Every time I go out and ride, I know that I have to be alert. Although most drivers in the area where I ride are very considerate, there are always a few that do not want to share the road.
Julie Sawchuk was interviewed on CBC Radio today. Last summer, Julie was struck from behind by a car. The driver of the car, Christopher Coakley, was charged with failing to turn out to the left to avoid collision with a bicycle under the Highway Traffic Act. The law requires an allowance of a metre when passing a cyclist. Frankly, there needs to be a much wider berth.
Julie was thrown forward by the impact of the collision.
As a result of the collision, Julie’s T4 vertebrae was fractured, a fragment of which pierced the dura, the membrane around the spinal cord. She suffered a burst fracture in her L1 vertebrae, lacerations on her head and chin, a broken nose, five broken ribs, a fractured skull and various road rash injuries. The collision left her paralyzed from the chest down.
Julie chronicles her journey of recovery on her blog here.
There is also a site for Julie here with the hashtag #sharetheroad.
And there is more information at Share the Road Cycling Coalition.
As a driver, I know that getting around cyclists can be challenging. Cyclists are slower and, sadly, more than a few of them are quite casual in terms of observing the rules of the road — although the same can be said of many drivers as well.
However, there is no scenario where hitting a cyclist is justified.
I remember the 2002 golf season. I was really struggling with my weight and I was also really struggling with back issues. The back pain was so severe that I had to stop playing golf for most of that year. I only had 12 games that season.
When I finally resumed playing towards the end of the 2002 season, my handicap really had not changed very much — I was still playing to a 6. I had not lost my swing and that was due to an awful lot of coaching and practice.
Golf cost me. Not just in money but also in time.
I was taking lessons from one of the top teachers in Canada, Bruce McCarrol. During most of my years playing golf, I was working with Bruce on a weekly basis. He helped me bring my handicap down from an 18 to a 6. He helped me develop a strong and repeatable golf swing. And he taught me many things about the game of golf.
I stopped playing golf in 2008. It is a very tough game for a perfectionist like me to play. To keep a low handicap required a lot of hours on the course. Time away from family and from other interests. If I didn’t shoot a strong score, I would get frustrated. Sometimes even angry with myself.
During 2008 I was changing jobs and moving to a new city. I was making a lifestyle change. I closed off my golf membership at King’s Riding Golf Club and I packed up my golf gear.
I did play a round of golf with my son down in Arizona back in 2010. I’m not sure why but I played a surprisingly strong round given that I hadn’t picked up a golf club in a couple of years. I played a rental set of clubs and I had a wonderful time.
I missed golf.
As we have been purging things around the house, I found my golf clubs. My beautiful set of Ben Hogan forged blades and TaylorMade drivers. I brought them out from storage and cleaned them up. The clubs are in great shape.
It may be time to lift sanctions against the game of golf this year. Golf is not a game of perfect and I think I might be in a better place with golf. Young enough to still play reasonably well, old enough not to care if the score is off.
Zuma is a bit of a departure for Strymon in that it is a pedal power supply.
For longer than I can remember, I have been using Voodoo Labs pedal power products. Most recently the Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 4×4. I have 5 of them. One to power the acoustic guitar pedalboard. One to power the small electric guitar pedalboard, one for the mid-sized board and two for the big board.
Zuma will provide nine high-current outputs, each output providing 500mA of current. Although I do not generally test power supplies for tone, I have certainly encountered noise issues with some power supplies and certain pedals. I have a very small pedalboard, a Pedaltrain Nano, and I use a 1 Spot to power that board. But not with my Strymon pedals. Lots of noise using Strymon pedals with a 1 Spot.
Isolated taps and a toroidal transformer help in reducing potential noise which is why the Voodoo Labs units have done so well. They make a quiet and reliable power supply.
Strymon claims that their ultra-low-noise design prevents power noise from bleeding into the audio signal, allowing pedals to deliver their highest possible dynamic range. They will also be selling rails for mounting on Pedaltrain pedalboards as an accessory item — sold separately I’m afraid.
The power supply is coming out in the summer of 2016. I hope to get my hands on one then and see how it compares to the Voodoo Labs products.
WordPress had a point release update earlier this week, 4.4.1. And it broke my website.
