Monday, June 27, 2011

Something Firefox can do that Chrome can't

Been using Chrome as my default browser on my Linux workstation at work. Found it to be more stable than Firefox, especially where Flash is concerned. Needed to do some old school FTP today and couldn't find an FTP add on for Chrome. Looks like Chrome's security policy makes it impossible to write file to the local machine, so there's no way to do an FTP client in Chrome. So FireFTP in Firefox it is then.

- Peace

Friday, June 24, 2011

Frieght Cars @ 800 KM

Frieght Cars @ 800 KM
Hit the 800 KM mark tonight. Hoping to hit 1000 KM by the end of the month, that's just six days away, 33&1/3 KM perday - no problem.

Only drove the car to work once this week :)

- Peace

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A blur at 700 KM

A Blur at 700 KM
Hit the 700 KM mark on the way home after seeing First Grader with Kim and Sarah.  Was getting a bit dark so the shots came out as a blur.

- Peace

First Grader: Brilliant with Dark Shadows

Kim, Sarah and I saw First Grader last night at the Globe. A great story of a man in his 80s who starts first grade in Kenya when free education is promised to all. Well worth seeing but the story has much darker moments then you'd guess from the trailer.

- Peace

Monday, June 20, 2011

Calgary to become a premier cycling city, someday.

Calgary's proposed Cycling Strategy lays out the vision.
The City has a vision to become one of the premier cycling cities in North America
Unfortunately there's not much analysis on where we are or what it will take to get there. Calgary likes to tell its self it's a world class cycling city and it is, as long as you see cycling as recreation not a way to get from A to B. The pathway system is wonderful to ride, but unless your A to B aligns with the river it's not much help.

While the Stategy doesn't directly ackowledeg this there are hints:
The Calgary Streets Bylaw 20M88 or Traffic Bylaw 26M96, for example, could specify a penalty for parking in a bicycle lane.
OK so that explains why there is always at least one car parked in the bike lane on 53rd St NW. That's not a bike lane, that a place bikes can ride, if no one parks their car there.

The Strategy calls for hiring a Dedicate a Bicycle Design Engineer, Bicycle Planner and a Bicycle Education and Promotion Coordinator. Let's face it, the people who put up signs like this

Say what...

need the help. I'm guessing that's why there aren't more concrete plans in Strategy, we just don't have the expertise to do it.

The proposed Bike Share program has gotten some heat as being a frill given how far behind we are. Though the strategy does propose getting a sponsor to cover the $425 000 / year cost. If they can do that then great. Of course Montreal had to bail out it's bike share program recently so the city should tread carefully.

I'm in favor of the plan, just wish we could be more honest about how far we have to go. If you'd like to see the city move forward on becoming a premier cycling city be sure to let your Alderman know. The next vote on this is Tuesday.

- Peace

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Why we need Bike Lanes not Bike Paths

Calgary's proposed Cycling Strategy has me thinking about what I'd like to see. I'd really like to see Elbow Drive turned into a North South bike lane. Not all four lanes, just take one lane for bikes and use lane reversal on the center lane to keep 2 lanes for the rush hour direction. There only three lanes of traffic on Elbow drive now. Two Lanes with rush hour and one lane going the other way. If we had designated bike lanes then cars wouldn't have to share with bikes so it's more space for cars during rush hour.

Reasons for a bike path on Elbow Drive:
- there are a almost a dozen schools that are within a block or two of Elbow Drive
- it's parallel the south c train line, so if you break down you can limp to a train station and go from there
- it goes through a number of residential neighborhoods connecting to downtown. [Ok so I'd like to include 4th Street south of 10th Ave in this too]
- The north most section of Elbow Drive is all ready a 40 KM zone, so it's not targeted as a major traffic route.

Now I'm sure someone would point out that there are bike paths just east of Elbow Drive, you can see them on Google maps, why not take those?

