Your Piehole…

Your Piehole…: These days, these foods and the lifestyles they are fostering, are making less & less sense in their impact to [and on] land, water, urban-sprawl, the uglification of what our eyes have to look at while out and about, the air, the atmosphere, and our health [of course physically, but mentally too]… so much so, the only real purpose they are serving is Profit, Laziness and the seemingly unending need for Immediate Gratification.
[While Scott’s last coupla posts have seemed a bit bitter to me, that’s prolly in my head, rather than in the words, so I’ll not say more about it. There are many good things about people on bicycles but those of us who ride for recreation and commutation (multi-modal for me) should not be climbing on any high horses. Start at the basics. Where’d that bike come from? Where’s did the steel, scandium, aluminum, carbon fiber, resin, grease, lube, plastic, rubber, cork, paint etc. come from? Who dug it out of the ground, produced a “finished” product and shipped it to be built into that bike? Who again packaged and shipped that bike? How much energy was consumed in the process? How much environmentally harmful stuff was used and discarded? Are the large bike companies any cleaner environmentally than other manufacturing processes? I don’t know how many miles have to be ridden before you offset the debt of the build, but it has got to be more than just a few. I know that the same thing is true for a car or truck with their even higher starting points. And that therefore your impact is lower to start… but it’s still a long way from zero. And therein lies my point. While riding the heck out of that bike now that it’s built, and caring for it so that it lasts a long time, you make the most of the energy spent. However it remains all too easy to climb on a high horse of falsely virtuous eco-righteness. Don’t. You’ve just chosen less, not none. Feel good about that. Help others to do the same. Conservation is a powerful tool. At the same time be understanding of the needs and culture of others. Realize that a bike may be completely foreign to that person, an alien that they have no understanding of or connection to, and remember that we are not outside looking in, but inside, sharing the ride.]
Source: Large Fella on a Bike

Trailing Noah…

Looks like this: Noah_trailer_lake.jpg

We got out early on Mother’s Day so that Lisa would have some time to herself. True, she was busy prepping for Noah’s final 3rd birthday party later in the day, but us being out of the house changes the tempo. So we went to the Lake and rolled around for a while. Then we stopped at home, grabbed some breakfast, and headed out to the Park (read slides ad swings). We were pretty much out of the house the entire morning getting air and sunshine and running around. A great gift for all of us.

By the time I took this picture, Noah had already squirmed out of half his harness, was occasionally snacking on his Bites and sipping from a water bottle, had two plush bears and a blanket with him. He also requested that his red backpack ride along (filled with enough “Noah supplies” for a really tough day (changes of clothes, diapers, wipes, etc., etc.) All in all I was pulling about 65lbs.

Sometimes the Inside is, Outside…

Sometimes the Inside is, Outside…: What am I capable of… how far can, or will, I go to do Right?  Others times, I feel [right or wrong] like I’m doing this to atone for some stupid, crappy thing I’ve done to someone long forgotten about.  Like an old teacher would tell me when I was teen, “Sometimes you gotta bleed for others… “.

So I go across the street to Skol, buy a bottle of water and a pint of gin, and go back over to the guy in the wheelchair.  In the bag, with the gin & water, I put in some kleenex from my saddle bag, a smallish bag of sunflower seeds and a five dollar bill.  I tuck the whole deal into the guys jacket, after lifting his drooping head off his chest.  His skin feels like dried out leather.  He keeps snoring.

I roll on.

After some more miles, I head back home… and decide to go by that corner again.

He’s still there, still sleeping…

…and the bag has fallen out from underneath his jacket.

The pint of gin is broken on the sidewalk, while the bottle of water must have rolled out and onto the street and has been run over by a car or bus. 

I hope the tissues, seeds and money are still in the bag… [Remarkable. Murphy can be really mean.]
Source: Large Fella on a Bike

Sneaking Ruby Through Google App Engine (and Other Strictly Python Places)

Sneaking Ruby Through Google App Engine (and Other Strictly Python Places): All of these bogus scaling wars and indented code battles are a huge waste of time. Do we still have to be better than each other in 2008? No way, Rufus said, “Be excellent to each other.” [Wow, that would be awesome and awful at the same time. Awesome because less is more, awful because it could easily cause things to stagnate for everyone. But still.]
Source: hackety org

Hey Rails, nice Rack!

Hey Rails, nice Rack!: So i’ve spent this week hacking on Rails, specifically going spelunking in ActionPack and porting Merb’s rack machinery to rails. I figure that merb is a very nice experimentation ground and decided it was time to give some love back to the framework that inspired merb. [Nice stuff. I worked with Engine Yard not too long ago. Recommended.]
Source: Brainspl.at

The Gospel of Consumption

The Gospel of Consumption | Orion magazine: This was the stuff of a human ecology in which thousands of small, almost invisible, interactions between family members, friends, and neighbors create an intricate structure that supports social life in much the same way as topsoil supports our biological existence. When we allow either one to become impoverished, whether out of greed or intemperance, we put our long-term survival at risk.

[…continues]

Rather than realizing the enriched social life that Kellogg’s vision offered us, we have impoverished our human communities with a form of materialism that leaves us in relative isolation from family, friends, and neighbors. We simply don’t have time for them. Unlike our great-grandparents who passed the time, we spend it. An outside observer might conclude that we are in the grip of some strange curse, like a modern-day King Midas whose touch turns everything into a product built around a microchip.

Of course not everybody has been able to take part in the buying spree on equal terms. Millions of Americans work long hours at poverty wages while many others can find no work at all. However, as advertisers well know, poverty does not render one immune to the gospel of consumption.
[A not to be missed article.]