Aussie adventures in America

A life's dream realized...

Hazards of riding a motorcycle
hunter006
Bryan Lipscy, a co-worker of mine, mentioned that he was impaled on one of his motorcycle rides, and on my request sent me a copy of the ride report. While his ride ended in tragedy, it captures so much in it that I couldn't help but ask if I could repost it - life, death, how things can change in a moment, and how the things in life that really matter are not things.

I was on a fairly long (~700 mile) ride with some friends on July 17th. We had started in Kingston, WA at 3am headed for Cashmere, WA via Oregon. We stopped in Elma to take our morning meal at a small roadside diner. It is one of those diners that would be featured on Food Network. Small & homey with good food and great service. We turned south from Elma heading for the Astoria-Megler Bridge. This bridge is the longest continuous truss-bridge in the United States. The view of the Pacific Ocean from mid-span was phenomenal bringing back a wave of memories from my Navy days. Astoria Oregon is a quaint little town that beckons anglers and antique collectors alike. Such dawdling time was not for us. The siren of good roads beckons to the three of us. Tom lead us into some great roads outside of Astoria with tight corners and through the inspiring picturesque farmlands near Tillamook.

We entered into a series of tight curves south of Astoria as evidenced by the big silly grin splattered across my face. Leaning over so far through a curve that my foot pegs left a trail of sparks as they ground against the pavement. Back to the other side pressing on the throttle a little more and leaning a bit harder hoping this road never ends. Looking up a deer mindlessly wanders into my path with me closing in very quickly. Downshift, rear brake, front brake with a slow steady squeeze bringing my bike to a sudden stop for this deer that decided to wander into the roadway. It stopped right in front of me almost daring me to hit it with my bike. Tapping the horn only seemed to further its resolve to stand there. Not sure if the deer was suicidal or just nuts but it eventually finished crossing the road and I went on my merry way to catch up with my friends. After putting along in Portland we headed back into Washington. We cruised through the Gorge and north along the Klickitat river. It was about 90F with a bright yellow sun and clear blue skies. I was enjoying the rhythm of my engine rising and falling with the flow of the road. The crisp smell of the Klickitat river entwined with waves of the hot desert air to fill my senses with a scent that is so alive. The occasional critter would scurry out into the road only to beat a hasty retreat so that it may live to cross again. Kind of reminds me of that TV commercial with the critters conspiring to create mayhem on the roadway. Guess a big guy on a big red bike with really loud pipes changed their little minds. It was a good ride. Asphalt therapy at its finest. We stopped in Klickitat for a water and butt break. I took this opportunity to stow my leather jacket in the trunk bag. It was a beautiful, hot, eastern Washington day. We headed north out of Klickitat and through Goldendale. Eventually we rode around Hanford and stopped for construction delays.

We had turned eastbound on SR-24 about 8 miles SW of Othello. It was a long straight away. I settled back into my seat and rested my ankles on the pegs. It was a beautiful ride so far. I regretted that my camera wasn’t working for the run through the canyon. One of the pins broke when I was plugging the camera into the recorder back in Kingston. Sounds like a good excuse to make another run through here. We had completed about 600 miles so far when an object came off the lead bike and bounced off the road. It flew over Mike and I lost sight of it in the clear blue sky. No worries. Thump!

I felt the thump when it hit my chest. I normally ride with no windshield so I am fairly used to small birds and road debris hitting my chest. When I looked down to clear what hit me I saw something sticking out of my chest. Despite my first aid training, extensive military first aid training, and just general good sense I pulled the object out of my chest which then started spraying blood. Found out later from an ER nurse that this is an instinctual reaction.

