Sunday, March 27, 2016

Open Mac Surgery

I've always been a little nervous about messing with computer hardware, but more so with Apple products because I'm so unfamiliar with them. Today I swapped out the 128GB SSD drive in Kathy's Mac Air with a 256GB SSD. And it worked.

Training Ride

Yesterday I spent three hours in the saddle riding around Riverside State Park. I did a loop of the 24 Hour Race, pausing to go up Five Minute Hill three times before continuing on. I followed that up with some general riding around, returning to Five Minute Hill for another three-climb shot. The weather was awesome. The trail conditions were good. And the hills were, um, easier than before?

Peeking at peaks.

In preparing for the 24 Hour Race--going solo again--I'm also experimenting with foods. I've reduced my carb intake, especially sugars, quite a bit over the last couple of months and get most of my calories from fats instead. It's a year-long experiment in a ketogenic diet just for fun. One very noticeable aspect of this--I skip past many of the aisles in the grocery store where I used to load my cart. Also, the selection on the pantry is considerably smaller now. In those moments when you just want some comfort food, there's nothing to eat.

Yesterday's food test was bacon coated with caramelized maple syrup and then dolloped with coconut oil. The bacon tastes delicious as always. The maple syrup adds flavor and just a touch of sugar. The coconut oil is tasteless and adds fat calories. I kept it on ice in a cooler because coconut oil melts at 75 degrees. The downside is the stickiness of the syrup getting on your fingers. But I found it to be a worthwhile energy food.

Mmmmmm, bacon.

Someone left an inflated 26-inch tube with a Schrader valve hanging on a tree. I removed it.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Be Careful What You Ask For

Yesterday, Cathy McMorris Rodgers released a statement supporting the Senate Republican's refusal to consider President Obama's Supreme Court nominee.

"While the President has the right to nominate a candidate for the Supreme Court, the Senate has the equally important right to confirm or not confirm the nominee."

“Any Supreme Court confirmation needs to be a thoughtful process, with full respect for the separation of powers outlined in the Constitution. That’s why I stand by the Senate in their decision on how to move forward with the confirmation process. It’s the people’s Supreme Court, and we should let them decide its direction.”

Far be it from our congresswoman to outline how Merrick Garland's nomination did not involve a thoughtful process or how it disrespects the US Constitution's separation of powers.

But listen to her talk about letting the people decide.

Have a look at what people are deciding right now. They're deciding to support Donald Trump as the Republican Party's presidential nominee. The same Donald Trump who denigrates women, pretends to be a bible-thumping Christian, says whatever he thinks is useful even if it's the opposite of what he said just an hour before, encourages supporters to beat up and expel protesters, says Mexicans are rapists. and even belittled Senator John McCain as a war hero because he was captured and that he (Trump) likes those that weren't captured.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who holds a leadership position in the Republican House, remains hunkered down under a cone of silence rather than address the topic of a Mussolini-like figure who seems to be well on his way towards obtaining the party's nomination--and threatens violence if the people's will is subverted!

On Trump she says nothing. But just let the president do his constitutional duty and nominate a judge to a vacant seat on the United State Supreme Court. Let him do that and our congresswoman, like a sleeping turtle coming up for a moment to get breath of air, pops up and objects. Then she quickly disappears into the murky depths, ignoring or hiding from the rising storm that is Donald Trump.

Let the people decided indeed. Because she isn't about to.

In addition, on one hand our congresswoman along with the Republican Senate and House leadership wants, to wait for the election so the people can decide. On the other, the Republican leadership is trying to come up with ways to prevent Donald Trump from becoming the party presidential nominee in spite of the will of the people supporting him.

Why do only those in the Republican leadership get to decide what and when the people get to decide?

Saturday, March 5, 2016

What Exactly Does Sue Lani Madsen Want?

Sue Lani Madsen writes an opinion column for the Spokesman Review and tends to generate a lot of comments, most likely because of her strong conservative stance on issues. Her latest column is on abortion.

She points out a 2015 Gallup poll, which she slightly misrepresents, to support her strongly implied argument that abortion should not be allowed outside of rape, incest, and saving the mother's life. While she correctly states the poll shows 51% of the respondents think abortion should be legal with some restrictions, she doesn't mention that 29% think it should be legal under any circumstances and 19% think it should be illegal period. That means 80% think it should be legal whether certain circumstances apply or not.

Secondly, she refers to a Guttmacher Institute survey, which she uses to delegitimize women's reasons for having an abortion. From the results of the survey:

The reasons most frequently cited were that having a child would interfere with a woman’s education, work or ability to care for dependents (74%); that she could not afford a baby now (73%); and that she did not want to be a single mother or was having relationship problems (48%). Nearly four in 10 women said they had completed their childbearing, and almost one-third were not ready to have a child. Fewer than 1% said their parents’ or partners’ desire for them to have an abortion was the most important reason. Younger women often reported that they were unprepared for the transition to motherhood, while older women regularly cited their responsibility to dependents.

That does not sit well with Mrs Madsen.

We are horrified at a woman killing a child because she’s having relationship problems. We denounce those who kill a vulnerable human being under their care. We are inconsistent when we are not equally repulsed by abortion as violence against women, as the original feminists insisted.

She continues.

A baby in the womb is a most vulnerable human being, but unlike many solidly in the pro-life camp, I do not seek an outright government ban on abortion. Any government with the authority to forbid abortion also has the authority to require it, and I don’t trust any government with that power. 

Life begins at conception. All other decisions must flow from that fact, including how we treat our prenatal children.

This wrap up of her argument is confusing. She says life begins at conception. She refers to an aborted fetus as a child being killed. She doesn't want an outright ban on abortion even though in her eyes every abortion results in a child being killed. But she doesn't want a ban because she doesn't trust a government with that power because that government could also exercise power to require an abortion.

WTF? Who said anything about requiring abortions?

I think it's fair to ask Sue Lani Madsen that if she can't trust a government to forbid or require an abortion, how can she trust a government to make any decisions regarding abortion?

Which kind of leaves it up to the woman and her doctor.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Skin In The Game

A couple years ago I had the great idea to strip down my '92 Specialized Rock Hopper and build it back up again. The unfinished project has been sitting in my garage ever since. Since I bought paint for the rack that's going on my NFE and the minimum amount of powder I could buy was a pound, I thought I'd take this opportunity to have the Rock Hopper frame sandblasted and painted, too.

I have to build the bike up now. There's no way I could let a frame that bright sit around like that. It's going to look fetching in the MTB category cyclocross races.

And I'll need to find some matching socks.

30 Days of Biking

30 Days of Biking happens during the month of April. The site opened today for people to start taking the pledge to ride every day. I added my name to the list.