Archive for the 'General' Category

Three Pieces of Legislation

In light of the recent events in our dysfunctional Congress, this morning I presented a question to myself on the way to work: If I had to pick three pieces of legislation to be passed immediately that I thought would benefit all Americans what would they be?  Here’s what I came up with.  It turns out all of them would require constitutional amendments.

  1. A constitutional amendment dissolving Congressional approval for an increase in the nation’s debt ceiling subject to the repayment of those debt’s Congress has already incurred.
  2. A resolution to dissolve the Citizen’s United ruling and require full disclosure of the source and expenditures of all campaign dollars spent by any candidate running for public office.
  3. Repeal and replacement of the 26th amendment.  End the Electoral College and move to a national, popular vote for the President.
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For the first time since I started this blog almost 10 years ago I did not post for an entire month. That’s slack. I’ve gotta work on this site today. It’s stale and lame right now.

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Will the Authentec fingerprint scanner drive me to an iPhone? Just might.

In 2011 I raved about the Motorola Atrix.  One of it’s outstanding features was the built in fingerprint scanner for security made by Authentec.  Motorola licensed the technology from Authentec and it was exclusively available on the Atrix.  I actually walked around for over a month swiping my finger on the top of my Galaxy S3 out of habit after switching phones.

Fast forward to 2013.  Apple makes one of it’s most expensive hardware acquisitions ever, the purchase of Authentec. Now it is rumored that the upcoming iPhone 5s will incorporate this fingerprint scanner, causing an outcry from privacy advocates.  It also caused the Apple fans to proclaim that the scanner is a new addition to smart phones that will be copied by an Android device.  Never mind that an Android phone had it first.  I am not one who believes or cares that Apple may sell my fingerprints to the government.  Then again, I’m not a fool scared by government security practices that have been going on well before the advent of the smartphone.   Say, like acquiring call logs.

I’ve always said the downside to an iPhone was not the small screen but the lack of certain technologies such as NFC.  Now Apple may hold one technology I truly love on a phone.  Could the iPhone 5S be my next mobile device?   Will I finally give in and have my first God forsaken iTunes account?   Possibly.  I’ve got to wait and see what else the phone packs and if the GPS is worth a damn.  I am seriously locked in to the need for a high quality, very accurate GPS.  If they can get that part right I may carry my first iPhone soon.

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Everyone is sold on the 29er. Not me.

I test rode a 29er on my usual single track a few days ago.  The trails are described as ideal for a 29er: medium to fast rolling with an average number of roots and very few climbs (the verdict is in on climbing – 26 kills it).  So I got the “between the wheels” feel right away.  It is in fact like sitting between two giant wheels.  Momentum was indeed very good.  Rolled over stuff smoothly.  Too smooth.  Felt like I was cheating the trail.  Until I hit a tight switchback, then it felt like I was going to fall over without some acrobatic handling.

So all in all the 29er was exactly what people claimed it would be.  And I HATED it.  Just like the 29er fan base is going to hate this… The very first thing I thought was, this is a great solution for anyone who can’t ride worth a shit.  If you don’t want to feel the trails, could care less about handling, become an even worse climber then a 29er is for you.  Need some help because you suck and get rattled easily?  Get a 29er. Meanwhile my 42 year old ass will be going past your expensive, now standard, bike shop justification.

Some bike shop goons have told me that if I’m really as good as my ego claims on a 26er then a 29er will just make me better.  That riding a 26 looks like I’m riding a kids bike.  Well to me the damn 29ers remind me of a mountain biker bringing a 26er to a BMX track.  Doesn’t quite seem made for the job.  Europeans, most of whom I’ve met and rode with generally seem a little less influenced by marketing, realize the incompatibility and limitations of the 29er feel and handling even with manufacturers working so hard on the geometry.  The 29er is a “rolling ride”.  To shred you must get the front wheel off the ground.  They roll over the roots and 9″ logs.  On my 26 I will clear them with zero interference to my flow and little speed reduction.

For really big guys, like 6′ 3″ and taller, I can see the lure of the 29er.  You might be tall enough to handle a frame size that will equate the geometry and handling to a 26.  At 5′ 10.5″ and 163 lbs. I am certain I do not fall into this category.  I am one of those who struggles with the geometry.

So what about the numerous podium finishes in the US on 29ers and the fact that they are being adopted everywhere on the US circuit?  My theory is that a good rider can train to ride anything for the right contract.  I have no such monetary influence forcing me to struggle to reproduce my working style on clown wheels.

Now the 650b…. hmmmmm.  Here we may be on to something.  As soon as a few more companies than Jamis have them readily available I will see if there is any real benefit to this middle ground.  They are steadily being adopted in Europe where, truth be told, the best, fastest riders in the world still compete.

The full suspension 29er has got to be a joke right?  Very few are going to have the mad skills necessary to keep from killing themselves on the clown wheels on the downhill.  I just have to laugh at the manufacturers for this insult to the market.  Mark this old mans words kids: If you’re riding a full suspension 29er on rolling single track you are the joke.

