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Archive: January 12, 2009

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my weird disaster

Monday,  01/12/09  09:53 PM

I had a weird disaster today; a stray coat hanger may have destroyed my bike =O  Pull up a chair and grab a cold one, and I'll tell the tale...

Kestrel disasterSo there I was, near the end of one of my usual rides, a little 28-mile jaunt around Thousand Oaks, and I'm cruising around 20mph, and I run over a coat hanger.  (Actually I thought it was a stick.)  I hear it sort of banging around in my back wheel, and suddenly the back wheel stops spinning.  I fishtail to a stop, look down, and see that my rear derailleur has torn off the back of the bike, and is now dangling from the chain just behind my bottom bracket.  Closer inspection reveals the coat hanger wrapped around my back axle, inside the chain, and also intertwined with the chain and the derailleur.  Must have gotten sucked in there in just the wrong way so as to cause maximum damage. 

What a freak accident, I could run over that same coat hanger 1,000 times and not have anything happen.  Weird.

Kestrel disasterSo I had to be rescued by my daughter Jordan - the bike was not capable of forward movement :( - and once I got home it took me 45 minutes to cut the coat hanger free and assess the damage.  The derailleur is most likely irreparable (see pic at left), too bad, since it is original equipment on this 10-year-old bike, and has seen about 40,000 miles, but not a disaster.  The really bad thing is that the back tang of the frame to which the derailleur attaches is badly mangled (see pic above).  The tang is a piece of aluminum which is bonded into the frame, and I'm afraid the frame itself will have to be repaired to replace the tang.  That means carbon fiber work.

The rest of the rig seems to have survived; the wheel is undamaged, the cassette looks okay, and the chain looks okay (although it was tweaked rather severely and I'll probably replace it when I replace the derailleur).  But I no longer have a working bike, and the frame repair is going to be expensive and time consuming if it can even be done.  Worst case, I may be looking at buying a whole new bike.  Yuck.

Not only would buying a new bike be expensive, but I love my bike.  Oh well, it is what it is... stay tuned for updates.  And watch out for coat hangers on the road!

[Update: Well, all's well that ends well; this story has a happy ending, and there's a lot to it; please click through to weird disaster recovery for links to all of it...]


Monday,  01/12/09  10:01 PM

Aside from my weird disaster with a coat hanger this afternoon, it was a pretty good day.  Warm and windy, wow.  Anything not nailed down is airborne.  And meanwhile it is all happening...

Feedback from my Twitter and Facebook publishing is trickling in...  can't say this is a huge success, but for certain people it is certainly nice, and there is no apparent downside.  Looking in my referer logs there are definitely a number of people clicking through from my Tweets and from Facebook.  So far, so good.

If nothing else I can now be more interesting at parties, "yeah, my blog posts automatically go to Twitter and Facebook, yeah, I'm so cool"...  :)

I'm still chewing on Scott Adam's question: Define Friend.  Clearly a tough concept to pin down.  Trust is definitely at the core.

SI: San Diego is dangerousThe vaunted Sport's Illustrated cover jinx strikes again; they no sooner publish "San Diego is dangerous" (at left) than the Bolts succumb to the Steelers.  It was a good game, but boo, we lost.  And the Titans had already won, so they AFC Championship would have been in San Diego.  Oh well, they had a good run.  And I did get to see them beat the Colts in overtime - from the front row :)

Obama's geeksThe Economist: Blessed are the geeks, for they will inherit the Earth.  "Barack Obama is making good his promise to welcome scientists into his administration."  Well, good.

An old article I missed from BusinessWeek: How Cloud Computing is Changing the World.  "A major shift in the way companies obtain software and computing capacity is under way as more companies tap into Web-based applications."  Indeed.  Aperio's new SecondSlide digital slide sharing network is an example.

Windows 7 logo - under construction :)Have you loaded Win7 yet?  I've upgraded the VM partition where I was playing with Win7 with the official Microsoft beta, and I still like it (the official beta doesn't seem much different).  It will be interesting to see how soon it becomes broadly available.  I might start investigating whether HP has compatible drives for my laptop...  Ars Technica have published a deep overview of Win7 which you might find useful...  it contains this worrying note: "Let's just cut to the chase here: Windows 7 is built on top of Windows Vista. It doesn't roll back the major changes that Vista made; it doesn't reduce system requirements, it doesn't undo security decisions like UAC, and, except for specific scenarios like booting, it doesn't really perform significantly better."  Huh, that hasn't been my experience so far...

Clyne Castle houses from "the 10 architectural wonders of 2008"From FastCompany: The 10 architectural wonders of 2008.  There's some really beautiful work in there, it isn't all abstract weirdness.  Amazing how innovative you can be with something as simple as designing a building!

Marshall Kirkpatrick says R.I.P Enterprise RSS.  But Brad Feld (investor in NewsGator) disagrees: Enterprise RSS is alive and well.  So, they're both right, sort of; Enterprise RSS is being widely used, but a lot of people are using free tools like Google Reader; it is dead as a big commercial market.

Rose Bowl regattaHere's a cool article on Sailing Anarchy about the Rose Bowl regatta, held at Alamitos Bay yacht club, my old stomping ground.  Brings back some great memories.  Hey, I was married right there, in that club; the closest thing I had to a church :)

Brazilian butterfliesHere you go, some gorgeous Brazilian butterflies.  As usual, click the thumbnail to enbiggen.  You're welcome :)


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