Friday, August 26, 2011

land owner

I just realised that I own 0.002% of the town of Port Gamble. You should visit. It's nice.

I guess I also indirectly own 2.25 acres of land here in the PNW.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

surly sight unseen

I just committed to buying a bike without seeing it. I think I'll be OK. I'm writing this post to justify all this nonsense.
  • Frame - $450 new, $200-$450 used
    It's the frame I want in the size I want. If it doesn't fit, I'm pretty sure Lee would be able to use it. No risk! Yay!
  • Ultegra Shifters - $350 new, $150 used
    I want a double on the front with 9 speeds in the back. If it's a 10 speed then I'll have to downgrade, but it would also mean that they're worth $50-$150 more. Plus, I may be able to sell them to Angela who's looking to turn her double into a triple... maybe. Slight risk, but not too terrible.
  • XT derailleurs - $200 new, $60 used?
    I'm pretty sure I can use these. There's a small chance I can't. I'll try my odds.
  • Wheels
    I'll probably be swapping out my wheels anyway. Given the high end components elsewhere, I might get lucky and get some nice wheels. I already have the replacement wheels on my other bike. (-:
  • Hutchinson Tour de France Tires - $90 new, who buys 6 year old tires?
    These tires are getting replaced. I am finicky about my tires after various flats around town. I'll be replacing them with some fancy Vittoria Randonneur Hypers! Stupid name, but they are nice slick fat tires.
  • Avid Canti Brakes - $80 new
    These are the brakes I want. Actually, they are nicer than the brakes that I want!
  • Extra brake levers - $80 new
    I may not need these. They're a nice bonus.
All in all, it may not be perfect, but at $525 (no tax!) it's a great deal. I was planning on having to pop about $200 in parts and I think it'll land somewhere in that neighborhood. I just hope I like the color.

I know no one cares about anything that I just wrote. Here are some pictures while they last:


For those who fear that I'll get destroyed in some cycling accident, here's an alternative scenario to consider.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

bike to do list

If I'm seeking novelty, I've still got some work to do. Unlike running where I repeat the same streets after a year or two, with a 50-100 mile range, I have some pretty diverse options. (-:

  • Bike to/from work
  • Bike to the beach (Discovery Park)
  • Bike to a hike (Discovery Park)
  • Bike camping (Lopez Island)
  • Take a ferry (to the San Juans)
  • Bike to a gas station (Chevron at NE 65th St and 35th Ave NE)
  • Bike to Vancouver
  • Bike across the border (Canada)
  • Bike to the duty free store
  • Carry some beer across town to a party
  • Carry some dim sum across town for a party
  • Bike to dim sum
  • Bike through an airport (Renton)
  • Bike to catch a flight (Seatac to JFK)
  • Bike to Sears (Overlake)
  • Bike on a highway (Barnet Hwy in Burnaby, BC)
  • Bike across a floating bridge (SR520)
  • Bike across an extradosed bridge (Golden Ear Bridge)
  • Bike 116 miles in a day (RSVP Day 1)
  • Bike the North Interurban Trail
  • Bike the South Interurban Trail
  • Bike all of the Burke Gilman Trail
  • Bike the Sammamish River Trail
  • Bike around Lake Sammamish
  • Bike through Duvall and Carnation
To do:
  • Bike to a "real" hike
  • Bike to an auto parts store
  • Bike to Target
  • Bike to dump off antifreeze at the hazardous waste site
  • Bike while carrying all my ski gear
  • Bike to go skiing???
  • Bike to Fu Man Dumpling House
  • Get some fried chicken on the way home from work
  • Cedar River Trail
  • Green River Trail
  • Sound to Mountains trail
  • Bike to Mount Si
  • Bike to hike Mount Si
  • Bike to hike Mount Pilchuck (or something else along that highway)
  • Bike across a suspension bridge
  • Bike across the Lions Gate Bridge (I guess I should have done this last weekend)
  • Go over 50mph
  • Bike to West Seattle
  • Bike the western side of the Puget Sound (RAPsody?)
  • Do the Chilly Hilly
  • Bike across the Cascades

Thursday, August 04, 2011

cost cutting hulu plus

I get most of my TV through hulu. Usually I don't get hulu plus, but I do enjoy some of the benefits, such as the archive of old shows and the ability to stream to my XBox and iPad. So how do I get hulu plus without paying for it?
  • IE9 - If you run IE9 and pin hulu to your taskbar in Windows 7, you get a free month
  • Facebook - If you "like" hulu on Facebook, you get a free month
  • Bing - I'm about to get three months of hulu plus by redeeming rewards from using Bing
  • Cheating - Sometimes I'll put my hulu plus subscription on hold. This way my free month could become 3 free months. I can put it on hold for 12 weeks at a time and take it off hold whenever I want.
So how much would I save? Next to nothing... or $8 a month, depending on how you look at it.

Monday, August 01, 2011

saving electricity

My parents do this thing where they always unplug things and/or switch them off to save electricity. I know that some electronics are really bad about this, but I never knew whether my electronics were "good" or "bad."

I decided to find out for sure. I just got a "Kill A Watt" power meter. It costed me $19.77 after shipping and handling. Compared to my parents (and most of my friends) electricity is cheap. 4.61 cents per kWh including delivery. That ridiculously cheap - probably the cheapest 95% in the country and the cheapest 1% in the world. Still, I like data. (-:

Since getting home I've been testing all sorts of things. Mostly I've been testing various AC adapters and chargers for things like phones and such. I was happy to find that the chargers for the iPad/iPhone, Samsung Focus Windows Phone, and my Lenovo Thinkpad all drew zero current when they were idle. The older Energizer battery charger that I've been using drew 0.3W, and I've replaced it with the newer model that I had laying around which draws zero.

On to computers....
  • My desktop computer (and peripherals) drew 18W when idle, and anywhere from 200-250W while in use. That computer will be shut down at the source - just like my parents. 432Wh saved per day, or about 10% of my power consumption.
  • My laptop computer draws 55-95W when charging and running. About 20W less when at full charge. The screen brightness has an impact of 9W. This is all a lot more than I had expected.
On to the entertainment system.
  • My HTPC draws 60-100W when running, but 0W when it's off. It used to draw 70W, but I changed some BIOS settings and now it idles at 10W less than before.
  • The PS2 was drawing about 3W. It's now unplugged since I haven't used it in a very very long time.
  • The XBox 360 draws about 3W when off, a steady 150W when running. 115W when it's "off" but downloading content. Lame. )-:
  • The iHome cheapo clock radio draws 6W when idling and 8W when powered on. WTF?
  • None of this is much compared to the 300W that the TV draws. Ouch. Thankfully it draws nothing when it's turned off. This is motivation for me to turn the TV off and use the other monitor in the kitchen.That'll save me a penny an hour. Ooooooh....
On appliances - the only appliance I really have is my fridge. It draws 93-120W when running. As for the microwave (which I never use), does it matter?