The pagination at the bottom of the site would not work. It would only return to the front page of the site.
I use the Enfold theme for this website so I thought I should check there first. And, sure enough, lots of sites were reporting the same problem.
I logged a support request and I was asked to try a lot of code changes. No joy. Nothing worked.
Finally, it became evident that the root cause was not in the theme itself but somewhere in the core of the most recent release of WordPress. You can find the rather curious thread about that particular bug here. It makes for some fascinating reading about how open source issues are identified, tracked and resolved.
Funny how little things have changed. We still have to write code not unlike how we did several decades ago.
I was looking at some old C code that I had written back in the early 1990s — over 25 years ago. I had written a text editor and here is one of the functions from my source code:
And here is the PHP code that I had to change in the WordPress core to regain the pagination function for the blog. I needed to remove the section of code with the comment “Old Post Paging” and replace it with the new section of code “New Post Paging”:
That PHP code does not look very elegant to me. Whenever I see multiple AND operators in a conditional statement with further nested conditional statements I get a bit nervous. It looks like a quick patch. It works but it doesn’t look very refined.
WordPress is largely built on PHP and PHP is very similar in syntax to C. The PHP code, though, just looks a bit “thick” to my eye.
C is still an incredibly elegant and poetic programming language. I always enjoyed producing compact, efficient software in C.
Dennis Ritchie was a genius.
Purge. Purge. Purge.
Scan. Scan. Scan.
We have thousands of pages of paper stored in bankers boxes. Invoices. Warranties. Travel documents. Tax returns. Basically all sorts of paper going back for most of our married life — said married life is now approaching 37 years.
We have at least 30 or so boxes of papers. Probably more as I have been reluctant to count them all.
And I broke down last week. Time to deal with all of that paper. Time to let the paper go. Be free, paper. Be free.
Over the past few years I had made the transition to a fully paperless office for all new and incoming papers. I toss what I do not need and I digitize what I wish to keep. I use a Fujitsu scanner and I send everything to an Evernote filing cabinet. Quick, painless and easily accessible.
The majority of paper in the old bankers boxes can be tossed. Some of it will have to be shredded but rather than sort through every file folder and every document to pull out the papers that need to be shredded, we will use a shredding service for all of it. Just in case.
Some documents bring back great memories like the invoice pictured above. It was not all that long ago that the Internet did not exist. I subscribed to a number of online bulletin boards and I used something called a modem to connect to their service. Canadian-Micro BBS was a local bulletin board in London, Ontario. The Sysop was Paul Tonini. I spent many hours reviewing technical documents on that BBS. And the year was 1994.
And so, for those pages that bring back good memories, into Evernote they go. A digital time capsule of sorts. I’ll have to make sure that my family knows how to get into that digital time capsule.
I came across Rob Nelson’s YouTube channel while looking for some help on how to create a timelapse video. His videos are great and I really enjoyed this tutorial on hyperlapses. I will definitely be giving this technique a try!
This was a time lapse of our load in for the Celebrate Christmas concert in December. Really cool to see how quickly the team pulled everything together. The actual load in and setup took about 2 hours once we had the stage.
My good friends at Garmin wrote me to highlight a new product they just announced at CES called the Varia Vision In-Sight Display.
The Varia Vision is a lightweight display that attaches itself to either side of a pair of sunglasses and provides information from either the Garmin Edge 1000 or the Edge 520 cycling computers. It can also connect to the Varia Rearview Radar to let you know about vehicles approaching from behind.
I suppose one advantage of this heads-up display is that you do not have to look down to your handlebar for your ride data. I’m not sure I would want to have a blind spot in my field of view and I am not sure how older riders like myself would be able to focus on the display. I do not ride with my prescription. I have no issue with glancing down to my Edge head unit on the handlebars for ride data — I can easily make out the information without my prescription — however I am not sure whether I could focus on a heads up display perched a few millimetres in front of my cycling glasses.
Pricing is roughly $500 or so in Canada. It is a lightweight device weighing in at about 30 grams. The battery life is up to eight hours.
Interesting though to see how technology is rapidly transforming all sorts of activities. Even riding a bike.
Speaking of which, only 10 more weeks before the outdoor riding season arrives.
Garmin’s promotional video is below.