Fri Jan 14 2022 22:04:03 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)
In the fall of 2007 I was working at a job that took me out to the Portland suburbs. I sometimes commuted in a car with a coworker and sometimes I took public transit -- both seemed to take around 45-60 minutes each way, and neither was super pleasant. The trip on TriMet was fine (but slow) and I had to transfer twice which made the travel time less stable.
A colleague suggested that I should try commuting to save some time. I thought they were insane -- no way could riding a bike be faster than cars, busses, or trains, right? The idea was to ride from home to the Goose Hollow train stop and then take the train the rest of the way. I didn't own a bike at the time (and hadn't for more than 10 years!), but I was into experimenting with this commuting idea. I wasn't exactly a stranger to bike commuting (I rode a beach cruiser to the next town when I was in college in Texas), but this was going to be different. I found a viable old steel bike on Craigslist, paid $90 for it, and started bike commuting.
The bike was a mid 1970s Raleigh Record, 27" inch steel wheels, steel frame, original cotter-pin cranks, built in England. I was able to use the stamp on the bottom bracket shell to date it to 1975 (I think).
Even though I was not bike fit, I was able to make the 6.5 mile ride each way to the train station, and surprisingly, it did shave about 15 minutes in commute time each way. Mainly, it was a gazillion times more enjoyable!
It didn't take long to sink a few hundred dollars in upgrades (new cranks, ditched the steel wheels, cables, cassette) and start riding somewhat regularly. I stuck with the bike commuting and before long it was the main way I got to work most days. I think that bike helped me to get to 4 other jobs over the following years, and I also took it on quite a few group rides in the city.
Sadly, in the summer of 2016 (less than 10 years later), a strange creaking sound developed and it wasn't long before the steering started feeling funny. Somehow, and not suddenly, the front fork had fatigued and cracked. It's unknown if the fork failure helped cause it, but the downtube also had a noticeable (albeit slight) bend. The fork was destroyed and the frame was bent. I got a few opinions and the consensus was that it wasn't worth fixing....so it was time to let it go.
According to Strava, I clocked 3,462 miles on that bike. I suspect that the actual number was probably 50-60% higher.
I had already pulled most of the interesting parts off the bike, but last weekend I finished stripping the old bike down just to the frame. I chose to mount the frame on the ceiling of the workshop as some garbage decor and to remind myself of this classic bike that served me so well and got me back into bicycling.
It was a good bike!
Sun Aug 01 2021 23:14:48 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)
Wow this long summer of 3 months of Pedalpalooza has really been fun and intense. I'm definitely more engaged and riding more, or at least it feels like it...but maybe it's just that things are spaced out more?
On a ride today, as is common when meeting new friends on rides with strangers, talk turned to past pedalpalooza rides. I didn't realize until later that I have actually done quite a few this season, including:
I suppose I've done a ton of other riding as well, like to friends birthday parties and to play disc golf once and to test some personal limits/things... but yeah, pedalpalooza has been super fun this year! I wonder (and secretly hope) that the multi-month format will maintain past covid...
Most of a month remains. Looking forward to even more rides!
Wed Apr 21 2021 23:24:24 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)
Thu Dec 31 2020 23:06:51 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)
Wed Dec 30 2020 16:02:14 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)
"Black Christmas" (1974, 98min.) is such a great film!
Not only does it have all this amazing slasher film stuff (like the first-person heavy breathing POV freak outs), it's also the genesis of so many tropes that have held on for more than 40 years! I'm a little bit of a phone nerd, and I love just how much telephone stuff in Black Christmas...including a lineman and scenes filmed inside an actual switching facility!
I think it's awesome, so I ran through it again recently and made some stills of all the amazing phone porn scenes for you to enjoy.
Sun Sep 27 2020 21:54:52 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)
Sun Jul 26 2020 16:00:00 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)
This year, World Listening Day was on Saturday, July 18th, 2020. The global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and civil unrest (caused by social injustice) have dramatically altered the world. I thought it would be interesting to try and recreate the soundwalk I did last year in hopes of making a recording that could demonstrate a sonic contrast.
In order to be more faithful to the previous recording, I took the liberty of doing the soundwalk on Friday, one day before the actual official World Listening Day. I met up with my colleague Wes downtown at noon, and we wore masks and stayed outdoors and socially distant. There were a few surprises along the way.
