This Space for Rent

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.

Aug 11, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

3-speed mite

Inspecting the hub on the 3-speed sweet fixie.



I replaced the fork crown stay on the big rack that used to be on the kit bike, and then I needed to test it out by going shopping

Aug 09, 2017

Trying to get order out of chaos

Most of the tools that were hiding on my workbench

I bought a plastic tool shelf so I could clean the tools off my workbench, except that it turns out I have more tools than space for them on the shelf.

Aug 05, 2017

I found a cotter pin

I found a cotter pin!, #1

… when riding down 17th Ave this afternoon. It managed to poke through the tire & the tube, then bend and poke a constellation of holes in the other side of the tube. I tried to patch the tube, but it didn’t work very well because the bent legs of the cotter pin tore the tube when I extracted it, and even a fairly large patch wasn’t enough to properly reinforce the tube. (And then I didn’t reseat the tire properly, so about 2 miles down the road it popped off the rim and started rubbing against the DS chainstay – this, oddly enough, was not enough to destroy the replacement tube, so after reseating & reinflating the tire I was able to ride home w/o any further incident.)

Aug 04, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™


A Dust Mite clutters up our nice clean dining room.

Aug 03, 2017

Finished enough to ride


Built up to the point where I can take it out for errands. No rear brake (though I did find the elusive brake bridge casting I thought I’d lost) or shifter yet, and I need to cut off and remake the stays for the front rack, but now I can start riding it around town for a week or so before disassembling the emergency randonneuse for painting and/or powder coating.

Aug 02, 2017

90% of a bicycle

Approximately a bicycle

I scrapped the SE draft frame and am in the throes of moving parts over to this frame. A lot of the parts will need to be replaced or modified (the brakes aren’t quite long enough reach, the chain isn’t quite long enough, the handlebars were too big for the Mutant stem I’ve got for this one), I need to braze in a brake bridge & level the rack, and of course I need to cut down the steertube so it won’t be a sternum punch. But it’s a bicycle now, and just waiting for me to take it out shopping to see if I can make any of the brazes fail before I ride it out into the countryside.

Aug 01, 2017



Front, rear, & seatpost triangles all brazed up, and now it’s waiting for a whole bucketload of brazeons to be glued onto the frame before I strip the 3-speed project bike and move all the components over to this frame.


Obéir c'est trahir, Désobéir c'est servir