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Sunset at Sunset Beach

sunset

Suzi and I preceded the kids by a day on our Fourth of July camping trip. This is likely the first time Suzi and I have camped without the kids since Ashley appeared on the scene. Wow!

We had decided late in the game that we were going to go camping this weekend. There were no reservations available so we thought we’d throw a tent in the car and head to the beach on Thursday after Suzi got home from working the night, hoping to find a walk in campsite.

So we did but we weren’t finding anything. Headed south, Suzi told me to turn right, she’d seen a campground sign. It didn’t look promising, but we pulled in to take a look. They had one site available from a cancelation just minutes before. As we were pondering, someone else called to see if there were any sites available. We heard the host discussing all the campgrounds that were full with the caller and decided it was either this place or our back yard. We took it.

We drove home to pack the rest of our stuff and then back again in time to see the setting sun.

Hobby Lobby Minefields

Personally, I’m thrilled with Hobby Lobby. If I1 can’t be forced to fund2 something incompatible with my “sincerely held religious beliefs,” then I don’t have to fund war and killing.3 Major decreases in my tax bill, baby!

;-)


  1. We don’t give corporations more religious liberty than real persons, right? Right?? 
  2. Even indirectly, through third parties, or in the aggregate. 
  3. Justice Ginsburg is my inspiration in this, “The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.” Thanks to the Hobby Lobby decision, I don’t have to fund any more landmines.” 

Dear Motorist

dearmotorist

While biking to work this morning, a white pickup truck nearly ran me over. It would have been his1 fault and done while he was breaking the law.2 Fortunately I saw it (him) coming3 and was able to avoid the collision.

I considered a chase,4 but know road rage never goes well for anyone. Instead, I noted the truck pulled into a parking lot near where I work. I wrote a short letter, printed and signed it,5 then walked and stuck it under the truck’s wiper blade.

July 1, 2014

Dear motorist,

Your life almost got a lot more complex this morning. Mine could have ended.

When you turned left from 48th Avenue onto Cornell you were in the left turn lane. There was a car to the right of you, which is a lane that can either turn left or go straight. I was behind that car on my bike.

The car in front of me went straight. Maybe that confused you into thinking that yours was the only lane that turned. Maybe you knew both lanes could turn left but only saw the car beside you go straight so you thought you had a clear path. You knew you wanted to turn right on Elam Young Parkway and had limited distance to merge right. So you did it in the intersection.

In either case, it’s clear that you didn’t see me, on a bike, turning left, next to you. Only because I braked and veered6 did you not run over me.

Please be more careful next time.

Sincerely,

I hope this makes the motorist think,7 and maybe, just maybe, be a little more careful next time.


  1. Her? I never saw the driver. 
  2. ORS 811.340 
  3. It’s amazing how many stupid driver tricks I’ve been able to predict or detect and avoid. I guess it’s true: the one that gets you is the one you don’t see. 
  4. Adrenaline is an amazing performance enhancing drug. 
  5. Yes, there was a real human being on that bike. Not some anonymous nobody. 
  6. I’ve replayed this incident over and over in my head, trying to remember exactly what happened. It’s still fuzzy, and I’m unlikely to make it more clear. My normal route is from the middle lane (the rightmost lane that turns left) across the intersection and ending up in the bike lane exiting the intersection. It’s normally a fun intersection on the bike because Cornell’s banking makes this route downhill. I don’t know how much I had to veer to avoid a collision, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. For example, a couple of weekends driving up the Gorge, a vehicle driving next to us drifted into our lane. Next thing I knew, we were moving left, automatically and without thought. The brain is crazy cool that way. This morning I remember looking left and seeing the truck really close. This was confusing as normally there’s nearly a full lane of blank space between me and the car to the left as I turn. Veer, dodge, just luck? I don’t know… 
  7. And I hope this blog post makes you think. Let’s be careful out there
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Biking Recap for June 2014

june2014

It’s the end of the month and time for me to recap how far I’ve biked this month and any major accomplishments. Sorry, but this was a fairly boring month on the bike. A little midday rain stopped me from riding as much during lunch,1 yet I didn’t get rained on during commuting, just a little heavy misting on a couple of mornings.

