Tag Archives: stuff I like

I got wrapped up in a gig yesterday/last night, and the Feed

As I was saying, I was involved in an activity yesterday and last night and did not get home until nearly midnight, and by the time I ate it was nearly 0100. So I decided to finish reading my e-mail, less the Feed folder and it was after 0200 when I got done, which is way too late to be filtering and reading links and composing a blog post. So I didn’t, sorry. And I’m going to be late again Friday because I’m going shoe shopping in the AM and there is a church function I have to attend in the PM. So Friday’s post will post sometime early Saturday morning as per usual, but later than usual.

I’m going to open again with several rounds of Our Daily Ted. Is California’s new three-foot passing law making a difference? and 13-year old boy killed while walking his bike in Boyle Heights and Morning Links: Bike share is booming, Finish the Ride’s Damian Kevitt prepares to run the LA Marathon

A link that I found separately from Ted’s links on the change in policy after a LASD deputy ran over a cyclist in the bike lane while on duty. Sheriff’s officials curb deputy in-car computer use Really, change the rules after you kill a guy!?!one If I had any give-a-damn left I would be outraged, but I think I mentioned back when I stopped linking wrecks here that my give-a-damn was depleted, and it has not yet returned in any quantity.

One of the reasons why I have such a hard time keeping up my give-a-damn is idiots like this, in Oz. Driver who mowed down seven Sydney cyclists in bid for lesser charges after new lawyer said allegations were ‘too harsh’ and Charges too serious in NSW cyclists crash Really, “too serious”? You ran down 7 vehicles from behind that were in the lane you should not have been driving in, and “dangerous driving” is too serious a charge? I would have charged you with 7 attempted murders because you obviously meant to kill the lot of them.

“Should distracted driving be as serious a crime as drunk driving?” Trial hears van driver Philip Sinden was texting before crash that killed cyclist Daniel Squire in Ringwould This is another case of SWSS because the driver did not pay attention to what was on the road in front of him. He was too busy texting his “lover”.

I’m sure most of my readers are no stranger to what a cyclist looks like after a wreck, but if you need something to show a bike-hating person you have to associate with, this is the link. Cyclist left covered in blood after collision in Sheffield This is what a cyclist looks like wearing a helmet in a wreck with a motor vehicle, notice that the top of his head is completely uninjured.

A little infrastructure news from Jolly Olde as they “do something” to reduce the CARnage in the streets. 20mph speed limit to begin on major London routes in radical plan to save lives

And while they try to “do something” to save lives you get imbeciles like this plod. Can your child cycle on the pavement?

Legal infrastructure under debate in Scotland. Mark Beaumont backs new law for cyclists and walkers This is another take on the “vulnerable road users” laws in some states and communities here in the US, based on the “presumed liability” laws in the Netherlands and other countries.

And another “blame the victim” proposal in Oz. Partner of cyclist killed on Kings Park Road in Perth calls for mandatory high-visibility wear And all motor vehicle occupants should be wearing helmets and fireproof coveralls, after all race drivers do both, so it just makes sense, right?

And thank [$DEITY] I’m finally done for the night.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet

I’m “Double Nickles” today on a Wreck-Free Sunday

Yes it’s my birthday today, so I’m typing another blog post. I’m so blase about it that I didn’t even post a suggested gift list this year. I mean I have most of what I need and pretty much all of what I want (except that harem). Well there are a few things I still want and/or need, but those are not the kind of things that can be gift-wrapped and placed on a table with a nice card.

I still want/need safe places to ride my bike so that I can get places on my bike. Right now in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell we have almost 10 miles of bicycle infrastructure. Contrast that to the more than 1000 miles of automobile infrastructure and you see the problem. Comparing lane miles is even worse because so many roads here have more than one lane in each direction. We have just under 2 miles of bike lanes, the rest is shared lanes with cars. We have no cycle tracks, and a few bike paths that don’t go anyplace in parks. I don’t include them because they are intended for recreational use, not transportation. That would be like using the number of public swimming pools in an inventory of navigable waterways. And I don’t include residential streets because most of the residential streets are not built to get anything through in a smooth and direct fashion, they are impermeable for every mode. To wit at the end of the next block is a park with a cycle path, that is blocked by a chain link fence and a gate for maintenance vehicles. Entry to the park and cycle path is a quarter of a mile away from the end of my street. This is the opposite of “permeable”. And it makes the cycle path completely unusable for transportation.

