of running errands.

Jan 02, 2017

Rack #80

10x8 low rider rando rack, #1

A low-riding (at the same elevation as the brake bolt hole) oversized rando rack. 20 racks to #100; hopefully that won’t take all year.


Obéir c'est trahir, Désobéir c'est servir