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On the Bike Again, Finally

It’s nice to be back on my bike, in shorts, and ordering frappuccinos on the way to work.

Construction of a new road is intruding on my “photo spot.” The orange barriers are up, cutting across the field. With luck, the road will be complete this summer when both the Hillsboro air show and the Washington County Fair will be taking place over the same weekend, across the road from each other. Traffic will be “interesting.”

Marriage is Not Just a Label

#MarriageEquality Many argue that California should be able to offer marriage to straight couples and limit gay couples to civil unions. After all, “it’s only a label.” Or maybe, it’s a label that California shouldn’t be able to redefine.

I disagree.

Imagine with me the following two scenarios:

  1. California allows left-handed people to swim and wade in water, lefties can swim wearing robes, and lefties can dunk each other under the water while wearing robes and while saying whatever they want, but California has a law that prohibited lefties from getting “baptized.”
  2. Or maybe, California allows lefties to drink wine from little plastic cups and eat small, unleavened pieces of bread, while reading from any book and saying whatever they want, but California prohibits lefties from participating in “holy communion.”

What would be the harm? After all, “baptism” and “communion” are just labels. Shouldn’t lefties just be happy they can participate fully in the same behavior as right-handed people and leave it at that?

I expect you’d agree that both of these scenarios describe what would be unlawful discrimination, that there would be no good policy reason for California to allow the behavior but prohibit the label. You might even wonder why the state was intruding into religious matters. And you would understand why lefties would fight for the right to have their behaviors labeled “baptism” and “communion.”

I don’t think these scenarios are that different from the situation in California regarding gay marriage. California allows gays to live together, express their love physically without fear of criminal prosecution, adopt and use assistive reproductive procedures, and form long-term relationships that the state will recognize and assist in their dissolution. Gays just can’t get “married.”

In other words, gays can act like they’re married; they just can’t call it marriage.

I think California has a couple of options:

  1. Offer marriage to adult couples in a non-discriminatory manner, or
  2. Offer marriage to no adult couples because it’s a religious matter, but instead, offer only civil unions to all adult couples in a non-discriminatory manner. Those couples that wanted to be married could find a church to perform a wedding ceremony. I have no doubt that some churches would offer to marry gay couples, as should be the churches’ right.

What do you think?

Buh Bye, Feedburner — Hello URI.LV

I was using Feedburner to provide provide my email subscriptions. Rather than wait for Google to kill Feedburner,1 I have moved my email subscriptions to URI.LV. If all works as planned, those of you who subscribed to my blog will continue to get my new posts (including this one) without disruption. If not, I’ll have some debugging to do.

I also had been using Feedburner to serve my RSS feeds. Same dealio; now URI.LV is doing this.

The subscribe buttons at the top and left now connect to URI.LV’s email newsletter service. RSS feeds should be automatically go to the right place.

Fingers crossed. Looks like it worked. I’m so happy. :-)

1With Google killing Reader, Feedburner is next. Some would argue Feedburner has already received the fatal blow and we just don’t know it.

Full Moon

Full moon in early evening clouds.

Ban Google Glass Use While Driving?

West Virginia is considering banning use of a “wearable computer with head mounted display” while driving. Makes sense, right?

Maybe not. Imagine the apps that might improve safety:

  • Sensing head movement and alerting the driver when those movements indicate drowsiness.
  • Using the camera to identify pedestrians and bicyclists in and around the roadway, and alerting the driver to their presence.
  • Integrating with GPS so when the navigation voice says “turn right at the next intersection” there’s an arrow superimposed at the appropriate place in the intersection ahead.
  • Using the camera to sense traffic signals and GPS to sense speed and alerting the driver to stop  or slow when appropriate.
  • Using the camera to detect when the driver is not watching the road and alert the driver.
  • Displaying caller ID information upon voice command so the driver doesn’t have to look away from the road to take a call on the integrated hands-free phone.
  • Wireless integration with the car’s dash to display speed and other crucial operational information.
  • Wireless integration with the car’s vision / radar systems to highlight potential obstructions.

Sure, some of these apps could be integrated into the car with a dash heads up display and voice capabilities. Others, however, benefit from having motion sensors and a camera mounted on the driver’s head. And looking at a heads up display seems less distracting than looking down at the speedometer or other in-vehicle infotainment device.

Let’s not knee-jerk ban these devices before they have a chance to make roads safer.

Hat tip: TechnoBuffalo, who apparently didn’t appreciate my comment on their article, which linked to here. Oh well…

Cannon Beach

We took a quick trip to Cannon Beach because the weather was so nice. We walked from W 2nd street to just beyond Haystack Rock and back. On the way back,1 I took a picture every ten paces to create a time lapse of the walk.2

Because of a disappearing cell phone, we walked the route a second time, re-tracing our steps and calling the cell phone’s number. Amazed that no one answered the phone (except when I mis-dialed once…Hi, Heather!) we again searched the coat, and found it!

Beach time lapse inspired by smelliot at GIFtychs.

1The first time…
2I also created an animated gif of the walk, but beware — it’s 7.29 MB huge!

Beach Trip

I went to Seaside to watch Jamison compete in a track meet. After he finished his events, I headed home, leaving Jamison to ride home on the bus.

I stopped by the beach and at the pass view point rest stop to take pictures.

Update. The results are posted and Jamison got a PR. Good job, Jamison!

David Akin on Engineering

Engineering is done with numbers. Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

David Akin

Buh Bye, Google Reader — Hello, Feedly

I’m one of the 500,000 making the jump to Feedly. I read scan 228 feeds, so quick navigation from one item to the next is of prime importance. Reader’s j/k shortcuts are permanently wired into my finger memory and I was overjoyed to find that Feedly also uses them.

I’m playing with Feedly’s touch interface on a 7″ tablet, but finding it not near as efficient, not even as Reader’s Android app.

It is exciting to see all the development taking place in RSS readers, now that Google is leaving. This may actually be a good thing.

I posted this as a comment at TinyScreenfuls, but figure it was worth a post here.

What about you? Are you an RSS feed consumer? Now that Google’s leaving, what tool will you be using?

Happiness Is

Happiness is a fridge covered with pictures. :-)