So now I am sailing along at 60mph on a beautiful day in the midst of a beautiful ride with blood spraying out of my chest. Thinking I really need to pull over soon the bike seemed to understand what she needed to do. Miraculously a smooth gravel parking area appear seemingly out of nowhere. No sure how the bike got parked but given the blood spurts it didn't seem important at the time. After securing my bike I was able to start first aid on myself but unable to contact EMS. The blood soaked keys were slippery making dialing those precious 3 digits a challenge. When I looked at my cell it appeared that I had no signal and no help. I tried flagging down other motorists for help while trying to open my first aid kit but no one would stop. My hands were so slippery from all of the blood that I could not get a grip on the zippers and had problems dialing on my cell. I later found out that I did get into my first aid kit but for some reason my mind, hands and eyes were not communicating well at that moment. With blood still spraying through my fingers I pushed two fingers into the wound to try plugging the broken blood vessel. When I realized that was not working I went back to direct pressure. Dizziness from the blood loss and onset of shock started to set in so I laid down on the side of the road before passing out. Not sure how long I was laying on the side of the road until someone stopped to help me. I had been calling out for help for what seemed several minutes as cars and a few trucks whizzed by. I stopped screaming for help when the realization that I may not see my family again started to creep in. I thought about my daughters growing up through their formidable teenage years without their Daddy. I thought about my grandkids. I thought about my wife being devastated, missing her touch and the feel of her warmth….. until I heard an engine slowing down near me. Then I started screaming for help again. One last desperate call. The people that stopped to help was an off-duty police officer with a retired EMT in his car. I later found out that according to witnesses I refused to release the direct pressure I was applying to the wound until Mike got me to let go and relax. At some point I started having a hard time breathing. Couldn’t inhale or exhale – could only hear noise around me. I don’t remember much except people pulling my eyelids back and rubbing their knuckles on my sternum. I do remember wanting to hit that person because that hurt but I couldn’t lift my arms. Found out later that I would have bled out in about another 10 minutes.

I was taken to Othello ER then flown to Kadlec Medical Center in Richland. Don’t remember much about the flight except the debate whether to fly me to Spokane for a thoracic surgical team or to Kadlec for a different team. The flight crew that was at Othello didn't have enough hours to fly me to Spokane so they were going to fly in another crew. Once a doctor determined that my lung was not injured the decision was made to send me to Kadlec. The only thing I really remember from the flight is seeing a rotor blade and thinking “Oh crap I’m flying without a parachute”.

I ended up with one broken rib, a large hematoma in my right pect, and a 7cm laceration through my chest that is roughly 5cm deep. The knife was later found on the side of the road locked in the fully extended position. The knife had entered my chest blade first. The one broken rib prevented the knife from puncturing my lung. The surgeon at Kadlec cleaned me up and stitched me back together then sent me home with my wife once she arrived.

The Washington State Patrol is investigating this case but they, along with two major insurance companies, have never seen anything like this before. No one knows quite how to categorize or qualify this event. Since I was able to maintain control of my bike and able to bring it to a safe stop without crashing it is not a true motor vehicle accident. According to WSP I most likely would have died if I lost control of the bike.

While all this was going on the other two riders had pulled over ahead of me on the other side of a rise. The lead rider’s passenger had started showing signs of heat exhaustion so they had to get her cooled down and re-hydrated. I later found out that they thought a piece of plastic had flown off the lead rider’s bike and I had pulled over to retrieve it. Mike came back to tell me not to worry about it he saw what was going on and got the lead rider back to the scene. Mike said that I told him to tell me wife I love her and take care of my bike. They, along with some other friends, were able to get my bike back to Cashmere.

I am not sure that the leather jacket would have changed events much. Most certainly it would slowed the knife until it breached the leather. Maybe the knife would not have made it all the way to my rib cage. The blade is still fairly sharp so I am guessing that I would have still ended up with some sort of injury.

I am back on my bike. The old forward controls have been replaced with stock floorboards and I am happily grinding them on pavement at every opportunity. My wife has me SPOTted so I can let her know all is well or call for EMS where ever I am at. I am still skittish in group rides but time will heal that as well.

Everything's an email thread at Microsoft
hunter006
So true... so so true...




Original post: Link

How a company's employees respond to adversity -- such as a broken coffee machine -- says a lot about that company's culture. Which is why it's no surprise that some Microsoft employees recently reacted to that horrible fate by spamming the machine with "helpful" suggestions about the source of the problem, in a series of notes.

