Battlestar Galactica Rocked – a viewing tip (no spoilers)

I just finished BSG, the whole shebang. It was awesome. Here’s a tip if you’re viewing the final DVD of season 4.5: Daybreak extended is like the Director’s Cut of Daybreak episodes 1-3. I was unsure if it was all, or part of them, and spent some time searching the internets for that info (carefully avoiding spoilers). So watch whichever you prefer, you’ll get about the same content told differently.

The bicycle: Car or Pedestrian?

The debate has been serious this summer. From touchy questions on sides of buses to annoying comments on blog posts to occasional legal debate. The community has been vexed by this question: Is a bicycle a car or a pedestrian? To help shed light on this problem, beerdrinker has gone undercover, actually riding his bicycle most days, frequently more than 25 miles.

I’ve been thinking about this question for quite awhile, but it really came to a head (or mine) when Webtrends posted their controversial question on Portland’s public transportation: Should cyclists pay a road tax? The confusion was evident most clearly in a response to that question…”Cyclists should pay $.10 every time they change roles.” or something like that. But it’s been prevalent in conversation around the internet and reality for a long time.

With more people riding bikes due to higher fuel costs, better and/or more vocal communities, and peer pressure, the answer to the debate is becoming more pressing. Drivers are more frustrated, and more vocal. Bike lanes are taking up more precious road space. Green boxes are making colorful areas near busy intersections to the dismay of automobile owners. At some places, cyclists even have their own signals, and in others roads dedicated to them (and pedestrians).

Sometimes it becomes necessary to take a step back from the problem to really see what its inner workings are, and how they fit together. So I looked up the terms.

A pedestrian is a person traveling on foot.
wikipedia – pedestrian

An automobile or motor car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor.
wikipedia – automobile

Those are pretty clear, and pretty general. There are unfortunately vehicles that do not fit into either classification. In fact, the subject of this article does not.

A bicycle is neither a pedestrian nor an automobile!

Well, dangit. I guess we need to be asking a different question, like “where do cyclists belong?” But first, let’s continue the analysis to make sure we’ve covered all our bases.

A bicycle is like a car in many ways. It has wheels and a passenger (sometimes 2-3). It moves faster than pedestrians typically move. It will hurt a pedestrian if it hits them.

At the same time, there are a number of differences between cars and bikes. A car can accelerate and travel far faster than a bike. A car propels itself. Typically, cars do far more damage in collisions than bicyclists, and cars will universally win contests of strength. Like a turtle, cars have a crunchy, protective outside and a chewy center, whereas cyclists are a bit more like a delicious chicken leg with a hard lower part and a moist, fleshy upper portion.

Comparing a pedestrian to bicycle, we again see similarities and differences. They can both fit on sidewalks. They both weigh about the same. They are both self-propelled. Yet, bicycles can move faster than pedestrians and do have pokey hard parts. In a battle between cyclists and pedestrians, the cyclist would have the upper hand. In addition, they typically gain the element of surprise.

At this point, we have pretty much established that a bicycle is neither a car nor a pedestrian, having some qualities that are common to each, and some dramatic differences. In the future, I will explore how cyclists fit into a system that has difficulty seeing the grey areas.

Akoha earns negative karma (updated…and less negative)

My wife wanted to support what sounded like an interesting idea. Pay it forward cards. I’m not going to go into the idea, because they’re not worth my time. It sounded like fun, she ordered some. Somehow she ended up with the wrong cards. She called, they blamed her. A company that deals in karma points should have a somewhat better perspective. Akoha, I’m playing it forward to you…you fail.

UPDATE: Akoha has since done the right thing. Good jorb. We’re looking forward to the cards, and hope they are as enriching as anticipated.

Is this poison oak?

I am terrible at identifying plants, yet at the same time I’m really susceptible to poison oak. For some reason, it is very difficult to find a decent image of the toxic weed. Guidebooks all have the same line drawing as can be found at trailheads. Pics on the internet are obscure and frequently hidden behind broken links.

So I found a plant I think might be poison oak. Can somebody please confirm?

Is this poison oak?
Is this poison oak?

thanks! I didn’t want to get any closer for fear of getting the aerial wrath of this f%*ker.

Winter Camping on the Deschutes

Had a great weekend with some buddies camping over on the other side of the Cascades. We got out of town right after work on Friday and beat most of the bad Portland weather. At the top of 197 there was some gnarly snow and I was a bit concerned that we’d get stuck, but it let up surprisingly soon, and we saw no more precipitation for over 24 hours.

From Deschutes Big Freeze 12/08

We found a nice campground on the Deschutes about Shearer’s Falls near Maupin, and pitched our tents. It was freakin cold, so we kept the beer in coolers to help prevent them from freezing overnight. Good thing we were well-armed with a substantial amount of whiskey.

