Friday, February 28, 2014

Bike Hang

Glen held a bike hang at his shop this evening. Food and beer were consumed. Conversation topics ranged far and wide. Bikes, tools, evangelicals, bikes, women, bikes, beer, flatulence, and bikes to name a few. Glen finished my single speed and I was very pleased to see what he had done with it. More on that when I am ready to unveil it. In the meantime I need to do some rearranging in the garage. You can't have too many bikes but you can have not enough places to put them.


Brent from Utah getting measured for a bike fit.

People On The Street






Monday, February 24, 2014

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I Saw You

Last week's Inlander published some stories about the I Saw You feature, one of which was the prank Kathy played on me. I Saw You is where one person sees another person and writes about what and who they saw in hopes that the second person reads the I Saw You section and is wondering if anyone saw them over the last week and was impressed enough to write a short note saying how much they'd like to meet them.

Apparently in response to last week's stories, someone with a sense of humor placed this ridiculous ad in this week's issue. I wish I had but it wasn't me. Enjoy.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Setting The Record Straight

I will not refuse you because you have tattoos (Leviticus 19:28) or eat bacon (Leviticus 11:8) or wear clothing made of two kinds of material mixed together (Leviticus 19:19) or are divorced (Mark 10:8) or were illegitimately born (Deuteronomy 23:2) or eat lobster, shrimp, and other shellfish (Leviticus 11:10) or drink wine in church (Leviticus 10:9) or work on the Sabbath (Leviticus 23:3).

But my sincerely held religious belief allows me to refuse you and your same-sex spouse (Leviticus 18:22).

Try to understand. This is not about bigotry. This is about preventing discrimination against people who are clearly living out their faith.

This Is Pretty Cool

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Another Reason To Ride A Bike

Because there just isn't enough surveillance in this country.

The national license-plate recognition database, which would draw data from readers that scan the tags of every vehicle crossing their paths, would help catch fugitive illegal immigrants, according to a DHS solicitation. But the database could easily contain more than 1 billion records and could be shared with other law enforcement agencies, raising concerns that the movements of ordinary citizens who are under no criminal suspicion could be scrutinized.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Final Performance

Serious biz.
Stephanie has been in taekwondo since September of 2005. Kathy was volunteering with the Red Cross in Texas after hurricane Katrina at the time. When she came home, she said, "You signed her up for what?" Martial arts had never entered the picture before. Anyway, it's been great for her. She continues to progress and enjoy the sport. She was asked to join the demonstration team earlier than most because of her skills.

Once she graduates from high school she will no longer be on the demo team. Today is the team's last demonstration until June so the demo at the WSU basketball game will be her final one. Her current routine is pretty fun because she gets to beat up--and make contact while doing so--one of the guys on the team. Three times.
Don't let that pretty smile fool you. If you ever give Steph any crap she will kick whatever crap you have left right out of your body.

Running And Riding

Kathy is training for the Windermere Marathon and she has her eye on qualifying for Boston. She asked me if I would like to train with her and I politely turned her down. It's been almost six years but the memory of my one and only marathon still endures. I run for fun and training takes the fun out of it. I like my running to be incidental to training, not required by a plan.

The plan was to meet Kathy at the halfway point of her 10-mile run. I was bringing a drink, some shot blocks, and her Chapstick. 

Livestock out on Peone.
I had about 50 minutes to kill before our rendezvous so I took the Elephant out and scouted out some on and off-road routes to see how well they're cleared up after our warm spell. (Yes, above 40 is a warm spell.) After meeting Kathy in the Bellwood neighborhood I rode for another relaxing hour.

Into mile six.

I Almost Made A New Friend

This morning I got a phone call from someone who sounded like he was from India and in a room of other guys who sounded like they were from India telling me he was with the Windows Technical Department.

We had a nice long conversation.

This is a cold call scam in which the caller tries to convince the target, me, that my computer has been infected with all sorts of malware, which is threatening to divulge my personal information.

Here's how he tried to establish his credibility. He walked me through opening the Run command box and typing in the command "assoc".

Of course, this took 20 minutes because I repeated things back incorrectly, when he started to talk I would interrupt with a question or comment about all the background noise, I would misunderstand the simplest instructions, and did what I think was a successful job at making this a most frustrating experience for the scammer.

Back to establishing credibility.


