Archive for June, 2007

Bicycling!

10 June 2007 at 3:13 pm
by Jonah

Yesterday we biked about five miles up the Santa Fe trail and back. We would have gone further, but there was some lack of communication about water. Then we made a trip to the bike store to buy things we needed for our bikes, like extra water bottle cages. Berck oiled and otherwise maintenanced our bikes when we got back, somehow punching a hole in his tire. He made me go back to the store to buy a patch kit.

He repatched a slow leak today, and we did another probably couple miles before he realized his leak had returned. We had to head back, Berck on his half-flat rear tire, me finally able to keep up with him, and water for twice as far as we’d gone. We took another trip to the bike store to buy a new inner tube and a portable pump.

The bike store is in a neat location right next to the Santa Fe Trail, though we don’t bike by it because we’ve been heading north and up so we can come back mostly downhill all the way, much better than the other way ’round. I feel like a poser in my Tour de France hat, but then, what better place to wear it.

Berck likes biking because you go fast. I am really enjoying it, especially along the trail. There are all sorts of spring flowers blooming. The trail follows Monument Creek, so there are interesting cliffs and other rock formations along the route. The Santa Fe Trail is very near our apartment, but we take the bikes down in Arthur to the trail head. Otherwise we’d have to navigate a very busy six lane road or ride on the sidewalk, like you’re not supposed to. Plus, there’s a huge hill up for almost all the way back. Maybe when we build some strength we’ll tackle it.

In the meantime, boy does my butt hurt. My hands hurt after the first day, so today I wore my dad’s old racketball gloves, which helped emensely. I’m also realizing why someone threw my bike away. It’s just a Huffy ten speed with mountain bike wheels, and the gears are missing some teeth. Berck’s lube job seems to have made the chain slippery enough to keep falling off today. Berck says it’s my shifting. It’s also much heavier than Berck’s bike. If we keep doing this, I’ll definitely have to get a new one.

PoATwI

7 June 2007 at 8:14 pm
by Berck

My first Purchase of Airline Tickets while Intoxicated!

From Denver, CO (DEN) to New York, NY (JFK)
Wednesday, 18 Jul 07 Flight 98 Depart Denver, CO (DEN) at 12:55 AM and arrive in New York, NY (JFK) at 6:33 AM

From New York, NY (JFK) to Denver, CO (DEN)
Monday, 23 Jul 07 Flight 125 Depart New York, NY (JFK) at 7:40 AM and arrive in Denver, CO (DEN) at 10:00 AM

W00t! I’m gonna see the Guggenheim, finally!

Click Here

6 June 2007 at 5:58 pm
by Jonah

I mean here.

Spelling Bees

4 June 2007 at 7:08 pm
by Jonah

Yet another homeschooler won the National Spelling Bee this year. Which proves that if you get to choose how to spend your time studying, you too might just win $35,000 cash, a $5,000 scholarship, a $2,500 savings bond and a set of encyclopedias.

I never was good at spelling. Fortunately, about the same time I needed to start writing intelligible papers, the blessed SpellCheck arrived on our home computers. (For instance, I just guessed at “intelligible” back there, and Firefox told me how to spell it. Firefox! A web browser! It’s still having conniptions–again, pure guess–about “homeschooler,” which I consciously misspell to make a point, and “SpellCheck,” which has simply received a holy oneness for me.

My school, which had a total of 32 students at its height when I attended, had a weekly spelling bee with all of the students, each getting a word at his own grade level, though if he missed it, the word could decimate the ranks as it proceeded upward through the grades. Out of years of this nonsense, I managed to win the bee, a tiny black and yellow stuffed animal to keep on one’s desk all week, only ONCE. And I’m still unconvinced that there wasn’t actually a conspiracy to let me win because everyone felt sorry for me, too. I kicked ass in the geography tournaments, but spelling? Sigh.

Interestingly, English speakers are pretty much the only folks who engage in spelling bees. The rest of the world’s languages are phonetic or pictorial, so there’s no need.

Here’s a fascinating article about what linguistic competitions people in other language groups engage in. For instance, the Chinese have dictionary flipping contests, which if you think about it, is pretty difficult if you don’t have an alphabet.

My router…

1 June 2007 at 8:33 am
by Berck

# uptime
9:29AM up 107 days, 17:26, 1 user, load averages: 0.07, 0.36, 0.42

Alas and alack, now it’s time to upgrade the router to OpenBSD 4.1. Bye-bye uptime.

One of the amusing things about having an OpenBSD router is it keeps track of total traffic. Well, only the traffic that I do traffic shaping on. In the past 107 days, I’ve uploaded 150GB worth of bittorrent traffic, and 8GB of other traffic not counting the 500MB of ACK packets… 500MB of ACK packets. That’s crazy.