Sunday, November 28, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
If you have a cell phone and find yourself texting often, you may have picked up on the phone’s special typing mode called “T9 Predictive Text”, where you basically hit each key once for each letter and it will automatically figure out what word you are trying to spell. It is also convenient in the fact that if a word that you are trying to spell isn’t found in the dictionary, you can switch to regular text input and type it in yourself, and it will automatically be added to the T9 word database.
However, this benefit is a double-edged sword. If you enter a mistyped word by mistake, or even if you type in some number by mistake, phones often set that number combination as the first entry in your T9 dictionary, and so it shows up every time you try to type anything with that key combination. Examples of this include having “86″ showing up instead of “to” or “47″ for “is”. This can become extremely annoying as you have to scroll through the other options to switch the word to the right one, as it can confuse your receiving party tremendously. You may have tried to find a way to delete your custom T9 dictionary, or even to edit the words found in it, but 99.9% of phones out there on the market today have no such capability. However, if you have this problem, there is a solution that works for ALL phones (even though it can be very tedious). Keep reading for the guide.
- Create a new blank text message with your phone, and switch to regular text input.
- Type in the word you want as it should appear, and then press the space button.
- Switch back to T9, and type in the word again; press the Next button until the correct word shows up. DO NOT PRESS SPACE AFTER TYPING IT IN VIA T9 UNLESS THE CORRECT WORD IS SHOWING.
- Once the right word is there, press space and do it again.
- Repeat typing the word over and over and hitting “next” until the right word shows up first. This can take a very long time, depending on how many times you’ve misused it. (It personally took me 342 times to fix “86″ to “to”.) It can all be done in one text message, and the text can just be discarded (and not sent) when completed.
- Type the word a few more times after it is correct just so that it sticks a little more.
What’s happening is that the phone remembers how many times you’ve used each word, and it puts the most frequently used words at the top of the “next” T9 predictive text list. By typing the corrected word over and over, you are moving it up in the list, and eventually above the erroneous word. You may be wondering why the wrong word got pushed up so high in the list in the first place, when you can only remember typing it once; that’s because T9 automatically puts new words that don’t exist in its dictionary automatically to the top, and once it is at the top, you probably mistyped it once, and then it just snowballed from there. You can’t actually delete any words from the T9 dictionary, but this is the only way to fix the problem on almost all the phones.
Rear Derailleur went into the spokes a few weeks ago.
Take a look at the old derailleur and the removed twisted link.
Wrong. Let's bend her back to normal. Heat her up first.
Not too shabby. I like the burned-paint look.
Good as new! Shifting perfect again;-)
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I've fallen back in love with my ex. She's always willing to ride. She likes to be ridden hard or easy, fast or slow . She loves going down. She's squishy in the front and hard in the rear. She doesn't care if I ride others and holds no grudge when I come back to ride her. She's my 1994 Specialized S Works and she's not a 29er!
Met up with XX, Trevor, Timmy, MC, and W at Landing at 6:45. KR caught up in Belmont via Nacho. Sans lights thanks to Daylight Savings' fall back. All on gears except XX and W.
Renegade, Nacho, RBB ^v^, Ridge, VV, Swimming Prohibitted, Vineyard, CCBC, Santee, Sawmill, we split into 2 groups down Buzzard's Rock of our choice, Gristmill (exit W and KR), Swinging Bridge, Cascade, Lewis and Clark, Morning Choice, Log.
- I was the one everybody was waiting for at the tops of the climbs
- Too many deer to count. Bucks, does, even a bearded Bambi's dad buck.
- Sweet conditions. Fast and dry with flattened leaf cover
- Many extra credit opportunities
- A crazy nose wheelie recovery for me after landing a jump too fast down Buzzards. Too bad no one saw it;-(
- Rejuvinated love for the old 26er hard tail;-)
Friday, November 12, 2010
Temp was 31 when I rolled out. Met up with CBC and YDT at Landing at
6. They were both rigid SS. I broke out the bike I shoulda rode at
Swank, my 1994 Specialized S Works hardtail. She always forgives me
for letting her collect dust and gives me a great ride. Every time I
ride that bike it's like visiting an old friend. Thinking of getting
her a Mary bar, though.
Clockwise loop with Nachos at the end. Frosty in the farm field,
friends. Good ride, good conversation, good friends. Snoop tearing
it up as usual.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Blue Ridge Adventures puts on 3 epic MTB races per yer: Off Road Assault on Mt Mitchell (ORAMM) --I did it in 2009, Pisgah Stage Race -- 4 day hardcore pro level race, and Swank 65.
