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The start of one car living
I've primarily been blogging about various tech and computer items of interest to me, tossed in with a bit of beer and cycling. But starting today, the site content is undergoing a change with a new equal focus on my cycling, pedestrian, and transit experiences. My firsthand experience has shown me that the time is way overdue that modes of transportation other than the car. How did I get to this point?
Streetsblog draws attention
to how the proverbial deck is stacked against pedestrians in our auto-centric culture. I've encountered so many situations here in LA where those who walk are second class citizens, but these are some incredible examples as to how planners don't keep walkers in mind.
Carnegie Road in Cleveland is dreadful. Running just south of downtown, it is so frequently interrupted by highway exits, it’s more of a high-speed off ramp to somewhere else than a part of the city. Chris Stocking singled out this area — Carnegie by East 9th Street — for its utter un-traversibility.
Were one to walk from the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown to the popular Aladdin’s Restaurant on the other side of the street, the journey would be nearly a quarter mile.
A new campaign for safety
Strava allows users to set a privacy zone which will hide your exact start or finish location with a 1km circle of privacy. I don't feel as though this is enough, so I discovered an easy way which allows you to expand the hidden area around your home or office.
California state Senator Carol Liu’s introduction of SB 192 got me thinking. Why stop at cycling in a misguided attempt to save lives? If we all work together, we can use mandatory helmet laws to also falsely attempt to reduce the vast number of pedestrian fatalities. After all, there were 4,743 pedestrian fatalities nationwide in 2012, compared with 726 bicyclists. And why stop there? There were over 22,000 people who died while vehicle occupants. Surely had they been wearing a … read more
Seatylock: now in pre-order
In 2011, Casey Neistat received a $50 ticket from the New York Police Department for not riding his bike in the bike lane. Neistat made the point that it was pretty difficult to do so when the bike lanes were so often blocked by cars, people, construction, and other objects. So he made a humorous video to prove his point. Thanks to my friend Mike Seymour for giving me the heads up on this video.
Helen’s Cycles customer service fail
I think the original foldylock is a great idea, and its easy connection is an improvement over the Abus folding locks, which are great. Enter seatylock, which is effectively a seat with a foldylock built in. It’s a win-win, as it solves both the bike and bike seat theft problem.
I’m a huge fan of shopping locally, but supporting a local business doesn’t guarantee you’ll be rewarded with great customer service. Instead, you might run into an black hole of service with a company that obviously cares little about its customers. That’s the experience I had with Helen’s Cycles in Santa Monica, where their lack of compassion left a bad taste in my mouth. I recently purchased a brand new Cannondale CAADX 105 cross bike from Helen’s Cycles in Santa Monica. … read more
Very cool flexible wood bike rack from Germany. Need to get someone to bring one to IBC. According to the folks at Urban Velo, it’s made out of a single piece of wood. http://www.flxble.com/
I get an enormous volume of email every day, with several hundred received every 24 hours. Dealing with the volume is minimized a bit by utilizing Gmail filtering, which is absolutely brilliant. When mail is received, it gets filed into various folders such as mailing lists, fxphd support, fxguide press contacts, software development lists, and newsletters. In the filters, I set each to “Skip Inbox”, so they don’t show up in the Inbox. This leaves my inbox count with only … read more
The next offering in the “Apps I Love” series is Alfred, a killer application launcher. If you’ve never used an application launcher before (Quicksilver was a previous standard), they are great for quickly navigating through your system. But the thing about Alfred is that is so much more. With the addition of the PowerPack, it has totally changed the way I get around on my Mac. How does it work? After installing, you’ll have a little hat icon in the … read more
Using Google Calendar instead of iCloud
It may seem as though I’m calendar-obsessed, but frankly it’s a critical part of what we do in the collaborative workflow of fxguide and fxphd. In the Chicago offices, we have several calendars which we use to track production, term needs, and even my (insane) travel schedule. I also love apps that are cleanly and simply designed — they look great and just work. Put these two things together and I’ve come to rely on an app called Fantastical, which … read more
Another Sydney Sunday Morning Run
iCloud is still very much in beta, experiencing the loss of several useful features from MobileMe when making the transition to the new platform. A huge shortcoming of Apple’s calendar functionality is that if the person you want to share a calendar with doesn’t have iCloud, you can only share it read only. The fxguide/fxphd crew is OSX-centric, but sharing outside the company becomes problematic. So I’ve shifted the hub of my “calendaring” to Google Calendar. This does involve a … read more
Sydney Sunday Run: Flat Rock
Well, actually, this included some hiking, trail running, and a bit of photo taking walking. I got up to go running and again it was raining early on Sunday morning. Luckily the showers were brief and I was able to head out and enjoy the morning. The run starts out at Artarmon train station, which is effectively where I’m staying in Sydney for the month. After a short run through the neighborhoods, the path begins at Artarmon reserve and meets … read more
One thing I really enjoy about traveling is running in a new location. I’ts my third day in Sydney and I got up early to to go out, but it was pouring rain. Luckily around 9 it tapered off as there was a gap in the rain coming off the Pacific. I had plotted out a path on Google Maps after hitting numerous dead ends on Saturday — and was very glad I did. There is a fantastic network of … read more
I’ve been dealing quite a bit with our health insurance industry in the states, attempting to provide insurance for the employees of fxphd. That’s a different and fucked up story, but it has opened my eyes to how state-supported healthcare in other countries is, at the very least, a great safety net. But that’s the insurance aspect — let’s just talk about where we stand in the world regarding life expectancy: 50th. Pathetic. See The CIA World Factbook for the … read more