The "assoc" command simply lists the file associations on the Windows computer. They all go scrolling by and one of the last entries is this:

.ZFSendToTarget=CLSID{888DCA60-FC0A-11CF-8F0F-00C04FD7D062}

This entry is identical on every Windows PC. So he was trying to make me believe he was on the up and up by reading the CLSID number to me and verifying that it matched the one on my computer. Hence, it would be infected and need to be cleaned up.

It took five minutes of him rattling off characters and me interrupting:

"You said O. Mine looks like a zero? Are you sure that matches?"

"Wait, this one kind of looks like an O, but you said zero."

"I couldn't understand you because there's a lot of noise in the background."

"Mine has a bunch of dashes in between. You didn't say any of the dashes."

"Mine has a D there and it sounded like you said B. Oh, that's a D? Okay, that was 888..."

"Was that an F or an S? It sounded like S. How many S's are supposed to be there?"

And me repeating each of the above statements and talking over him each time he tried to respond.

He finally got fed up and told me to hang on while he transferred me to a senior technical advisor. I had enough fun for the morning and hung up.

I forgot to ask his name.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Gluing Shattered Mirrors

George Nethercutt's latest commentary in The Inlander is about an issue he should be familiar with--trust. (Just three terms...eh...changed my mind.)

When there's a breach of trust, there's a reluctance to interrelate. It separates us, and it's what ails the relationship between the President and Congress. Lack of trust has also created a divide between voter and leader. America desperately needs trusted leaders.

It's interesting that although Mr Nethercutt bemoans the lack of trust in our political leaders, he doesn't get into any detail until he talks about possible presidential candidates Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and Hillary Clinton. Christie for his bridge fiasco. Bush for his brother, the former president whose "Bush plan" Nethercutt so strongly supported (see link above), and Clinton for her fund raising capability and Benghazi.

Though the press often focuses on a candidate's untrustworthiness, the public is usually good at separating fact from fiction and knowing the difference between wise leaders and those who self-serve.

Really? Did not the usually-good-at-separating-fact-from-fiction public elect the not-so-wise and self-serving leaders we have today? And what are we to think about Mr Nethercutt presenting the fact-and-fiction of Jeb Bush being untrustworthy simply because of his brother's economic record? How does Hillary Clinton's fund raising ability make her any less trustworthy of...say... Cathy McMorris Rodgers, for example, whose recent ethics investigation concerns which pot(s) of money were used to pay for a packet that, among other things, touted her fund raising for other Republican candidates. And can we trust someone who yet again brings up Benghazi?

Trust is the product of a leader's integrity, commitment and actions to help others. To paraphrase Lady Gaga: Trust is like a mirror. Once it's cracked, the reflection is never again the same.

Nice paraphrase, but I like the quote better. And when you look back at George Nethercutt's earlier commentaries in The Inlander, you'll find cracks spiderwebbing all over his mirror.

People On The Street

Today I experimented with taking pictures of people. I'm happy with a couple of the shots but I need to settle down and make sure the subject is in focus.





Valentine's Day Massacre

So there's this bike ride tomorrow night.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Another Bad Bill

Featured in Matt Shea's latest Freedom Agenda Update. BAD BILL OF THE WEEK.

Even a less than careful read of HB 2148 will tell you that no woman is going to be forced to have an abortion as a result of this legislation. Nor will anyone be forced to provide an abortion. Essentially the bill requires "health plans issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2015, that provide coverage for maternity care or services to provide a covered person with substantially equivalent coverage to permit the voluntary termination of a pregnancy..."

These statements from Shea caught my attention.

Here are some points I have made on this issue: 

     God is the author of life and all life is sacred – especially the unborn. 
     If we get the life issue wrong, we get EVERY issue wrong. 
     There is NO choice in a mandate. 
     The body inside your body is NOT your body.

They're just the what I would expect from a man who treated his wife as a possession.

Photos

Today's lunchtime shooting featured a 35mm prime lens.

Punctured and stenciled.

 Steps.

Standing guard for at least three feet.

 Metered snow. 

 Escape.

Bollard and biker.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Up At Night

Once or twice during the week I wake up in the middle of the night. This was one of those nights. To make the most of it I broke out the tripod and camera.
 The view from out back.

 By lamplight.

The view from out front.

 Bike light-lit self portraits.

Using a small cooler as a light box.

Warning: Crazed insomniac at large.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

An interview we have yet to see on American television.

The Bike Fights Last Wednesday

Wednesday Night Bike Fight from hank greer on Vimeo.
As you can see, I used the wrong lens for the low light situation. But you have to make the most of what you have so I'm running with this.