Which, of course, prompted everyone else to do their best to kill the thread.

The funny story was relayed yesterday in a blog post by Jim Glass, a Microsoft Dynamics CRM user experience site manager. "First one observer thought the water source had been turned down and then another helpful comments suspected a blockage in the water line," he wrote. "By time the maintenance folks got to the machine, there were almost ten post-its on the faulty machine."

Among the messages posted on the coffee maker: "Please remove me from this list," "+1," and "please stop replying to all." 


Driving to the shops for the first time in 1.5 years
hunter006
I haven't had a car since I moved to Seattle. I had a rental Pontiac G6 (like a Holden Commodore, and sucks just as much) for a month and a bit before I returned it in disgust, both because the car was terrible to drive and guzzled fuel like there was no tomorrow. It cost me ~$1 per 6 mi to drive that car in fuel alone. So since then, I've been doing all my shopping by walking to the store and carrying it back, or loading up the bike and carrying it back that way.

Today was the first time I had driven to the shops in nearly 1.5 years. I get food "delivered" from Costco by the Russian, but that is only cereal and it goes straight to work. This is me going to the shop, picking up food, and taking it home. I ran a quick Mint.com query to see what my usual expenses were and compared it to my latest expense (Mint is an online version of Quicken available only in the USA)

The usual trip to QFC averages out to $20. This trip cost me $113.87. I bought ~$40 in drinks, $40 in toiletries and $25 in food. Normally I would put a higher priority on food, but this time I didn't. The "why" comes down to the knapsack problem.

The knapsack problem allocates a value based on certain key traits, where the aim is to buy the combination of products that will yield the greatest value for the limiting factor. Weight is one; I can only buy 4-5 bottles of juice normally because each bottle of juice weighs 2 kg/4 lbs, so I'm riding home with over 15 kg/30 lbs in a backpack not designed for that, or I have a weight limit to adhere to on the rack mounts of my panniers. Toilet rolls have high personal value and are light weight but high bulk, and can be purchased in bulk quantities that further lowers cost per unit - thus representing another limiting factor: space. They typically require a trip to the store just for toilet paper is the norm so as to buy the largest quantity. I can only carry so much in my bag; despite choosing a supermarket that is uphill from where I live (thus I can just coast downhill to get home) I still have to be able to physically carry the goods out the door on my own*.

Now, in a car, two issues pretty much disappear - I'm no longer limited by weight, and space is a non-issue as it is available in abundance. I did wonder about whether the burden of carrying things, the knowledge that I would have to overcome a large physical barrier on the bicycle to get that bucket of ice cream or extra bottle of orange juice, or make a second trip, made me reconsider what I bought. Did I inadvertently buy things I didn't need in Australia just because I could? If so, how much "stuff" did I buy that I didn't need?

I was also much more liberal buying things that may perish in Australia, but now I hardly ever throw out any food at all because of the effort required to buy the food - typically it's the last 1-2 slices of bread that have gone stale, but that's it. I also go to the store much more frequently, 3-4 times a week, and make lots of small purchases instead of big ones. This also means most of the food in my fridge falls under two categories: it's either fresh, or long lasting. So the quality of food is much higher too, and none of it is wasted: very little food makes it past 2-3 days.

It's an interesting perspective to take on grocery shopping. I typically drop by one of the supermarkets near to or on my commute route home (QFC, Safeway, Metro Market, Fred Meyer, PCC, QFC QA, Metro Market QA, Ballard Market if I'm out that way). It's not like I go very far out of my way to do shopping. I might spend more time in the store, but I spend less time looking for parking. I'm not sure that this would be possible in Australia, as the stores close early enough that you'd either have to carry the goods the entire way home from the office (undesirable on a bicycle), leave work so early that you can make it home before the stores close or do your shopping at a convenience store with longer hours (which usually charge more). Perhaps that in itself is a math/computer science problem.