I still want/need affordable health care that covers what the gig as a lab rat doesn’t. And that covers Mrs. the Poet. Right now if I have more than $100 in my bank account(s), I don’t qualify for Medicaid in TX. I don’t make enough to even qualify to use the insurance exchange. I’m caught in the middle, and I shouldn’t be because there shouldn’t be a “middle” to get caught in. For that I blame Gov. Goodhair and the Tea Party rejecting any expansion of Medicare/aid eligibility, while simultaneously rejecting establishing state insurance exchanges. I propose a lawsuit that makes Perry and the Tea Party responsible for every death, every person with diminished quality of life, and every child that suffers because of a lack of access to medical care caused by the actions of Perry and the Tea Party-controlled legislature. If they created the situation they can bloody well pay for the damages they caused.

Something else Perry should have to pay for is the 2009 veto of the vulnerable road users law that actually would have punished drivers for killing people with their motor vehicles. As it is now in TX unless you are drunk or have made public statements about killing people not in cars (and the prosecutor bothers trying to look those statements up) you pretty much get a free pass for killing in a motor vehicle. Claim blindness (“I didn’t see him!>sob, sob<"), claim the victim "forced you" ("He was right in the middle of the road, I either hit him or the oncoming traffic"), claim the victim shouldn't have been there, and you walk. Just be sober and don't leave the scene of the wreck and you'll be fine. And if you do leave the scene just claim you didn't know you hit anything, and you'll be fine. People with busted windshields and missing body parts (the vehicle's body, not theirs) have made that claim and it has been accepted as true. You don't even need to be legally driving the vehicle as long as you stay at the scene of the wreck, or stop and return. I want/need laws that correct this gap in prosecution, particularly a law that requires all road deaths be brought to trial so that every death will be investigated and also some kind of sanction against LEO that fail to investigate a fatal wreck. Can somebody get me a law like this in TX?

Another thing I want/need is a local vendor for metals in job-lot quantities and bicycle sizes/alloys. For instance there is a metal vendor 15 minutes away by bus with 2 stops nearby, that doesn't carry the sizes and alloys I need and does not sell in job-lot quantities. Get that fixed and I'll be a happy bicycle builder. I really don't like having to change the design of my bikes to accommodate the metal I can get locally. Having access to sizes and alloys to build that T-Bucket project would be nice, too. And having a roomy workshop without a bunch of other people's junk in it would be a plus, too.

And that's what I Really Want for My Birthday.

PSA, Opus

A post about music, not bicycles

Yep, I’m staying up late with a bad backache listening to full albums on YouTube, and what I have been listening to lately has been Gorillaz. While the best stuff is from the second album Demon Days, the best album musically is their most recent studio release, The Fall. No hits, just a steady sonic wall of awesome. And a narrative of sorts as the songs track a journey that meanders across the United States, starting with a phone call to Arizona from somewhere in the hills and moraines of Michigan, that tracks through Detroit, Chicago, Joplin MO, Southern OK and far North TX into Dallas, then back northwest to Amarillo and then on to the Speak It Mountains and a quiet glade of Aspens. From there they meet up with Bobby in Phoenix, slide on over to California, then up the coast to Seattle. Nothing that screams “hit single” like “Clint Eastwood” or “Kids With Guns”, but just a mellow trip with smooth sounds. All together it sounds like a trip through the late 1960s and early ’70s country blues rock. I wouldn’t buy any song from the album as a stand-alone, but as a sonic unity I like it. I would buy the album if I could find the CD.

Now having said that about The Fall, the album that has the best songs is Demon Days, but those are all just songs, not a sonic unity. My particular choice from that album is a tossup between “Dirty Harry”, “Kids With Guns” and “DARE”. I mean none of the songs are clinkers, they are all pretty decent pieces of music, but those are the 3 that top my list. “Dirty Harry” particularly sounds like something that was rejected from the soundtrack to a Mad Max side story for being too good compared to the rest of the story (and now someone is going to make that movie in some alternate universe because I wrote about it here). “Kids With Guns” has one of the better bass lines ever, what else can I say? I mean there is the socially relevant lyrics, and a decently catchy tune, but that bass line >shiver<. And something that foreshadows The Fall is the pair of tracks "Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head" that tracks right into "Don't Get Lost in Heaven". The thematic thread that runs through Demon Days is a bass-heavy mix with the bass line carrying the melody in several of the songs. That is to be expected with a front man (Murdoc) that is the bass player for the virtual band. I know the front for the real band is Damon Albarn, the voice of 2D in the virtual band and singer for the group Blur when he's not a Gorillaz.

Now my vote for "worst" Gorillaz album is Plastic Beach which just goes to show that with a good songwriting team and good musicians even the "worst" is pretty good. It just doesn't have the sonic unity of The Fall, or the consistent single quality of Demon Days. The best tracks on that one are "Stylo" and "Melancholy Hill", with the one I like the least is "Superfast Jellyfish". That song sounds like a 3 minute commercial. Ugh!

Well I’m not a music guy, so I’m going to let this one end here.

PSA, Opus