The 12th annual Swank 65 was Nov 7, 2010 and I was there. The first Swank was 65 miles with more fire road. Over the years it has evolved into a ~40 mile race that includes lotsa schweet singletrack and one of the most insane trails I've ever rode, Farlow Gap. From their site:
The Swank 65 Mountain Bike Journey is mountain bike racing at its most primeval, far removed from civilization and polluted air. The race begins at 2500 feet, and consists of a triad of cloverleaf shaped loops winding around Gloucester Gap in Pisgah National Forest. Rolling over rugged mining roads, fun single track, tough climbs and hell-raising descents, the exhilarating course will test your skills and desire as you explore the devilish terrain of the Pisgah National Forest.
Sample some of Pisgah's best trails in this great season closer - including the famed Farlow Gap!
The kids had off of school on Friday for some teacher developement blah-blah-blah day, so we packed up the minivan and headed to Asheville on Thursday after work. Snow was falling on the TN/NC line on our way. Arrived at NC Dave and Kathy's house around 2AM and crashed. Dave and Kathy moved from MD to NC about 5 years ago and the Blandfords make at least 2 annual pilgrammages to visit. Pisgah mountain biking is always on the visit agenda. This visit was more special because Dave turns 40 this week.
I had a cold on Thursday and Friday so I bailed early on the lake side campfire debauchery on Friday night. A pseudo-birthday gathering for Dave with craft beer and like minded moutain biking buddies. Earlier that evening Jen and I took a race pace spin around Enka Lake to test out the bike setup. I was playing games and bumping into her rear tire and went down--luckily I landed and rolled in nice soft grass.
Saturday my cold symptoms subsided as we packed up the car for Sunday race day and night-after camping party-scene. I racked the Surly 659er rigid with 32X20 and Dave went with SS too, a Jabberwocky/Reba 29er with 32X21.
MUNI (Mt Unicycle) Ben and Diane came over for dinner and we watched How to Train Your Dragon with the kids;-) After getting the kids to bed the grown-ups watched a documentary on the Great Divide Race which NC's own, Matt Lee, has won many times over. Movie seemed apropos the night before a big race, but has double meaning in this blog entry....read on.
OK, OK! Here's the 411 on the race already!
On Sunday morning we woke to freezing temps and drove to the Cove Creek Campground, site of the race start-finish-party. Three of Dave's buddies were there already: Jamie, Rob, and Bill. Scene was friendly as ~140 riders donned their gear and readied their rigs. I rode in the most mismatched kit out there. Orange long sleeve jersey with AFC white/red-dot jersey on top. MTB baggy shorts and XL arm warmers on my calves and thighs --- I had to safety pin them to my shorts to keep them from sliding down;-) Grey wool socks, black cap and helmet, and full finger gloves.
It was 35 degrees or so when the starting gun went off at 10 am. A Lemans start took us in a loop around the campground twice, once running and once riding, before we entered the single track Cove Creek climb. I was skipping Extreme Gene style for about 1/3 of the Lemans start--I wonder if it'll show up on Youtube.
Dave and Rob and I rode together with the pack up Cove Creek trail. The Lemans start was just enough to prevent bottle necking but Dave and I on singlespeeds had to look for opportunities to pass a few granny spinners at a time to keep moving up the hill. I, of course, forgot to start my GPS until mile 1.3, d'oh! A nice descent down rocky rooty Daniel Ridge trail followed. Dave and Rob blew me away on the downhill--man, a little front suspension woulda been nice. A few riders passed me through here. Then the trail opened up and 20+ mph overgrown fireroad singletrack led us into rest stop 1 where Dave was waiting for me. I nearly bought the farm in a rut on that fireroad but was able to keep control as I had no choice but to drop in and ride it out. I felt like a squirrel that doesn't want to run in front of the car but has no choice in the matter.
At mile 8 rest stop one I removed some layers. Temps rose into the 50s over the course of the day...weather was perfect! Off came the cap, the arm/leg warmers, and the thin full finger gloves. My hands felt like lobster claws on the way down Daniel Ridge so I was looking forward to the half finger gloves with some padding. I also resolved to drop my front tire pressure front 35 to 30 at the top of the next climb.