*By the way, this also means that I typically put all the goods inside my backpack before I get to the counter so I know I can carry all of it out the door; I have never had an issue with this in America, but I think it would raise a few eyebrows in Australia. I also take my bike right in to the store with me, which is not allowed in Australia.

Powershell test tool: Quick Log analyser
hunter006
One of the things that I get asked to do relatively frequently is analyse failures in tests. I have a not-so-secret tool that I use for this that I wrote myself; it's not quite bulletproof yet so I haven't released it to the hordes, but that's the ultimate goal.

The process that we use when I can't access this tool is:
  1. Wait for the email to arrive from the test run tool
  2. When the email arrives, look at the email for failures.
  3. If there are failures, click a link on the email
    • This link will point to the parent-parent directory of the file we need, and will open in Explorer. For example, if the file we needed was in C:\one\two\three\four.trx, the directory linked to would be c:\one.
  4. Follow the link down two child directories to find the file that we need (one of two files).  The filename is a GUID, so it looks something like 958B886C-8EE1-42FC-AF60-B0D23AEF11AA.trx
  5. Open said file in either a text editor, or in Visual Studio.
  6. Analyse file for issues.  The file is an absolute mess, because it's written for a computer to look at it, not a human.
  7. Repeat the process for all other failures.
On my particular computer, it's plagued with a few more issues than the other testers because I've switched teams several times and have all sorts of buggy software on it.  In the process outlined above, it would require at least three programs - Visual Studio, Outlook and Explorer.  The former two are notorious memory hogs with many, many issues, in particular a dependency on email working properly (which for us is "rarely" to "occasionally"). It's also incredibly slow that requires a lot of clicking, something undesirable when we have a sudden failure and 20-30 tests failing.

So I wrote a Powershell script. Powershell is like Command Prompt on crack. It comes standard in Windows 7, and you can do the "square plug, round hole" approach to Vista and XP, but it doesn't quite work as well.

I need 2 things for my program to work: a place to put the log files, and optionally the XML output of the test run.




The path is the only required information. I might have grabbed the log files earlier, so I don't always need the test run output. But if I forget to input the path, it will prompt me, and if I don't specify it again, it faults.


In this case, I've stripped out all but 2 of the failed logs and edited them so that they don't show any work-specific information.


It's split in to three sections.

  1. First is time the test started: Occasionally the developers will check something in that causes catastrophic errors in which case the server crashes. When that happens we usually see a bunch of failures at the same time, within a few seconds of each other.

  2. Second is the actual test failures themselves: Tests have two names - the "nice" descriptive english one, and the one that's actually in the code. Normally we just get one. This has basic information that tracks down the errors themselves. If it's something we recognise, it will appear here. If it's not, we can always use the downloaded files to work out what exactly went wrong.

  3. Third is the distribution of runs over machines. This part isn't quite done yet. We have a matrix of machines that can intermittently cause problems: We have multiple servers that handle requests, and multiple test machines that send requests. Depending on the combination, sometimes tests will fail in a consistent manner (we had this recently, where running a specific type of test would pass on some machines and fail on others). This section helps identify those sort of issues - if we see an unusually high number of errors on a specific machine, sometimes it's time to retire that machine and build a new one. I have the test machines part down, but not the servers (if one server goes down as they are prone to doing, this can be very useful)



So what do I get out of this? I get the test files renamed to something useful, rather than a GUID that means nothing. I use far less resources in terms of memory, which means on my computer I don't have to close any programs to do this. I can do what previously took 3 hours to retrieve and analyse in under 3 minutes now, and open bugs almost as quickly. It's also a fire-and-forget thing, which means I could make a coffee (if I drank coffee) while the computer did the analysis for me.

Considering this is something I do on a nearly daily basis... saving myself an hour or two each day is very helpful!

Not a nutritional role model
hunter006
Spotted a shirt over at Cafe press that is a pretty accurate representation of me.

I always feel a little guilty answering mum and dad when they ask me if I've been eating right. The answer is how you interpret "right".  In that case, I can always say yes, I'm eating right. If they asked me whether I was being healthy or not... that is a different answer altogether. 

