Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Pop-up Housing

Monday, July 7th, 2014

An interesting article on Atlantic Cities — er, “Citylab” — about the DC Office of Planning trying to eliminate “pop-up housing”. I hadn’t heard the term before, but the photo at the top of the article is illuminating.

It’s fascinating to watch people try and cheat the laws of supply and demand, and always fail. If you continue to keep people from building housing in a high demand area, you know what you get? San Francisco. Have fun trying to run a city when nobody making the median salary can actually afford to live there.

Spokeless Sada Bike that folds to the size of an umbrella

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

I hear it’s bad luck to open it indoors.

Shirt Design Contest 2014

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

It’s that time again — time to get out your Sharpies, your generic Chinese drawing tablets, and your pirated copy of Photoshop Elements to put together a shirt design for this year’s ride.

Same rules as every year:

  • Must include either “Super Atomic Pedal Squadron!” or “SAPS!” lettering somewhere in the design. Can’t have a team shirt without a team name.
  • Can be no more than three colors, not including the background. These are going on shirts, and stuff that’s really colorful is also really expensive. The background color is “free” because it’s just the color of the shirt coming through.
  • All entries must be received by April 21. Then I’ll post everything I’ve received and we’ll use the voting booth to pick a winner.

Please send submissions in PNG, SVG, or some other common format. They can be emailed to me at “contact@roadflares.org”. No warranties expressed or implied. Not valid in all fifty states. All right reserved, all wrongs reversed. And so on.

Greetings from Camden!

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

CAMDEN1b

Holy hell, Camden sounds terrifying. It’s an interesting example of what happens when you take a poverty-stricken industrial city ( *cough* Buffalo *cough* ) off of state-funded life support.

From the article:

On January 18th, 2011, the city laid off 168 of its 368 police officers, kicking off a dramatic, years-long, cops-versus-locals, house-to-house battle over a few square miles of North American territory that should have been national news, but has not been, likely because it took place in an isolated black and Hispanic ghost town.

After the 2011 layoffs, police went into almost total retreat. Drug dealers cheerfully gave interviews to local reporters while slinging in broad daylight. Some enterprising locals made up T-shirts celebrating the transfer of power from the cops back to the streets: JANUARY 18, 2011 – it’s our time. A later design aped the logo of rap pioneers Run-DMC, and “Run-CMD” – “CMD” stands both for “Camden” and “Cash, Money, Drugs” – became the unofficial symbol of the unoccupied city, seen in town on everything from T-shirts to a lovingly rendered piece of wall graffiti on crime-ridden Mount Ephraim Avenue.

Bike Advice

Friday, December 13th, 2013

My B-I-L (Brutha-In-Law) has started thinking about proclaiming his independence from car-commuting and purchasing something with 2 wheels that he can pedal. Living in Arizona, good biking weather is kind-of always, and his commute isn’t terribly long or hilly. Recently he mentioned to me that he was looking at “fixie” bikes. I tend to think that the coaster hub is one of the better improvements on the basic concept of the bicycle, and told him so, but that’s just me. I realize some of this blog’s readership is somewhat to fairly knowledgeable about bikes; what say you all? What’s a good “commuter” bike, on a budget of ~$300?

Just Because It’s An Awesome Picture

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Click to enlarge.

Bike Racks on Trains

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

I know there’s at least one or two guys who read this site occasionally who are into bikes. So I have a question- rather, a technical design scenario. Let’s say you were looking at some sort of bicycle storage provision for rail cars. What sorts of design elements should be incorporated into the storage solution to make it user friendly, safe, convenient, etc?

As a reference, the rail cars in question would be a commuter rail type of car. Riders typically embark at one of a handful of stations and disembark after a 30 to 60 minute ride. There’s not a lot of on-off like you get with subways. It’s meant for transit from suburbs to the city, generally. Also, there’s a fair bit of recreational use on the weekends, possibly riders transporting bikes to and from the city for tourism.

The bike storage unit must be inside the rail car. Due to tunnels and adjacent tracks, outside storage is not possible.  SInce the storage will be inside, it will necessarily take up some space that could be use for seated passengers.  The goal is to minimize seating loss.

Will be interested to hear your input on this. Feel free to include sketches, etc as well.

Absence

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

So, I haven’t posted anything on here in a month or so. Sorry about that.

As you can probably imagine, I’ve been a bit busy. Our daughter, Monica Marie, was born on September 19. I may be a little bit biased, but I’m pretty sure she’s the most adorable baby ever.

Fortunately, my employer offers paternity leave, so I’ve been home for the last month helping out while Sue recovers. It’s been a great time — the boys and I have been going to all sorts of different parks and playgrounds and having a lot of fun. I’m really not looking forward to going back to work in a couple of weeks.

Happy Government Shutdown Day!

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

It’s been 9 hours and 4 minutes (at the time of me typing this) since the government officially shut down due to a bunch of overpaid, whiny children arguing over who’s version of fascism is better. Who, it must be noted, are still getting paid, and still receiving health care benefits most of us can’t even fathom.

How’d you like to be a federal employee, arriving at work this morning to an email designating you as “non-essential”. I wonder if those federal health care benefits cover self esteem treatment…

Health Care Choices

Monday, September 16th, 2013

I know that the go-to argument against moving to single payer health care in this country (for those of us who aren’t elderly, poor, or veterans, anyway) is “Do you really want the DMV handling your health insurance?”

After sitting through another benefits meeting, filled with acronyms and conditionals and seemingly arbitrary numbers, it doesn’t sound that bad compared to the situation we’ve got now. I’d give anything for a health care system as efficient and transparent as the DMV.

“Your family deductible is X per person, capped at three family members, while your HRA isn’t capped! But the HRA is only for medical, not other expenses like dental or vision, which have to come out of an FSA or an HSA that you’ve rolled over from a previous plan!”

Oy.