Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog
Wednesday 30 August 2006

Anne found these guys on PetFinder.com:

Wednesday 30 August 2006 10:52:20 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [2] | #
Tuesday 29 August 2006

First, I just put a major project to bed. It was my first time out doing litigation support, meaning I wrote software to crunch a whole bunch (= about a billion) of numbers for a law firm who represent a large (= about 350,000) class of plaintiffs. They got the results just now, so unless the defendant chooses not to settle and I get subpoenaed, I believe I'm done.

Second, at least one petty little man on the South Shore Line apparently doesn't "get" the whole idea of bikes on a train:

A day trip to South Bend ended up costing a Lincoln Park man $150 in cab fare after a South Shore Line crew member told him he would have to get his bicycle off the train.
What startled Alan Forester, 34, was that he had taken the South Shore Line to South Bend earlier in the day Sunday and no one said anything to him about his bike. Even more puzzling, he said he had followed the bicycle policy that he read on the railroad's Web site.

I had a similar problem about two years ago, when, after bonking on a very long ride, I attempted to board a Union Pacific North Line train at Highland Park, and got turned away by a conductor who thought my bungee cord was too short. (I think I may have told him at least I had a bungee cord, but we won't go there right now.)

The CTA largely gets it right. All CTA buses have bike racks. This means people can get out of their cars and save the environment by biking without worrying they'll be stranded because of weather or traffic. Why is Metra so opposed to the idea?

Tuesday 29 August 2006 12:38:28 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Biking | Politics | Software#
Sunday 27 August 2006
Yesterday I posted that even a bad ride on my new bike is better than a good ride on my old bike. Today I had a good ride on the new bike. I set eight personal records today, including one that stood for more than 21 years.
Sunday 27 August 2006 14:40:43 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [1] | Biking#
Saturday 26 August 2006

Letter to the Chicago Tribune:

The August 24th editorial on the Chicago City Council implies that the Council's recent actions, including its enacting a ban on the sale of foie gras, are paternalistic: the Council is "meddlin'," a "bossy governess," a bunch of "scolds"; its decisions are "petty intrusions in people's lives."

All of those words and phrases describe paternalistic actions; that is, actions whose purpose is to save people from themselves. The foie gras ban is intended to save geese from people. The distinction is clear as day, yet opponents of the ban keep missing it.

—Guest blogger Anne

Saturday 26 August 2006 11:28:14 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Politics#

First, I promise to take some photos today. Possibly I can convince Anne to take an action shot or two, which I will post, forgetting for a moment that no one—I mean, no one—can possibly avoid looking like a total dork while wearing bike gear.

Second, I've revised and moved my biking stats page. I thought it was only fair to split off my old bike's records into their own table, because my new bike is so much faster it just wouldn't be fair. Case in point: yesterday, I did 40 km (25 mi) along the lakefront, but I wasn't feeling great. It was warm and humid, I was tired, I hadn't eaten very well, there were children and dogs on the bike path, and I had a couple of minor issues with the bike (trouble clipping in, chain slipping off inner chainring, etc.).

Even with all that working against me, I bested my previous 40 km record by more than four and a half minutes. In other words, a bad ride on my new bike was 5% faster than the best comparable ride on my old bike.

As you can see from the chart, though, comparing Wednesday's OK ride to the previous records shows an 8% improvement over 5 km (3 mi) and an 11% improvement over one hour.

Finally, on the chart you may notice my spot-speed record of 52 km/h (32.3 mph), which I set in May 1985. Yes, in 21 years I haven't managed to make a bicycle go faster than that. Well, watch this space, because today I intend to break that record.

Saturday 26 August 2006 09:06:13 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Biking#
Friday 25 August 2006

That is all.

Friday 25 August 2006 12:52:24 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | #
Thursday 24 August 2006

My dad's oldest cat died Tuesday night. He was 18 1/2.

Here's Tommy in 1997:

He was the sweetest cat ever. Not the brightest (we called him "Forrest") nor the slimmest ("Tommy Two-Cats"), but definitely the sweetest.

Tom is survived by his best friend, Reggie.

Thursday 24 August 2006 09:49:17 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [1] | #

Bruce Schneier reminds everyone how we can really defeat the terrorists:

The point of terrorism is to cause terror, sometimes to further a political goal and sometimes out of sheer hatred. The people terrorists kill are not the targets; they are collateral damage. And blowing up planes, trains, markets or buses is not the goal; those are just tactics. The real targets of terrorism are the rest of us: the billions of us who are not killed but are terrorized because of the killing. The real point of terrorism is not the act itself, but our reaction to the act.
And we're doing exactly what the terrorists want.
The surest defense against terrorism is to refuse to be terrorized. Our job is to recognize that terrorism is just one of the risks we face, and not a particularly common one at that. And our job is to fight those politicians who use fear as an excuse to take away our liberties and promote security theater that wastes money and doesn't make us any safer.
Thursday 24 August 2006 09:18:10 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Politics#
I was going to have action shots of my new bike this morning, but I decided to take the bus to my office instead of riding for some reason.
Thursday 24 August 2006 08:03:40 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Software | Weather#
Wednesday 23 August 2006
I picked up my new bike yesterday. But that's not the subject of this post. No, the unfortunate real subject of this post is, "I am stupid."
Wednesday 23 August 2006 09:36:24 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Software#
Tuesday 22 August 2006

I picked out my new bicycle. I pick it up Wednesday. Photos and details to follow.

Monday 21 August 2006 22:39:22 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Weather#
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David Braverman and Parker
David Braverman is a software developer in Chicago, and the creator of Weather Now. Parker is the most adorable dog on the planet, 80% of the time.
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