My June Bicycling Accomplishments

Mileage Summary

miles biked june 2014

Distance Time / Bike
306 Biked in June2
1,369 Biked in 20143
3,366 Biked on Sage4

How is your 2014 so far on the bike?

Keep pedaling!


  1. I don’t like having wet feet at work and don’t have dedicated cycling shoes. 
  2. 3,291 – 2,985 
  3. 3,291 – 1,922 
  4. 2,985 + 75 
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Duolingo

Thanks to my friend Bethani, I just started learning Spanish on Duolingo. So far, I’m on a four-day streak. Why, you might ask? As I answered on Facebook:

It’s only a five minute commitment each day,1 and you can learn useful phrases like, “I am not a girl” and “I drink wine.” Those are useful additions to phrases I already know, like, “I do not speak Spanish” and “I like a beer, please.” Besides, research is showing that learning a second language keeps the brain sharp, may prevent/delay Alzheimer’s, and makes you irresistible. Well, I made up that last one, but I’m sure it’s true. Just ask mi novia, Suzi. ;-)

I’m using both my smartphone and computer for the course. My phone is more convenient, but my computer doesn’t have autocorrect, so it forces me to learn the spellings.


  1. But I’m doing more… 

Jamison’s 6th Grade Engineering Project — More Questions

A little more than four years ago, when Jamison was in sixth grade, he did an engineering project for his school’s science fair. It was a lot of fun for both of us.

Being the proud dad that I am, I wrote a series of blog posts on Jamison’s project as he was doing it. They have been some of my more popular posts and the subject of a few comments and many emails asking for help.

The first questions came from three 8th graders asked for help in the comments to the project’s first post. I did my best to help them and steer them away from danger.

More questions continued to come by email from college engineering students, many apparently hoping to score a quick senior project. One particularly excited individual described himself, “im really glad to see u in ur forum nd im doin btech 2nd year frm india..!!” He also asked for the information to “send me links which r accurate standard pdf…to make it as theory…!!!”1 I pointed out the information he was requesting had already been provided.

This morning, I received another email:

coils

Dear Logan,

I saw the interesting and simply designed wireless powering project it have been done in your website.

I am a PhD student, a part of my project is wireless power transfer.

I am wondering if you can send me the schematic of the wireless project.

I send you the attachment to know which project I mean.

I appreciate your help

Thanks

Regards

Nabeel last name2
prestigious university
country

I think this is the first PhD student asking for help—at least, he’s the first to admit it. Jamison should be proud that his 6th grade science fair project is helping graduate students worldwide. My response (with all snark hopefully removed):

Dear Nabeel,

Thanks for your interest in my sixth-grade son’s science fair project. I’m sure he’ll be proud to learn that a doctoral student would like further information on it.

Jamison followed the instructions documented in an Instructable: Low-Power Wireless Charging.3 There’s a lot of really good information in the Instructable, including a theory of operation section and schematics of the various modules. You should be able to find everything you need to duplicate Jamison’s project. After all, it was Jamison’s primary source of information.

Best of luck with your project. I know Jamison had fun doing it!

-Brent


  1. If only he’d gone to the Instructable Jamison used, he could have downloaded it as “accurate standard pdf,” and it includes a theory of operation section
  2. Almost all personally identifiable information redacted. But the requester emailed using his university email address and has a Facebook profile describing hims education as “Doctorate at [prestigious university] and stating his opinion that The Spice Girls are the greatest British band of all times. 
  3. This fact was mentioned in the fourth post of the series, Wireless Power Transmission, Part IV. I have added a footer to each post in the series to make this fact more obvious to future knowledge seekers.