With Elbow Drive as a bike path directions to downtown are: take Elbow Drive north then take a left on 4th Street (just after the safeway).

The directions to downtown from Canyon Meadows to Downtown on the bike paths as they are now? It's 34 separate steps. I would like someone from the city to lead me on that path from memory with only the sparse bike route signage we have now. That path involves switching between road and sidewalk multiple times and being in tight places with pedestrians. Not Good. It's also 17% longer than the Elbow Drive route. It's much harder to go 17% faster on bike than it is in a car.

That's why we need bike lanes, not just more bike paths.

- Peace

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Firsts @ 600 KM

Pro Cross @ 600 KM

Hit the 600 KM mark on the way home tonight.  It marked a number of firsts:
  • First time this year to do 100 KM in under a week.
  • First time this year that I've hit a 100 KM mark while commuting, even though most of my riding is commuting.
  • First time hitting 100 KM on my new Lynskey Pro Cross!

    While I loved the Romax frame that brodie sent to replace the brodie energy frame that cracked just before 300 KM, I've killed enough aluminum frames that I really wanted to try something else. Titanium is supposed to be stronger and stiffer than aluminum.  I'm told the Dave Lynskey himself has singed off on the bike standing up to my size and number of KMs. We'll see, will be three years before I know if it out lasts my brodie Energy.

    I'm told that the stiffness of titanium means more energy gets transmitted to the tires when pedaling. Didn't think it would make much of a difference, but so far I've been ridding faster than I was on the Romax and the Romax was a step up from the Energy. Nice to have some benefit right away :)

    - Peace
  • Sonicare Works

    After my last teeth cleaning earlier this year my RDH recommended I get a Philips Sonicare toothbrush.  I was skeptical but willing to give it a try.  Had another check up and cleaning today and my gums and teeth were in better condition than last time.   So for me Sonicare works, meaning the cleaning wasn't as painful as normal.   That makes it worth the money.

    - Peace

    Sunday, June 12, 2011

    Bow Falls @ 500 KM

    Bow Falls @ 500 KM
    Hit the 500 KM just at the end of the Goat Creek Trail.  I give myself between the x hundred mark and x hundred mark oh one to take my hundred mark shot.  The falls are less the 500 meters from the end of the trail so I'm making this shot of a wave from the falls my 500 KM mark.

    While the last couple of 100 km marks have been less than cooperative,  this one worked out quite well.  To quote a friend on why he was backing out of the ride "The weather for tomorrow in that area is for rain and thunder showers all day."  Well I've learned never call a ride on account of weather until you get to the trail head.   We drove through some very heavy rain and there was light rain in Canmore when we got there, but once we got up to the trail head things looked in good condition and the rain was more of a mist.  Trail was is great condition, best I've seen it in years and by the time we got to Banff it was nice enough that we had our coffees out side.  On the trail we had maybe an hour of heavy mist.  :)

    I'm posting pictures from the ride to flickr.

    - Peace

    Thursday, June 09, 2011

    I help build Virtual Classrooms

    I work for Blackboard Collaborate; part of what we do is build Virtual Classrooms. So What Does a Virtual Classroom Look Like? is a post from Lucy Hammel describing her job as a online teacher using our Elluminate classroom. Elluminate being one of the companies that was merged into the new Blackboard Collaborate last year.

    - Peace

    Wednesday, June 08, 2011

    Blue Like Jazz Trailer

    Looks like they were able to Save Blue Like Jazz as there is now a trailer for the movie. Looks good. No idea if it will come to Calgary so I may have to wait for it to go to DVD.

    - Peace

    Tuesday, June 07, 2011

    400 KM at last

    Calgary Evening @ 400KM
    The last couple of 100 KM marks have not been kind to me. Just before 300 KM the frame on my commuter bike cracked. Just before the 400 KM mark I got a nasty stomach virus. Plan is to hit 500 KM while riding Goat Creek this Saturday. We'll see how that goes.

    - Peace