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I fell out of love with reading a while ago because I felt like I didn’t have time to make it happen. I also live a very busy, extremely distracted life, and as a result I couldn’t find the peace to escape into a fictional world. Then podcasts started to become popular and I became a voracious listener. Audible, an audio-book service, advertised frequently on those shows: The usual hook was, if I was such a fan of podcasts, surely I could get into audiobooks.

In the few years since I’ve had a subscription, this has mostly been true. Listening to audiobooks is a different experience than listening to podcasts, though. Podcasts are more conversational, while audiobooks require more attention to the plot.

I also found it hard to get back into reading/listening because I had been out of that world for so long. Is this book good because there is a movie based on it? Or does that mean it’s bad? Is this book good because it’s highly rated? Or does that mean it’s too popular to be good? Is this recommendation right for me?

Between being too distracted and paying attention to the wrong recommendations, my first few books were at a loss. But after some amount of time I feel like I’ve figured out the right rhythm, because I’ve immensely enjoyed the following three books. Continue reading ›

At the end of the year I lamented that I didn’t feel like I got on my bike enough in 2013. I clocked in a total of 3,184.38 miles, which was exactly 1,815.62 miles less than last 2012 (in which I went out on New Year’s Eve to cap off precisely 5,000 miles).

I’m not a person who makes resolutions (or rather, I don’t make resolutions on only one day out of the year), but my brother suggested I attempt to circumnavigate the moon by bike.

6,784 miles around the moon / 365 days in the year = 18.59 miles a day, which is over twice my average commute. Considering that takes about 15 minutes, this seems rather do-able.

Even if I don’t make it all the way around the moon, hopping from crater to crater seems like a fun challenge for anyone. Plus, maybe there’s a chance to learn something, too. Continue reading ›

I got a chance to try out the Slipnot Bicycle Tire Chain system. The results were a mixed bag. Ultimately they were overkill for my use cases, but I could imagine situations in which they could prove to be useful. I’ll run through the pros and cons below.

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It’s Halloween, so that means my “Flower Bomber” costume from four years ago has found renewed interest. This year’s excitement has been an interview with PBS NewsHour as well as being declared “brilliant” by Buzzfeed (take that for what you will).The reason I’m finally writing something about the costume is that it’s clear that it has become “a thing” and may it be the thing that I am most known for around the world, so I should probably give it some context. It’s been sitting in my Flickr feed for four years without much explanation. Another reason is that my image was also used by Buzzfeed without attributing the source.* The excuse is often “well, you know how the internet is.” The virality of photos and the ease of losing the attribution across the vast Tumblr sea is a problem, but when the Google search is as simple as “Banksy costume” you have to wonder how much effort-to-dollar ratio sites like Buzzfeed are expending. This should hopefully ease the burden of the next wannabe listicle outlet (I’m looking at you, TheChive).

PBS NewsHour and, more specifically, Victoria Fleischer were a classy outlet. They contacted me about the photo, asked me some questions and let me know when the article was posted. Good folks. They left 80% of the interview on the cutting room floor, so I’m just going to post the rest of it here.

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“Please find attached a current photograph of the switch back, just beyond the Marsupial Bridge at Kadish park.

I have often had to put forth a request to have the bike paths and recreational trails cleared after a heavy winter storm. When make the request I always ask why these trails are not cleared in an immediate way, considering how vigorously the streets are salted and plowed (though I could go on about the state of the bike lanes every year).

The response I usually get (if any) is that the city doesn’t plow the paths because they assume it is too cold for anybody to want to use them.

Well, here I offer you undeniable proof, in the form of rutted, iced over foot prints and tire tracks. Continue reading ›