Black And White

 
Do not go towards the light
if you're over 11 feet tall.

 The patient sentry.

Shapes and lines.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Yesterday

I went for a short walk during lunch and I had my camera hanging off my neck. As I turned from Riverside onto Post, in the direction of the mall, a woman stopped me and said, "It's still going on," and then hurried on by.

If you ever want to put me in a combined puzzled and confused state just walk up to me and say something random like this. What is still going on? But balance was soon restored as I got closer to the mall and saw the atrium was full of people.
It was a Seattle Seattle Superbowl celebration. Chants of "SEA! HAWKS! SEA! HAWKS! reverberated throughout. Not really my thing so I left.
Last night was the Bike Fight. (This is a screen capture of a video taken by Alan Jacob.) I fared well and got to race in the second round. Believe me, two races is enough. My distance was shorter, but I was consistent in that I did .42 miles each time. Overall, the scores were lower so I suspect there was additional resistance on the trainers this time around. There were many new people competing, which was great. I shot video of the races with a different lens and a quick review showed me it was pretty crappy. So a video may or may not happen.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bad Bill Or Bad Matt?

District 4 Representative Matt Shea's latest email newsletter has him asking us to help him "advance The Freedom Agenda of lower taxes, less government, and more freedom." Hmmmm, advancing the freedom agenda of more freedom. I'm still trying to wrap my head around that.

Anyway.

As a part of his red-meat-tossing rant Mr Shea also warns us about the BAD BILL OF THE WEEK!

"Democrats aren’t stopping the assault against our freedom with tax increases. They also want every law abiding citizen who owns a gun to have a background check.... Initiative 594 would require background checks whenever a firearm is sold or transferred between licensed dealers or private parties, with few exceptions. Any sale or transfer of a firearm must be completed through a dealer. If you gave a firearm to your son, a brother or other family member, the proposed law would require them to have a background check or be in violation. It would criminalize law-abiding citizens people, such as Gonzaga University students Erik Fagan and Dan McIntosh, who used a gun last year to scare off a six-time convicted felon when he tried to break into their on-campus house for money.

I have to wonder if the Democrats have been so successful in their assault on our freedoms that they have taken away Matt Shea's freedom to read. (And shouldn't this be the bad initiative of the week?)

Anyway.

Yes, the initiative would require background checks. But there are exceptions, one of them being:

(4) This section does not apply to:
(a) A transfer between immediate family members, which for this subsection shall be limited to spouses, domestic partners, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, first cousins, aunts, and uncles, that is a bona fide gift;

So contrary to what Matt Shea says, you would not be in violation if you gave a gun to your son, brother, same-or-different-sex spouse, your granddaughter, and many other family members. Nor would a background check be required.

As for how this would criminalize law-abiding citizens like Erik Fagan and Dan McIntosh, that remains to be created by Matt Shea's fertile imagination. The incident with Fagan and McIntosh had nothing to do with transferring a gun from one person to another or background checks. It involved displaying a weapon and possessing a weapon on presumptively university-owned property. But there were gun--and freedoms!--involved and that's what matters most.

Besides. You never know when you might be targeted due to your work. All you need is the freedom to use your imagination.I'd also like to point out that Matt Shea was presumably a law abiding citizen up until he was cited and prosecuted.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Failed Journalism

I saw this news report floating around the Facebook world. It shows some people at a small business in Pittsburgh getting the news of their health care costs rising because of the Affordable Health Care Act. You'll notice the news station had their cameras set up for the meeting so they had to be invited there. Charles Moore is identified as the broker who handles the company's health insurance.

Moore hands out papers to each individual.

What I have here is the benefits sheet from last year. What you were on in 2013. Here is the new plan we had to switch to that takes into account the Obamacare regulations.

The (so called) news report goes on to cover all the details in which each person's coverage is much higher than before.



What puzzled me was that each person was presented with only one option when in reality they should have several to choose from. Plus, while Pennsylvania has a private market, people in that state also have the option of using the federal market, which they need to use if they are eligible for federal tax subsidies. Nothing about that is mentioned.

Just as the Bette from Spokane story fell apart under scrutiny, this one does as well. It turns out that Charles Moore has very public anti-Obama leanings and it appears he set this up just to make the Affordable Health Care Act look bad. The employees at this small business (see the recent post from Pete Smith and expand the comments) were, at best misled, by Mr Moore, if not used by him.

And WTAE Channel 4 news could have had a far different news report if they had done just a little homework.

We Were Runnin'

The sun came out today!