From Deschutes Big Freeze 12/08

We hiked (a little), fished, and had a generally good’ole time battling the elements and being ridiculous. We had a ton of wood, and kept a fire raging.

From Deschutes Big Freeze 12/08

It started hailing around 10pm on the second night, followed shortly by snow, but it never got too deep. On the other hand, it got really cold that night.

From Deschutes Big Freeze 12/08

Tears and hope

‘”Change has come” and we can all work together for a better and united future for all in our country and worldwide.’

That was my mom in the comments tonite. We had a fun little election party, and for the first time in a long time, we ended up happy, not just wiser.

And we cheered. McCain’s speech was great. That McCain may have won the election. He was honest, sincere, honorable, clear, and inspiring. For the first time since this all began I saw McCain make an effort to unite people, not just ignite his base. The cycle could have been far more exciting and far less scary.

And Obama spoke. Pericles, a great orator, perhaps someday Obama will be read, thousands of years in the future, and his words will be seen as the ones that brought a civilization together. He is a man who has ideas and can lead the people. Unite us. Tonight he attacked that divide and Obama will continue to attack the divide.

I had hoped for the 60 senate seats. Not that I believe a supermajority is a great thing. I’m far too moderate. But because I believe that things have gotten so bad that only in the face of utter defeat can we reach across to humble Republicans and say that we’re in this together. We’re not in total lockstep (as the last so many years have witnessed), we’re in a discussion. We are all patriots. Without superior firepower, I fear that the war will continue.

But…back to what my mom said. I watched Barack Obama speak tonight. It was wonderful. I drew near tearful on a few occasions. But I saw the comment from my mom. So much hope. It was beautiful, and it brought tears to my dry eyes.

“Change has come” and we can all work together for a better and united future for all in our country and worldwide.


2000. Oh, the disappointment. Later and later it got at the Yukon Tavern, drinking Pabst after Pabst, watching the states black out one after another. The red carpet on the walls and the mannequin legs dangling above. Great conversation as we drifted further and further into desperate (to know!) drunkenness, and then even further into it with desperation not to know.

2004. Doin’ it bourgeois-style at Everyday Wine. Grimmer and grimmer. The wine bar closed when it was grim, but there remained hope. Kieran and I went to The Spare Room, an unbelievably surreal bar, to watch the remainder of the election. We’d expected to be among celebrators, many members of The Greatest Generation drink there, but instead we had a soul-searching time carousing and commiserating with a unique blend of folk. Things changed when they opened up the speakers and a small older lady did her karaoke version of The Candy Man Can. I am still haunted. Rest her soul, she’s no longer with us, but that memory is strong. I hope that she smiles after tonite, wherever she is.

cheers, and Godspeed.

We’ll miss you Kali

Kali, one of my favorite pups in the whole world passed on this morning. She was always so sweet, and just wanted to be loved as much as she loved you. A great personality, she’ll be in my heart. And my love goes out to ACUC, I can only imagine how you are hurting today. Here’s my effort to help you celebrate her.

From Dogs
From Dogs
From Dogs

And this video I came across just tugged at my hearstrings…it’s not Kali, but I think you get it.

Greeted after 14 months in Iraq

Back when I was near-homeless my aunt and uncle took me and and I got to live in their basement. Kali was a great friend then, I’d let her come into my room, and she’d lie next to me while I sat on the computer until four in the morning. Or she’d hang out on my matress and I’d scratch her ears. She was a great friend.


Minister Rick

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. Got my Universal Life Church ministry certificate because a couple friends had asked me to perform their wedding services. This past week was the week. The first was on Sunday, and the second on Friday. I’ve been just a wee bit busy with all of that…meeting families, drinking beer, BBQing, clamming, crabbing, camping, cooking, eating, driving, playing hookie, and petting my dog and smooching my lady.

Both weddings were super fun. The first was a bit more intimate at the Leach Botanical Gardens. That place is a hidden gem in deep southeast. Great people, great food, and a bit of an edge from it being my first time and all. Matt and Christine chose a hand fasting ceremony, which is pretty neat. It’s an ancient tradition, and pervasive through many cultures…basically family and friends came up and tied ribbons around their linked hands, each ribbon having a particular meaning.

From Hilla-Mott Wedding

The second was a bit bigger, held in the couple’s backyard. Friends and family pulled together to make it happen, from booze to catering to cleanup (in that order?). We danced and were merry, I tore the ass out of the pants of my new suit doing some silly maneuver. But it was at the end of the second wedding, so that’s how it goes. I did change into my kilt rather than exact further damage to my pants or pride.

From Clutter-Jacobson Wedding

Both had plenty of beer to drink too, and both began serving prior to the ceremony. But just barely in the case of the latter because we somehow ended up with an incompatible tap. Ouch!