One false security you can get lulled into working out lots is that you're able to eat anything and everything you want. It's partly true. Michael Phelps, Lance Armstrong, both of these guys are famed for eating all kinds of junk food. But it's exactly that - junk.

So what do I eat and drink, on average?
  • Pizza
  • Salad with meat. If it's just salad I usually have to supplement it with something sugary, like cookies.
  • Cookies... a lot of cookies.
  • Chicken Katsu (fried chicken, salad, miso soup, rice)
  • Steak, mashed potato's, etc.
  • Mexican salad at lunch. Basically, not a salad, just a bunch of things with some meat and rice thrown together.  Supposedly really bad for you.
  • More pizza.
  • 3-4 servings of cereal every morning, with 1 pint of milk (1/2 regular, 1/2 chocolate).
  • Bucketloads of OJ and lemonade
  • Nuun (electrolyte drink)
  • Coke

Not exactly a nutritional role model. I don't eat healthily at all. But I do eat enough that I can ride about 2500 cal (1 average person's daily energy requirements) a day, minimum. And there's one rule I adhere to, which was echo'd by the current singlespeed champion of the Great Divide race: I eat whatever I damn well feel like. If I get a craving for pasta, that's usually the body saying that it needs something that's in pasta. Of course, this probably means to a lot of people that when they get a craving for cake, they go out and eat it, but it doesn't quite work like that. Working out the genuine, because you need it cravings - the kind that don't go away just by ignoring them - is the trick to making this work.

So far, it's working pretty well :).

Update from Feb 5
hunter006
Sooo… I'm sick. Somehow acquired a cold, and took my first day off for the year yesterday. Which was a good thing, both in terms of timing and how busy thing are at work.

The one good thing about getting sick is the abundance of time you suddenly have that would otherwise be occupied with work, commuting, so on and so forth. So I'm using this time to sleep, but also to update LJ as I haven't had that much time to do it beforehand. The other reason is that this personal journal was found by someone from work a few months ago, and I didn't want to update while they were keeping an eye on it.

Work
Work has been going well, although we've been very busy. There are several milestones in our project, and we just hit one of them. We're in the process of being shuffled around (as tends to happen every couple of month in my specific group at MS), so I don't know what the coming months are like, but there's a difference in philosophy between what I and a few others believe and what upper management believe. I believe we need a truly innovative, new and exciting product to far exceed the bounds of what the public has to offer, offered on hardware unique yet highly functional and beautiful, not the briquettes known as HTC Touch's. Upper management seems to believe hard work and pumping out the same old code to release the next version will win the day. The NY Times even commented that Microsoft, once the forefront of innovation, has now relinquished the reigns to Apple and Google and are relying too heavily on products made a decade ago. I think this mentality is comparable to Harley Davidson; they're appealing to old customers for as long as possible, but it's not sustainable, which is why they had to recently shut down their Buell division to cut costs, and MV Augusta looks like it'll be going the same way. Either way, I'm on high alert to make sure what I think may happen doesn't happen, and if it does, seek another position within the company.

Side project
One of the things that we're encouraged to work on at MS are side projects. Lately I've been learning Powershell, a scripting language like command prompt on crack. Powershell is supposed to be THE scripting language for Windows, and it can do some pretty interesting stuff in the 2.0 version, like interface with databases, use .NET objects straight out of the box, and my personal favourite, handle XML incredibly easy.
One of the things that is done daily is bulk processing of test results. I took about 4 hours out of my personal time to craft something up that wasn't terribly good, but did the job: it would open an email, go through the email and grab the links to where the test files were stored, and download all the test files. Sounds like a bit of a waste of time, but in actuality what it does is pretty important: Sometimes there are no links, which means something. Sometimes there are links, but no logs, which means something else. Sometimes, there are links, but they point to C drive, which means yet again something else, and even if the links are correct, they point to the wrong folder anyway. The script also renames all the results from a random string of characters to the same name that appears on the "failed jobs" list. I also wrote something that did some glorified string matching (e.g. "*truck*" does not match "apples", but does match "fire truck"), but searched all the text files in multiple directories and spat out the results to screen (and file). Together, these two cut my workload down from 3 hours to 30s for the most part, and it came up in my performance review as being a good thing.
So my side project is to make something that does this, but on crack: Look at the latest results, perform all kinds of heuristics and measurements on it, and then spit out several reports. I checked, and there's nothing like this already for this specific tool that's used by our entire division, so potentially if done right this could be sent to other teams too. We shall see.

