wheee free bikes!

May 30, 2008

I subscribe to a couple local bicycling-related mailing lists. Mostly it is people arguing about bike lanes or what-not but today someone emailed and said “I am moving and I have 3 older bikes I will give away to the first person who will come pick them up.” So, I emailed back and said I’d take them. I was evidently the first person b/c the guy called me back and told me where to come to pick them up. I hadn’t seen the bikes, I had just gotten a description from the email, but even if they were completely busted I could give them to the bike co-op for parts or just  use them for yard art :). Instead I get over to chapel hill (where the bikes are) and I find 3 very nice bikes that have clearly been kept in a garage. None of them is a particularly special bike but they’re all in reasonable shape late-70s/early 80s vintages with a mostly-working set of parts. I pop the wheels off, load them in the back of the fit (which, yes, will fit 3 bikes, no problem) and go grab some dinner.

Get home, unload things, set them all down to get a better look at them.

One is a 83ish peugeot city express. It’s kind of a metallic cyan. Steel frame, lugged, simple – very small — probably a 52-53cm. It also appears that it was ridden maybe once or twice then hung up for the last 25 years. Seriously, everything looks shiny and new and almost untouched. Brake pads, tires, gears, everything. It won’t fit either of us very well b/c of its size (I’m 6’1″ and eunice is 5’8″ish) but it’s a perfect bike otherwise. Nothing fancy, mind you, but it’ll work as an errand runner. Hell, even the tubes inflate and hold air.

The next is a trek 620 maybe from 84. Again small-ish frame – maybe 54cm at the most. This bike was clearly someone’s commuter. It was fitted out right for it and it had a lot of dirt on the wheels/hubs and bottom bracket. It’s got a bit of rust coming through on the front fender eyelets but nothing horribly bad. The braze-ons for the cable routing are also seeing some rust but there’s no real stress on them, a little rustoleum and sandpaper may straighten them out. The brakes are in reasonable shape the hoods need some love and the bar foam is a bit quaint but still, not a bad bike. If it were about 4-5cm larger it’d be perfect for me. I’ll see where I can find this a good home

The last one is an Atala Milano. It’s an Italian manufacturer – claimed to be from about ’79. I looked it up on the Late Sheldon Brown’s website and it’s nothing terribly fancy. Nice steel frame, pretty lugs, no rust, some dirt, cool looking half-chrome fork. It’s pretty spiffy. Brake cables and housing are pretty well shot but ALMOST functional. Shifters are in great shape. Components are the very-shiny but simple and functional suntour AR components.  I’m pretty sure it has 27″ wheels which is the only odd bit. This is a fine looking bike.  It’s probably the largest of the 3 but It still feels awfully small to me.  I think we may strip this one down and Eunice and I will work on building it as a run-around-town bike and teach ourselves a bit more about putting a bike back together with different bits than what you took it apart with. And if we screw it up, oh well, we’re out NOTHING!

Those are my free bikes I picked up, today. I think I will be able to find good, caring homes for them and hopefully get a couple more folks out on bikes.

Here’s a picture of eunice being weird with the three of them:

http://flickr.com/photos/ejchang/2535602472/

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Train travel

May 28, 2008

This is probably worth writing a letter to your representative to encourage:

House Resolution 6003 – summary here: http://beyonddc.com/log/?p=210

Given everything it seems like 10 years ago would have been a good time for this resolution but it’s better now than never.

I’m not at LinuxTag – kinda wish I was but I did want to say that based on the pictures I’ve seen so far on Fabian and Joerg’s blog it sure looks like the european team of fedora contributors/ambassadors has the following two things (at least):

1. excellent organizational skills

2. access to a kick ass printer/plotter.

Seriously, the booth looks incredible. I remember the first booth fedora had a lwce a looooooooooooooooooong time ago and the booth I’ve seen in pictures at LinuxTag is amazing in comparison.

You guys rock, thanks for doing all this for fedora!

planet

May 26, 2008

The new planet configs from .planet files are now being used. Let me know if you have issues and/or questions about using it. I’ve emailed the 3 people who had problematic .planet files and told them how to fix them.

thanks

wii fit

May 23, 2008

The girl picked up a wii fit yesterday rather impressively. We’ve been playing with it a fair bit. A few things to be fair:

1. the yoga and strength training will kick your ass

2. the skiing and snowboarding games are great

3. the hula hoop games makes me stomach burn – it’s good.

4. I do wish there was a macro mode so I could say “do the following 20 exercises one right after the other”. That would be useful. There’s a little too much ‘clicky’ than I’d like.

I can’t wait to see what kind of snowboard games come out for it or even surfing. It’s an impressive interface.

planet changes

May 22, 2008

Time is running short. Make sure you follow these instructions to update your planet info – or you won’t be on planet fedora anymore!

http://skvidal.fedorapeople.org/docs/planet-addition.html

I have this idea, maybe someone has already implemented it.

I setup a database of email addresses with a score based on my experience of the value of the content of their emails. Not a spam score, a content score. So I can say that randomuser21@hotmail.com typically posts worthless crap. Then I score them negatively in my db/table of users. Then something reads in my mailbox and adds a score to the subject line of threads based on the scores assigned to the users involved.

Then I can see if a thread goes up or down content-wise based on who posts to it.

I’m pretty sure I can do this with procmail but I’m curious if it has already been done.