Category Archives: Cringer

My Cat

Bike Lanes for Carlisle Next Year

This is old news, but I haven’t been paying attention, so it’s new news for me.

Carlisle is getting some new bike lanes next year!

Planned bike lanes

Evidently, the borough government decided that having a pair of four-lane highways running right through the downtown was not such a good idea. So they’re implementing a “road diet” which includes the cycle lanes.

This is what it looks like now:

This is what it’ll look like when the project is done:

Nice, right?

There’s a bunch of PDF files explaining the whole project on the borough website.

Incidentally, there’s a guy running for Mayor of Harrisburg who has as part of his platform:

“Eliminate the six lane, divided highway called Front and Second”

Maybe there’s hope for the same kind of “road diet” treatment in downtown Harrisburg.

Free Lunch – Day 3

I decided to get up early this morning so I’d have time to take some pictures on my commute.
Unfortunately, I didn’t factor into my calculations that getting up early means commuting in the dark, so my pictures didn’t turn out very well.

This is the best one, and it pretty much sucks.

Interstate 81 Traffic

I took this picture about 100 yards from my office. I like to stop on this bridge to cool off. On nicer days, there’s a decent view of the city from here. (You’ll probably have to click the big version to see it.)

View in the springtime

Today: 10 miles
January: 52 miles
2008: 52 miles


We had a small fire at the old apartment yesterday morning. Cringer (my cat) somehow managed to urinate directly into an electrical outlet, which promptly burst into flames.

Apart from some scorch marks and a truly terrible smell of burnt cat piss, no real harm done, but it was scary as hell.

I didn’t want to leave the cats in a house that might burn down at any moment, so I evacuated them to the new house yesterday, and Brandi and I moved in today.

Klinutus, the Mad Taoist, and even my evil sister came down to help carry heavy items, and drive the U-Haul that was too big for me to handle. Saturdays this close to Christmas are quite valuable, so it was very nice for them to sacrifice one to help.

Anyhow, world headquarters is now located in Marysville. We have no cable or telephone at the moment, and I am stealing the neighbor’s wireless.

If you’ve been saving up your favorite Perry County jokes, this would be the time.

Cycle Maps

When I tell people about OSM, they often think I’m crazy. “Why don’t you just use google maps?” they say.

Here’s why, bitches.

Can google maps do this?

No? I didn’t think so.

Google maps is for cars. This is for bikes.
Bike trails are colored and bright. Interstates (and other uninteresting steets) are grey and dim.

This is only the beginning. Soon, there will be data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission so you will know how steep the hills are, and routing software to help you avoid them.

Today Gmaps. Tommorow, the World!

P.S. (Thanks to Andy for rendering and hosting the tiles.)

Drivers Wanted

I had the day off today, and Brandi did not. It was pouring down cold rain all day, so no bike riding. Instead, Cringer and I spent the day in the computer room, working on the MythTV. My plan to swap out motherboards fell on its face. There was a small matter of a stripped screw, so It looks like the motherboard and case are inseperable on my old desktop. So, I’m forced to either buy a different motherboard for the Myth box, or try to get the one I have to work.So, I moved the soundcard from the desktop to the Myth box, and I decided to try Dapper Drake, Flight 2. It’s an alpha release of Ubuntu, so maybe it’ll have newer drivers.

Cringer oversees the burning of a CD-R

Cringer is overseeing the burning of the CD (Cringer still uses WindowsXP…for shame…)

The Drake giveth…

Dapper Drake looks like it will be very cool when it comes out, it detected my sound card, and at least tried to detect the video card. X came up automatically, albeit with a generic VESA driver instead of the proper nv driver.

The Drake taketh away…

The on-board network card doesn’t work! Argh!

I’m running out of ideas, so I’m going to try the pre-release of Fedora Core 5. Maybe the driver fairy will smile on me.


My water bottle froze on my ride home from work today. That kind of sucked.Winter will officially be here in two days, which means I don’t have much time to prepare for the JulBlót festivities. I hope to have some pictures of the goat-worshiping and the mead-brewing posted sometime next week.

In other news, Dr. Mayhem and I have founded the Harrisburg Linux cUrry Group. This is basically an organization for people who like Linux to get together and talk about it while enjoying some nice indian food. We will probably be having our first meeting at Passage to India sometime after the holidays.

So, if you like curry, and you like Linux, keep an eye on the official website ( for more details.

Speaking of Linux, LugRadio Season 3, Episode 5 was released today. I listened to it at work, and it was very funny, as per usual. Check it out.

I have also volunteered to help out transcribing the show for the hearing impaired. If anyone wants to help check my work, here’s how you can help:

  1. Download Episode 4
  2. Open up my transcript in progress
  3. Let me know if you found any errors, or just fix it yourself in the wiki.
  4. I need particular help understanding Sparkes’ west-midlandish accent, which is all but incomprehensible to my American ears.

Dropping Out

The snazzy new kevlar-belted tires for the Trek arrived Friday night. I got them mounted on Saturday. I was having some problems getting the rear wheel reinstalled.
I was starting to think I had really messed up the rear wheel when I destroyed the tire. After a frantic post to the iBob list, I realized I had one of the springs in the QR skewer installed backwards. A dumbass mistake, and easily corrected.At long last, I was out the door and back on my bike. After a week on the Diamondback, everything felt wonderful, snappy, and fast. The only downside was that my hands were reaching for bar-end shifters, and now we were back to downtubes. Maybe I’ll get some bar-ends for this bike someday, too.

Anyways, I was rolling up to a 4-way-stop intersection, and a car was coming the other way. I decided I was gonna beat him to the intersection, so I upshifted, stood, and stomped on the pedals with a manly force that I’m sure would have made some truly heroic acceleration… Except what happened was that I tore the rear wheel out of the dropouts. Oops. Didn’t tighten them down correctly.

Yes, this has happened to me before.

This time it was worse. The brake pads dove under the rim, and the whole bike went sideways. I almost crashed, but I managed to get a foot unclipped, saving myself from total embarrasment.
My rear wheel went out of true in a pretty bad way. Luckily, I had some tools with me, and I was able to adjust the brakes and fenders enough to make the bike rideable.

I seriously thought about calling Brandi for the rescue wagon, but I made it home honorably; under my own power.

Last night, I got a belated birthday present from some family members. A gift certificate to the LBS in Mifflinburg. This place is cool because it’s run by Mennonites, for Mennonites. These people ride their bikes all over the place, all year round. I think I might use my gift certificate to have the wheel professionally trued by these people. They probably know what they are doing. I see them carrying large loads of produce to market on the backs of thier bikes, so they must know a thing or two about strong wheels.

Speaking of strong wheels, Jim (of “Oil is for Sissies” fame) is starting up his own shop, and he is building me a custom 48-spoke super-duty rear wheel for the Diamondback. I broke a spoke on my mountain biking adventure, and want something indestructable.

Hopefully, I don’t have to take such drastic action for the Trek. It has 126mm dropout spacing and the cantilever studs are set for a 630mm (27″) wheel. If I have a new wheel built, I’ll probably want to go with more modern 135mm dropout spacing, so I can use standard 8/9/10 speed components. I’d also want to use modern 622mm wheels, so I have a wider selection of tires. That would require cold-setting the frame, and having the canti studs re-brazed 4mm lower on the forks.

By the time I get done having two new wheels built and have the frame reconfigured (and it’ll have to be repainted after that), it probably would have been cheaper to just buy a whole new bike. I’m not sure I want to do that though. The Trek has certain mystical/spiritual properties I’m not sure I could find in a new bike.