Riding
Lately the weather has been good, so I have been riding around a bit. Unfortunately there are no organized rides on the weekends yet, because it is the winter time, so it's all been solo efforts, and usually just doing things like going to Renton via Kenmore (similar to going to Joondalup via Rockingham). Still, keeping fit, keeping slim, currently in the process of writing up a list of clothes that I need to buy. I previously wore 36" jeans when I left Perth; now, 32" jeans fit just as tightly as 36" did then, but I still have to stick to 34" jeans because of my sizable thighs and calf muscles. A guy from work commented I should measure it and post the numbers up: a tape measure says 65 cm around the thighs, 42 cm around the calf muscles. You can work out the rest yourself. The thing that makes me happiest about riding home every day is that in my life of complexities in the virtual world of servers, clients and computers, it always ends with the wind blowing through my hair, the whisper quiet sounds of chains over cogs and tires over tarmac, with nothing around but owls, eagles, bunnies, deer and occasionally raccoons to keep me company.
Lately I've been getting owned by this one guy on the trail. It's no surprise really. He's not rolling on $12k of carbon, or anything fancy. In fact, it's a mountain bike. A heavy one. He even has streamers out of the handlebars (yes, I am getting owned by a guy riding a girly mountain bike). He does however have a 500 W electric engine strapped to the frame and can do 42 mph on flat ground, which would explain why I can never catch him on the 9 mi stretch he rides… I'm thinking of throwing a stick into his wheel.

Other stuff
I'm heading back to Australia soon to get my Visa stamped. Just a matter of getting my appointment at the consulate. UPDATE: March 31.

Seattle IMS
hunter006
"You can't bring that in here."

When I went to the International Motorcycle Show on the weekend, I had a 1" retractable folding knife attached to my keychain. Ever since I had a cog puncture my thumbnail earlier this year, I've been unable to open any plastic packages or packets so it's either I take something with me to help, or I struggle for 20 minutes before eating part of the packaging in a desperate bid to get it open. Put it this way - they'll find my bleached bones on a desert island one day, surrounded by vacuum sealed packets of ready to eat meals. Anyway, when they did the bag check, the lady at the front stated that I couldn't take it in, and would have to put it back in my car. Which I obviously had brought with me, since I had all this bicycle gear and a helmet.

I calmly looked back at the lady without even blinking and stated that there was no law provisioning that I was not allowed to take a knife into the venue. Furthermore, the law stated that a retractable blade must be over 3" long for it to be considered a dangerous weapon under which restrictions apply (technically this is untrue: the blade must be longer than 3.5" for it to be illegal), for both Seattle municipal code and the revised code of Washington.

She looked utterly shocked at the calm, well thought out response I gave and was completely speechless. I thought about it for a second, trying to work out exactly why she even brought it up. "If you would like me to store this out of view inside my bag, I will do that." She quickly agreed to that and I went on my merry way.

Sometimes, quick thinking on your toes and a little knowledge of what's ok and what's not comes in really, really handy. The rest of the IMS was not so good. The only really good thing about it was probably the Husqvarna enduro bikes, which were both hot and functional. Husqvarna make some amazing machines, and I'd love to own one, but the price tag is a little high. I also got my butt kicked on a racing simulator, but did pretty well on a "Dan's commute from hell" driving simulator in which the motorcycle rider assesses the problems they may encounter on the commute in. Even though the guy demonstrating it had seen it all before, I even surprised him when I saw a scooter lane split past a truck and said, "Motorcyclists are like deer, if you see one there's probably more" right before a simulated sportbike popped out and did exactly the same thing. I crashed twice, once trying to work out if you could high side (the answer is yes), and once right at the end because I got to the end of the simulation, turned hard and rode directly into a wall on purpose. They should have more of these simulators, all of them were things that I've encountered on regular commutes, and it would be a good lesson to new riders for all of the hazards they may experience.

