Monday, March 22, 2021

The Anatomy of Græy


My favorite color is gray, or grey as some call it. Have you ever wondered why it's spelled both ways? In every past conversation I had on this matter, people find both spellings acceptable but all have a preference to one or the other. I recently read a web document where they used both spellings in different areas. The spelling with e was used for the explanation of the color and the spelling with an a for all the examples of the color. 

I recently discovered that both spellings are correct. In the New World the standard usage is with an a. In the Old World they tend to use e. What's the reasoning? Modern printing is to blame. The original spelling was actually with a ligature: æ. Yes, both letters, often called "ash", were used. That is why we say it the same way yet spell it differently. Typography made ligatures fade from use. I suppose it was simpler to keep a smaller variety of frequently used vowels. For some reason the New World dropped the e and the Old World the a. I might start using the ligature if I figure the key combo to bring it up. 

More importantly is why is this my favorite when some don't even consider it a color. I admit I was once a fan of green which morphed to blue over the years. Then brown, then blue then started back to green, stuck at a turquoise shade. Then suddenly gray. It's peaceful. It calms me. It is versitile and can be light or dark as the mood changes. It's not bright like white. It's not intense like black. Yet it can get close to either without really changing. If you are dark and brooding but want to smile, use grey. If you are bright and cheerful but want a dark soul, use grey. The message will be hidden and you will be happy. 

my turquoise bike ©2019 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Number 3

It took me three years to finish her but it is worth it!

Four years after starting this blog post I realize I stopped blogging and never finished this post!

So seven years after starting to work on this bike I'm still working on it! This is my daily rider, or before covid it was. It's still my regular rider. When I'm on my Sunday ride this is the bike. When I just go practice track stands, this is the bike. When I just want to tinker on a bike, you know, I have four bikes so maybe this one will be it.

Meanwhile, it's undergone a few changes. No longer just like this, but similar. The color is the same. There is now a front rack. It's small but I don't often carry more than a jacket or bag. I have two basic configurations, Winter and Summer. Today it's in Winter. The tires are fatter and knobbed. The gearing is lower, I have a 42/19or20 setup. Nineteen is fixed, twenty is freewheel. I keep it in fixed most of the time. I also have a front and rear fender. The front is mainly a mud guard. The Summer setup is 46/16 fixed. Taller gears to go faster. I remove the fenders. and put on skinny tires. Not real skinny, about 40 mm so I can still ride dirt and gravel. This bike is a joy, mostly because I ride it. 

Here are pictures of the Winter and Summer setup.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Fresh chocolate!

This is what the inside of a 25 pound box of chocolate pieces looks like. This happens to be cranberry-orange chocolate from Theo's. Their factory is a few blocks from my work and they are a good customers of ours.   Inclusions, the cranberry, and oil's, the orange, can weaken the bars which causes them to break. The inclusions also make it difficult to recycle or remedy. So they can't be sold. Somehow they end up at my work where we do our part to prevent waste. Tasty! My job sucks sometimes. 😎

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Fresh wax!

Beeswax to be precise. I stopped at Ballard farmers market to get some produce and bought a pound of beeswax. I use beeswax to waterproof the bag I carry to work on my bike. It usually only takes a quarter to half an ounce, so I'll have a bit left over to share with family and friends.  I'm also going to get a shirt at the thrift store on senior Tuesday and wax it for those light rain days. Oh! And i have a drawer slide to wax so it's smooth. Pretty handy material to have around the house. 
Buying direct from the farmer saves me money! That's a good reason to buy from the farmer. And they have great honey if you're into that. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fresh beer!

I stopped by Stoup Brewery on my bike ride home and filled my growelet with their fresh Marzan. It's truly one of the best beers I've ever drank. Here in Ballard there about a dozen breweries within walking distance of my work I have close to 200 beers to choose from. "Big Brewer" can control distribution where you live, but I buy brewery direct. Support Craft beer!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Prius is a Lie


Hybrid Cake
You've heard it recently; "I was stuck behind a Prius on the way to work again"

A few yeas ago it was pickups, later SUV's we were getting stuck behind, now it's hybrids. It's not the Prius itself. They are a peppy car, maneuverable and quick. They can scoot up a steep grade as quick as any vehicle it's size, maybe quicker. And you really can't blame the drivers, though you want to, as they are well meaning but delusional. Who or what should we blame?

It's the Lie. 

A few years ago there was a popular meme on the internet, it was "The cake is a lie." It was used in random irc and discussion boards to indicate you are being fooled or having your leg pulled. It comes from a video game in which you, as a player, are promised cake, but it never materializes. The Prius is a lie. You believe the lie when you purchase a hybrid and then when you find its not real you ignore that fact and try and create the cake in your mind. The rest of us suffer from your delusion by getting stuck behind you on the freeway. Let it go, you can not get 50 plus miles per gallon. 

The engine used in a Prius is de-rated. That means it is not as powerful as it's full rated version used in other cars such as the Yaris. The Yaris can get 40 miles per gallon so how can a version that is not as powerful get better? It can not, don't argue, think. It's a hybrid, it runs on batteries part of the time. It can travel fifty miles and use a gallon of gas, technically it can travel even further using only a gallon. If you are running the engine to move the car you measure the distance you travel and fuel used in mpg or miles per gallon.  I have seen records of the early Prius going 26 mpg. The newer ones can do much better, maybe 35 mpg. When you switch over to batteries you no longer use fuel so you can no longer log miles on gas. You are now traveling on Kilovolt hours. You don't hear any one bragging about kVh in their Prius, but they should. Again, the newer cars do better in that area than the older ones.  

Am I being nitpicky? OH Hell Yes!!! We are now to the root of the problem. As the batteries age they lose efficiency. The drivers realizing that tend to take it easy on them. Climbing a steep grade with less power in gas, and batteries no longer at their peak, causes the drivers to hold back. Traffic is held back behind them. Long stretches on the highway can do this as well. Even worse are the "50 milers," those owners who actually do travel further than fifty miles using a gallon. They use all the fuel efficiency tricks we have known about for years. Including driving 55 in a 65 zone. Which would be OK if they stay in the slow lane but due to high tire inflation and rough roads from truck traffic, the slow lane is uncomfortable. So they move into the fast lane. We have name for these people but I won't repeat it now.

Just saying...    

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Cash Divide

Cash is a burden on our society.
The other day I was in a big box store and was selecting a line in which to check out. There was a "Fast Check" for 10 items or less with 2 people standing in line and there was a regular line with one person and maybe 30 items. I wisely chose the fast check lane. Wise I say, because it taught me a lesson, and any time you choose to learn is wise.

Getting to my point, the person in the regular line was out the door and the next person with a large cart of merchandise was half complete before we started checking. As you have most likely concluded by the title of this story, cash was the reason it was slow. Or to be precise the interchange of a cash transaction when one or both parties are mathematically challenged was the issue. Two transactions with cash took longer than the quick swipe of a card.

In the William Gibson novel "Neuromancer" published in 1984, society had stopped using cash and had adopted a token that could let the inhabitants exchange monies electronically. With current technologies and applications such as Square Wallet and Paypal Here, we are technologically at the point where this can be a reality. There is a coffee shop near my work where I can walk in and tell them to use Square. They see my image on the screen which validates identity and they can debit my account. I don't even have to get my phone out. It's also possible to accept a credit card at your garage sale from your neighbor.

Technology is here but society is fighting it. Change is difficult for those locked in their 18th century bunkers.