Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
But of course the best part is that Dr Van Der Wilt has been biking to his office since he opened it. I think he once related he was once thinking of either moving his office or switching houses, but he wanted to be close enough to easily bike. He has a rack outside the front door of the office, and his bike is there every time I come in.
He's also a big proponent of public transportation, taking the train to visit San Francisco, to see his son or watch the Giants.
Dr David Van Der Wilt, DDS, is holier than you.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
In general I am not an aficionado of these various networking sites. I have a facebook, myspace, and linked in account, but rarely use them. Facebook and Myspace completely confuse me - the user interface seems completely non-intuitive to me, and more noise generation than communicative. Of course I am a retro-grouch and long for the days of usenet, and at my former job I held on to using mutt as my email reader (I hate Outlook with a passion, but it appears I am being subjected to forced assimilation at the new job after years of resisting at my former company).
So I finally click over to linked in after someone sent me 4-5 reminder emails that I had not added them to their network. There is a part of the web page that says "People You May Know". This feature has always spooked me, as I always know all of these people but I can't figure out how Linked In knows that. Today there are 2 people I know from cycling/triathlon and one person who was a Fraternity Brother of mine in college. I can't figure out how Linked In could be making those connections from the contacts I have already put in place without also putting in a lot of names of people I don't know- but it never happens. I have seen a woman I went on like 3 dates with 6 years ago and never spoken to again on the list, primarily because she has no common friends with me - period.
We were speculating about how Linked In pulls this off. Someone posited that they are sniffing your Outlook information. Thing is - I have always used Linux and have never had any Outlook contacts. I could be getting correlated from someone else's Outlook, but the whole concept just doesn't make sense to me.
My guess is this...
Linked In has bought/acquired Evite's database and is using it to populate your "People you May Know" area. It's the only thing that makes sense to me - everyone who I have seen on there is someone whom I have been on an evite with in the past.
If so - Linked In you are ON NOTICE. That is totally sucky behavior IMHO.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
The intersection at Castro/24th has been restriped. First Noe/24th, then the new striping at Castro/24th.
The question is - was an Environmental Impact Review done? I don't know, but I assume there was not one done. I don't really know the exact theory behind the fancy striping, but one would assume that it is for pedestrian safety. Great! How does it accomplish it - by calming traffic? SLOWING traffic! Absurd! That's a surefire way to increase POLLUTION! And even if it isn't - the city is supposed to do EIRs!
Of course I am being ironic here, but it's sad how accurate that seems. One thing I will say - approaching this intersection from the West on a bike, on a rainy day, will be not amusing. On a typical intersection like the one at Noe, the proper tactic is to cross the intersection away from the painted lines. Paint does not absorb water - it beads it up, ask Christian Vandevelde . On the new intersection - how are you supposed to avoid the paint!
We have 2 plum trees at our place in Healdsburg. My wife, myself, and our friend Jean spent a lot of time thinning the tree back in May in order to keep the branches from being overloaded. I was worried that the branches might break, and reading up on this I found that thinning also produces better fruit. It's true. We produced 100's of very delicious plums for consumption by the local blue jays and racoons. I got to try a few and they were great.
We have moved to a new rental in San Francisco, and it turns out there is a plum tree in the back. I went out to take a look, and a lot of fruit was on the ground but not from varmints, just from the fruit getting overripe and falling off. I quickly gathered up all the plums determined to not lose this crop. This aligns with some recent theory on my part that I want to learn how to feed myself from crops we can produce ourselves and to get local products.
These plums were not nearly as good as the Santa Rosa plums from Healdsburg, and they were not going to have much shelf life. What to do? I decided to teach myself some skills from the good old days and make some Plum Jam. Turns out to be pretty simple, dice the fruit, add pectin (made from apples and makes the jam gelatinous) and sugar, boil, and put in sterilized jars. We acquired the pectin, Organic Carbon Free Sugar (that's what the package said anyway. Probably not local however...), and some Ball Jars. Had to be Ball - my dad used to work for Ball.
My dad also used to have a lot of very prolific fruit trees. My mother filled a lot of Ball Jars with said fruit, so this had a very nostalgic impact on me. Not too much work, but we only ended up with 5 jars of plum jam, probably saving zero (negative) dollars but reducing the waste of throwing out the plums. And we'll get some goodwill from giving out a few precious jars.
While thinking about this, I walked (of course) past this "bicycle". Amusing.
"It doesn't take a war to power my bicycle". What does it take to power that car carrying your (mileage reducing by way of being on top of your car) bicycle?
To be fair, this guy probably has a pretty small carbon footprint. He lives in the city, his bike is set up as a utility bike, and it was on top of his biodiesel fueled Golf with a sticker on it that says "Biodiesel - driving still sucks". For all I know he was driving for a 2 week stay in a place with no mass transit and will be using his bike to get around the entire time. But he put the sticker on his bike, and he put the bike on the car - to me that's fair game to be owned.