We all find blockers frustrating. For Writers (humor intended) .. it can be career-ending ..

.. for me, it’s those little technology blockers I feel the urgent need to overcome before I can do the actual work that needs to be done.

I used to find myself stuck in ‘toolkit’ mode .. this is where I felt I had to be completely prepared for all eventualities. This put me in a perpetual ‘download-and-install’ loop, preparing systems before any actual work could be done.

But, no more.

Thanks to cloud-based sync and enhanced capabilities .. coupled with necessity mandates (that eliminate the ‘nice-to-have’ factor), work and creativity can flourish.

This post actually represents the capacity manifestation of my return to the ‘sphere, where I test out various:

  • Format
  • Execution
  • Management

.. components that let me do my work.

So .. let’s get to posting!

Seattle to Portland – STP 2013* (the ride with the asterisk)

For my third year, I had the pleasure to ride with 9,999 of my fellow bicycle riding buddies in the 2013 Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic. The ride was approximately 203 miles this year, and I completed in a single day.

WP_20130713_013Why the Asterisk? Well:

  • I made amazing time for the first half of the ride, arriving at the half-way point (Centralia, Washington) at 11:45am, 6 hours and 45 minutes after departing the UW parking lot starting point. As it’s about 100 miles, averaging 14.81 mph (with stops).
  • I had a tire blow out (not to be confused with a flat) 1,000 feet short of the Napavine mini-stop (the top of a nicely challenging hill .. see the route map for details). Not knowing any better, I attempted to repair the blown tube, and then trying a new tube. Note that a blowout looks a lot like the results of the scene in ‘Alien’, where the innards become ‘out-ards’. While I didn’t know this at the time, a hole that size will simply destroy the tube within. I know better now.
  • The first repair (including patching the original tube) took 30 minutes; the second, 15 (putting in a new tube). Upon inflating the tire and heading up the hill, the new tube gave way, and I was pushing the bike up the hill.

My hope was there would be a mechanic at the Napavine site .. unhappily, the nearest was 13 miles back and 14 miles forward. At that point, I made the call. The ride is fully-supported .. that is, there are supplies and mechanics at nearly every stop .. except for this one. I made the call to the support number, and the truck arrived to collect me. after that, a 14-mile ride in the truck and I was on my way .. losing over three hours in the process.

As you know, figures lie and liars figure .. but some math is in order. For the back half of the ride (my trip computer reset while my bicycle was upside down .. argh). Napavine is mile marker 112, Vader at 126, 77 miles from the end of the ride. I rode for just short of 6 hours (including stops), arriving just before 10pm. So, the breakdown:

  • 6.75 hours for the first 99 miles (5am to 11:45am .. including stops).
  • 1 hour at Centralia (insane long lines for one-day riders).
  • 1 hour until the blow out .. 3 hours lost / 14 miles in the truck.
  • 6 hours for the last 77 miles (4pm to 10pm).

So, I got to enjoy the ride so much more than my fellow one-day riders .. 17 hours, all told .. but just under 13 hours pedaling / taking breaks, a respectable (for me 15.6 mph overall. Would have beaten a personal record, if not for the snafus.

All that .. an amazing day. Please check out the ride on my Endomondo feed.

Schmaltz ..

.. sort of defines me. Not that I’d confess that ..but  let’s discuss:

So .. when I can, I find the Schmaltz story on the video player on a plane. You’ll LOVE how the Web defines it:

.. I get that (those).

You’ll find me, on the aisle, watching an unnecessarily sentimental film and feeling deeply about it.

Thanks Comcast!

New modem .. wahoo!


New Digs, New Speed

Just ran a quick speed test from my mobile phone in my new digs .. the first is over Wi-Fi (Comcast). The second is LTE (ATT).


In a word: wow.

Hiding Everything on Facebook ..

Dear Lord .. how does this happen?

I am sure, through a convoluted series of posts and ‘accepts’ that it does.

Let’s not let THAT happen again.

Yeah, I’m fifty (something), but I talk like I’m thirty (something)

Here’s what I know:

Beyond that, I also know:

  • TTBOMK (always fun).
  • STFU (reminding all that ‘U’ somehow manifests itself as ‘door’ for the FCC-proper-types).
  • WTF (Whisky-Tango-Foxtrot, which, in no way, shape or form can be FCC-proper).

For (my) whimsy, I’d add:

So .. where does that put me? Where does it put you?

When I was 25 ..

.. it was a very good year.

Granted, mine was styled in copper .. diesel, but a very nice ride.

1979-1985 Cadillac Eldorado

It was an Asteroid after all ..

.. confirmed (or, at least firmly postulated) by a herd of American and European researchers.

This bunch have tested (and re-tested) debris from the Chicxulub impact crater off the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. Their findings include a timeline that spans 11,000 years for the impact, almost simultaneous with the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction. From the article:

When dealing with geological timescales, a range of 11,000 years is about as accurate as you can get. As the research paper puts it, though, “the Chicxulub impact likely triggered a state shift of ecosystems already under near-critical stress.”

Not a bad timeline after all. Please see: Finally confirmed: An asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs | ExtremeTech

Now. If we can only solve the chicken or the egg question.

A Funny Thing at LAX ..

.. certainly a leading statement: all you need to do is look about and you’ll see LOTS of funny things at LAX ..

.. at SEA as well .. remember Moonies?

.. but I digress.

There was this trip .. I had just finished a few days with my favorite customer in Santa Monica and had made my way back to the airport along Route 9. On time, had even negotiated security .. even received the TSA-mandated ‘massage’ (yes: even I get patted down now and again).

Sitting in the waiting area, 40 minutes before the flight, and the overhead says:

Welcome to Alaska Airlines flight 485. We are ready for pre-boarding. As we have no small children and no identified individuals who require additional time to board, would Michael Coates please approach the podium?

I almost didn’t get up. However, curiosity absolutely overwhelmed me. I got up.

In reality, the flight was severely under-booked .. only a few seats from cancellation (there are several LAX-SEA flights a day, the next departing a mere 40 minutes later) .. but close enough to fly (this is all per the agent).

I was the only Gold (the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan) on the entire flight .. the gate agents thought they should give me a special thrill .. which they did.

Just wait until I get to the Million Miler. Not long now. Open-mouthed smile


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