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Egypt is the center of the secular war.

It is time.  It has begun.  Slowly at first, growing internationally.  Those who do not want to be governed by religion are taking a stand.  Quran, bible it doesn’t matter.  Those in the world who do not want to be ruled by the loosely interpreted moral code of ancient texts are rising up.  Who can blame Egyptians for not wanting to be ruled by The Muslim Brotherhood?  I’m sure they want that as much as many Americans want to be governed by the Souther Baptist Association or any other version of the America Taliban.

Your religion is yours.  Not everyone else’s.  Do not force it upon others.  Do not judge others who do not embrace your religious code.  And NEVER, under any circumstances assume you may govern or pass laws based upon and standards of living dictated by your religious sect.  NC just passed legislation stating that no laws may be introduced to the state based on Sharia law.  Good but not far enough.  Add Christianity and we’ll be on the correct path.

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No, I will not shave my legs.

Definitely not now.  I am being hassled by several people I ride with during the week to “get with it”.  Apparently I will miss the benefits of embrocation.  Until recently I didn’t even know what that is.  It’s muscle warming gel.  Hmmm.   Sounds like glorified Icy Hot.  Here are the main reasons I will not shave my legs to ride a bike:

1. My legs are still skinny.  They must be proportionally stronger than most other riders because I’m laying waste to many guys in their 20′s and 30′s during 18-20 mile FSR rides but they are still skinny.  I’m still having a hard time adjusting to Lycra after a decade without it.  I couldn’t imagine shaving yet.  I’ve actually been told I should shave if for no other reason than “it’s sexy”.  You mean scary?  I have small calves and 40 year old, scared knees.

2. It’s mostly vanity.  Unless you need that extra few seconds in a road race (I don’t ride on the road) then there are absolutely no performance advantages.  If I learn that I could drop a few minutes off 10 miles off road then I might be more receptive.

3. I want to be the underdog.  I want a podium finish to prove fur can blur.  Go ahead.  Size me up.  Look at my skinny, hairy legs and get confident.  Then try to figure out why you are losing sight of my ass while I put a 1/4 mile between us.

It’s easier to get away with unshaven legs at a mountain bike race than a cyclocross race.   There is no where near the level of roadie saturation in MTB.  If I learn that this mysterious “embrocation” holds value during the CX season, September to January, I might consider it.  Of course, that would also be during the months that I wear jeans to work so I can pull it off without shock and awe.

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Want to really rewrite some history?

Edison invented the light bulb.
Marconi invented the radio.
Apple invented the smart phone.

Name three historically documented credits for invention that are completely inaccurate bullshit.

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The Right to Bear Arms

Where in the 2nd amendment does it suggest that the right to bear arms also includes the right to anonymously bear arms?

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North Carolina’s got some highly informed rural voters.

This story below made me chuckle because of the irony. The very reason the GOP holds sway in NC is the rural voters. Look at any 2012 election map you will see the urban areas of NC went overwhelmingly blue.

What rural voters think they did: cast a vote for Jesus, guns, some hollow propaganda about “personal responsibility” and found the check box that didn’t include the name of a black man.

What rural voters really did: cast a vote for a direct funnel of public money to big business better known as corporate welfare. Caught ‘em like a fish! Now these rural areas get to reap the rewards of their well informed voting. No monies for you! Gotta pay for the pet projects of the banksters in Charlotte and developers in Raleigh.


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Excellent post from the CNN comment forums..

This is a quote from the comments section in the article “The Republican Reality Show”. Excellent summation of what the GOP needs to recognize…

I consider myself socially “liberal” and fiscally “conservative”. Maybe I’m a libertarian without the overriding fear and a persecution complex, but since I have been of age to vote, I have only voted Democrat simply because I feel that individual human rights are more important than economic policy.

To be brief, this is what the GOP would need to do to earn my vote:

1) Stop trying to lead the country toward Theocracy. As a form of government, it barely functions when nearly an entire nation is of one religion, it certainly won’t work in a country as diverse as the US.

2) Stop rejecting science. The world is not 6000 years old, the earth is not flat, and the moon is not made of cheese. We need leadership that can move us forward, and you can’t do that without a firm grasp on reality.

3) Approach the budget honestly, admit the defense budget is bloated and propose actual workable solutions. If your selling yourselves as the party of fiscal responsibility, you need to be honest about this one and pay attention to the “responsible” part.

4) Stop using “socialized” as a derogatory term. Some things are better done by a society, many hands make light work after all. Education, infrastructure, health care, and catastrophic insurance are crucial to both society and the economy.

5) Stop using fear to motivate your base, and stop scapegoating minorities. Immigrants, atheists and homosexuals will not be the downfall of the US, it will be ignorance and fear.

6) Put people before capital. If you preach freedom while simultaneously enabling the financial enslavement of the population, it will only end one way.

- noncentric

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