14,206
hunter006
14,206. Fourteen thousand, two hundred and six. One four two zero six. Over half way around the globe. That's how many miles I've covered from January 1, 2009 to December 7, 2009. By bicycle.

But I'm not done yet. There's still 24 days left in this month, and I've got some juice left in the tank. I'm shooting for a nice 15,000 mi to round out a year of riding. Just over 24,000 km.

There's 794 mi to go. A little over 1,250 km. About the same distance as Perth to Exmouth. Or Perth to Kalgoorlie and back. A good 14 hours of driving, 18 if you have a sheila in the passenger seat with a bladder the size of a pea.

This year has been a nutter of a year. The freezing cold of February drove me on without fail, only to have my 100 day record attempt broken by a division wide skiing/snowboarding event at work. Then again, have it placed under threat after crushing my finger between the chain and gearing on my bicycle and having to go to hospital to get the nail hacked off. Or crashing hard just before Seattle to Portland and getting all cut up just before the ride I'd been preparing and planning for months. Finally completing it and ending the 100 day challenge after 14,511 km. Even then it wasn't finished; getting doored and injured enough that walking away was not an option. This 'ol cat is definitely a few lives down.

It wasn't without its rewards though. There's something zen-like about riding by yourself for 190 mi (306 km) straight. When it's so cold that water has long since frozen and animals dare not venture out. When it's so hot that rides are planned by the ability to stop and drink at water fountains instead of shorter distance or flatter ground. Taking the long way around instead of the short one. The achievement of something that was considered impossible. What is lost by speeding to and from places. What it means to move vast distances without relying on the power of anything else but yourself. The sheer beauty that exists all around if only one's eyes are open to see it. Of adventures had and dreams achieved. Finally understanding why those who are well off enough do all sorts of crazy things for charity, and what life is like at fifteen and not fifty miles per hour.

On that final note, apart from having a great deal of respect for Lance Armstrong and his work at Livestrong, I've decided to take part in next year's Seattle LiveStrong challenge. Considering a recent ride on a fully loaded bike across a much longer distance well within the time limit of LiveStrong, I've decided that just doing the LiveStrong ride isn't enough.

I plan to do it in style. But not only that, if I end up on the fixie doing the 100 mi ride, I'll add one more piece of fixed gear class to the ride as a surprise - spoke cards with the names of everyone who has donated.

-- Kris out.

Thanks for the good job!
hunter006
Currently work is moving a lot of people around and we're getting hit pretty hard with work due before the deadline (I've been wondering why we're working so hard lately, and the answer is, "because you're one-soon-to-be-two men down and 1 month away from a deadline that you didn't know about until yesterday"). It was a relief to receive this email:

Those of you in ______ know that we will be moving to ______ over the course of the Thanksgiving week. I’d like to take this opportunity to give all of you the entire week of Thanksgiving off! Please take advantage of this time to rest up and enjoy an extended holiday with family and friends.
...
In addition, I’d like to invite you plus a guest to join me for a much deserved evening out on Saturday December 5th. Please SAVE THIS DATE for our Holiday Party! More details to come in the coming weeks.


Formatted as received, sans italics. That's actually the day after a deadline, which I don't think is a coincidence. I originally planned some vacation the week of Thanksgiving, because not taking advantage of a 3 day week is just insanity, but it's nice to know that I can save my vacation for another day now.

Whoops
hunter006

20091015 - Crash on the way to work from Kris R on Vimeo.



Umm... yeah... whoops. No damage to the bike, whiplash and bruising for the rider. Hit the pavement just under 30 km/h.

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