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Not quite a PR, but close. Slowed by a Saturn, a guard, and a couple of missed lights. The old bike is faster than the new bike!

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Thinking about it, if it’s not the weight, it could be:

  1. Psychosomatic – I am totally susceptible to superstition, placebo, imposter, dunning-krueger, and the oxford comma.
  2. Aerodynamic – For all that it weighs the same, the new bike is burly. The frame is almost twice as wide. Wheels are 35 instead of 23. Discs instead of rim. One would think that wind tunnel skills have improved and despite the increased frontal area, Major Bike Manufacturer would have figured out how to keep drag roughly the same, but maybe not. Also it’s enduro setup, not race, so maybe the power source is not as aero in this config. Or not as powerful.
  3. Mechanical – The old bike has a different gearing which I frankly like better. The new bike runs out on the top end.

Addressing points the latter though, I notice the speed difference powering up the hills mostly, where these have less effect. Though I also notice that I don’t hit speeds greater than 30 that much going down the hills, so maybe there’s something to it.

It’s pretty damn impressive that this big burly bike with a much stouter frame, disc brakes, etc., weighs the same as the old bike though.

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The post office sent me this yesterday:

I don’t know if everyone got one, or just dog owners.

I know that my mutts love UPS because they carry around milkbones. They alert to the distinctive engine of the UPS trucks, and will literally run to any UPS person and beg for treats. I used to tease the UPS person that if they ever got out, I’d just come find the truck, and they’d be following it around. Turns out that wasn’t a joke – that actually happened. The gardener left the gate open. I got a call. They were on the UPS truck. She brought them home for me. Thanks, Jeannine! I called her supervisor to put in a good word. He thought it was great. UPS loves dogs[1]!

That’s a funny story.

The USPS guy on the other hand would have called the dog police. That would not have been so funny. Fines and dog jail at best. Mace and/or shot dogs at worst.

So why doesn’t the USPS carry around milkbones? Having the local dogs love you seems better than carrying around mace because you are afraid of them.

Of course there are still problem dogs that aren’t going to be bribed with a milkbone. The postal worker goes to every house every day. UPS just shows up when there’s a package. There’s a difference of scale.

Still, a difference of attitude.

[1] I’m not linking to the UPS dog page on that social network, but it’s there.

Return to normal

Smokers are assholes. I don’t know why, except I guess that if you feel it’s fine to pollute your lungs, the air, and everyone’s lungs around you, then it’s NBD to throw your butts anywhere, and everywhere. So you do.

Perhaps there’s some mythical smoker somewhere who gets rid of butts properly, but as long as I keep finding butts everywhere smokers congregate, and in random strange places, I just assume anyone who smokes is an asshole. I’m right so far.

Just like anyone who rides a loudass Harley in a residential neighborhood at 6 am. Asshole.

I can’t decide if vaping is worse. Try following one of those down a street. Holy cow, the smoke clouds. It’s like a WWI battleship making full steam to catch the Bismarck. You literally have to cross the street to get away from it. You’re an asshole.

But there’s no butts, so there’s that.

Things that are better part the third

Continuing in the vein of positivity and not just bitching [1]

  • Electric toothbrushes. Just zone out for two minutes and your teeth are brushed, et voilá! And way better than you can do it by hand. Also get a cheap $12 AA battery version for traveling, and using on the dogs. Way better for brushing the mutts’ teeth [2].
  • iPads. I didn’t know what I would use this for [3], but now I use it for everything. I’ve done lots of trips with this and not a laptop. I’d still rather have the laptop in general, but for general use and carrying around…
  • eBooks. I still buy books and check them out from the library, but books on the iPad get read a lot more. Especially when traveling – no more carrying 15 books on long trips, or searching for English bookstores [4]
  • iPhone X swipe gestures. I had both an X and a 7 for a while at the same time, and it was painful to go back to the 7. The gestures are just better [5]. I can’t explain why.
  • iPhone X face ID. Ditto. It kind of changes everything. In small ways, but an improvement. It also means its possible to use the entire screen for display, which is a Good Thing. It will in fact probably drive me to purchase a new iPad with Face ID when that comes out, whether I need it or not.
  • Apple Pay. Ditto. I can not carry my wallet. It makes me think that my driver’s license should be authenticated similarly so I don’t need to ever carry a wallet, except that of course the government (or Google or whoever they contracted it out to [6]) would not do it correctly and it would be both a privacy and functional nightmare [8]

[1] Don’t worry I’ve got those coming up. Cf healthcare, driving, gray cars driving in the rain without lights, US shitty driving habits, ugly modern cars…
[2] Do not mix up.
[3] Well, I did. Pictures. I got it to show photos, when the first Retina display came out. It’s a wonderful portable portfolio device.
[4] Also no more people striking up conversations about the book I’m reading, or meeting people in bookstores…
[5] With the exception of skiing and climbing. I’ve had my fingerprints go away enough doing both that the screen wouldn’t swipe up.
[6] Which is why I don’t use the traveler apps from the US Gov’t, or sign up for Global or TSA Pre [7].
[7] Also because I get them greater than 50% of the time anyway, so why bother. Perhaps when I don’t have status anymore, but then I presumably won’t be flying that much anymore so…
[8] I’m not a libertarian, but the incentives are all wrong for anyone but Apple. Sad but true.


Things that are better part II

Adding to list:

  • Airpods. Didn’t think it would work. BT is a POS. But they Just Work. I carry them, and use them, everywhere. No more tangled cords.1
  • Wireless charging. Wasteful. Unnecessary. But just dropping the phone on a flat surface is pretty nice.
  • GPS watches. Instant on is great, compared to the old Forerunner 305 taking five minutes and yoga and an open spot to catch lock.2
  • Hydration drinks. Nuun, Skratch, etc. are all better than Gatorade. I’m not sure if I need it, but I like it.