First, the wind was considerably stronger than prior years. I decided to try the windscreens that came with my in-ear binaural microphones, but I wasn't sure how they might be impacting the recording volume (plus, it was just really quiet downtown). Once we were walking for a few minutes, the wind really wasn't that bad and I'm not entirely sure how necessary the windscreens were (although they probably helped). The recording did end up being quite quiet, so I applied a constant 15dB amplification, which I think sounds pretty good but maybe calls up the background hiss/noise floor a bit more than I'd have preferred.
Second, the route I chose last year winds along the Willamette river via a stretch of private greenway (shared use path). Sadly, this year the path was closed due to construction in parts and covid-19 concerns. We ended up with more sidewalk time than I had hoped, which probably makes contrasting with the prior year more difficult. The upside, however, is that we got to find and explore some interesting new spaces, like a parking lot under the Broadway bridge. Ultimately, this detour caused us to be out recording longer, and we captured closer to an hour (compared to 50 minutes last year)
During our walk, I found it harder than usual to concentrate on my intentional listening. The sights and sounds of the city seemed more alien than they normally would, and so my mind was easily distracted and my focus drifted. While this is normal for me (and probably for most) during soundwalks, I found the sense of distraction elevated from previous times (especially visual distraction). Every new bit of graffiti seen brought me back to thinking about our current crises. I tried a new technique of purposefully "softening my gaze", and I think it helped fair amount. Before today, I genuinely didn't know that this was an actual thing, let alone that it's leveraged in Buddhism, anxiety therapy, and yoga (drishti...which I have unknowingly used both in eagle pose and while track-standing on a bicycle).
This is a binaural recording, so good stereo headphones work best. Click here to visit the archive.org page for this recording or just listen to it here:
See you next year for WLD.
Sun Jul 19 2020 16:58:38 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)
Earlier this year, I found some CDs of a minidisc recording of the
2005 PDX NoiseFest. I ripped the CDs and pulled together some pictures
and video that I shot and put up an info/archive page
and also put the
.flac files up on archive.org.
If you've stumbled upon this and can help me identify any the unknown recordings and/or images, please email me.
Hope you enjoy!
Sat May 02 2020 22:35:58 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)
Well, here we are again, another blog entry paying late respect to one of the greats.
I learned last week that Portland wrestling superstar Rip Oliver had recently passed away after battling heart disease.
As a child of the 80s in Oregon City, I grew up watching Portland wrestling and Tom Peterson, and "Playboy" Buddy Rose, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Don Owen, Sandy Barr, and the whole bunch. Me and my friends used to love staying up late (while the parents all played cards) to watch the spectacle and hopefully make it to the main event. We were just like all the other young idiots who thought it was all real...and, to that young, impressionable, naive macho tween kid brain, it was fucking amazing! We lived for this shit. We cheered and yelled and recreated the action in our living rooms. We always begged to go to a match, but it never happened.
These wrestlers were ahead of their time. These mostly naked dudes were legend.
We used to just call Rip Oliver (and Buddy Rose etc) "the bad guys" or sometimes villains. Today we might call them "heels". It didn't matter, they were great! We'd always boo them and cheer for the "good guys", but the most important thing was always the show and the spectacle and the action. And they always delivered.
Back when junior high was a thing, I was on a (Greco-roman) wrestling team in the 'burbs, and Rip Oliver's son Lance was on my team. I think he might have been a year older, and I didn't really know him that well, but we were teammates. I was a skinny little dork, he was our crushing heavy (IIRC). I remember being star-struck when his dad RIP OLIVER would show up to our matches (and rarely our practices). I honestly felt conflicted, though, by having "the bad guy" rooting for our side, and giving us advice. I didn't think we were villians...and I wanted to be one of the good guys. I was an idiot.
In doing some late-nite nostalgia diving / web stalking, it's definitely clear that the sport of wrestling was important to Larry "Rip" Oliver and his family. From a couple of google searches, it seems like Lance might have even continued the tradition with his children...which I think is pretty amazing and brings me joy to see the bloodline live on.
RIP RIP OLIVER. 2020. Your legend is missed.
Tue Mar 10 2020 22:50:55 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)
We've played "The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31" a few times in the last few months...not so much inspired by the global pandemic, but likely more inspired by our mutual love for John Carpenter's "The Thing".
It's fun, and also complicated/many-faceted...and we're still learning the ropes as far as mechanics and strategy. The table talk (social deduction) aspect was played up this time, but one first-time player (human) with a statistically poor deck made winning the game difficult. Maybe the humans can beat THE THING, but so far we haven't figured it out.
Definitely recommend trying it out!