We then climbed to Butter Gap and caught up with Dave's buddy Bill. Bill is a DH racer and was riding his 38lb 8" rear 7" front Santa Cruz downhill bike -- I learned later why this bike was a perfect choice for Swank. Butter Gap was funnnn! Fast windy downhill with a few technical log and rock armored creek crossings to mix things up. I was able to pass a few riders on Butter;-) As the trail started to go back uphill I felt a cramp in each quad waiting to come out, but I rode through it.
Next came Long Branch trail a steep clay chute full of rocks and ruts and flanked with rhododendrons. I hammered outta the saddle through about 1/5 of this climb before starting the ride's first hike a bike section. Now I wished that I had gears because a few people were cleaning this section just fine. Mile 18 rest stop two was time for Heed refills, Enduralytes, and a full PBJ for me. Yummiest PBJ I ever had. Dave was cracking Spanish Beef Jerky jokes, hahaha!
A brutal fireroad climb to Farlow gap is next. With a granny gear I woulda been riding and happy, but being outta shape and on a single speed I was miserable. I had to walk most of it. Dave and Bill pressed on while I suffered. At around mile 19 my left quad cramped up so bad I had to stop for a couple minutes. I drank a whole bottle of Heed and that seemed to help. At the top of the hellish fireroad was a doubletrack rocky trailhead, just as steep as the fireroad for about a mile before the craziest downhill I've ever seen in a race, Farlow Gap.
This trail is like Pigs Run for 2 miles. You lose 1000 feet of elevation in 1 mile. I can normally hang pretty tight on the steeps on my rigid SS, but this trail was just too gnarly for me to clean. Bill on his Santa Cruz was obviously loving life through here. For me a bike with some front squish and 26" tires woulda been real nice through here. A group of drunken hecklers with horns and cowbells made fun of us for clipping out in one of the gnarliest sections too. First time I've been to a race that the cheerers make fun of you;-) Here's a video that doesn't do the steepness justice but gives you the idea of what Farlow is like at the first section near the top. Farlow continues with more big drops, steep switchbacks, giant boulder trials creek crossings, and impossible steps...oh and did I mention that everything was strewn with moist loamy leaf debris? Love it!
I DID NOT SHOOT THIS VIDEO. I CLEANED UP TO ABOUT 1:35 OR SO. THEN I CLIPPED BACK IN FROM ABOUT 1:42 TO 1:53 AND WALKED THE REST.
Farlow Gap turns back uphill for a 0.4 mph hike a bike section (at least that's what my GPS read when I was trying to decide where I was going to plant each next step up this mountain goat climb). Shared a couple Enduralytes with the guy on my wheel through here. Kept asking if he wanted to pass as things turn back downhill but he kept saying he'd just cramp up. After Farlow Gap is over you get to ride downhill on the other side of Daniel Ridge. Still quite gnarly but mostly ridable. I was loving this part but still wishing I had front squish immensely. Enduralyte guy passed me near the bottom. Rest stop three and another PBJ came next.
Davidson River trail is a fast, shady, and cold 25+ coast down a gravel thread on a grassy fireroad. And lastly a gradual fireroad climb that I could thankfully ride the whole way after a caffeinated HammerGel boost to the top of the Cove Creek trail and back to camp. After passing a group of 6 and a guy on a blue Specialized up the fireroad I didn't see a soul till a guy with a flat around mile 37--bummer;-(
Pulled back into camp with 6:03:36 on the race timer to be greeted by family and friends. Jen was sick back at the house with a 24hr stomach bug, so Kathy schlepped 6 kids up to the site to see us finish and pitched our tent;-) Thanks, Kath!
A change of clothes and some grilled hamburgers and New Belgian on tap finished the day. Darkness came early since clocks moved back on Sunday and the parking area thinned out and left 13 of us that decided to camp overnight. Shared campfire with none other than Great Divide Race winner, Matt Lee. He came in 9th place. Jamie came in 19th one place behind the first place woman so he's gonna uber-train in 2011;-) Rob, Bill, and Dave finished in that order ahead of me. Dave is loving that he beat me by 31 minutes;-P I ended up 97th out of 137 finishers.
We cheered as the last 2 riders came in with 8:13 on the clock and a girl with headlamp leading a lightless rider in the new moon pitch dark. Man, was it starry out there! Milky Way, satellites, meteors all over. Campfire wound down around 11 after psycho-pyro-chick emptied the last of the charcoal lighter fluid on the fire. Woke at dawn for coffee and packed up. Chatted with race promoter Todd and complimented him. Breakfast on the way home at the diner for Dave, Bill, Jamie, Rob and I before we parted ways. Home in Elkridge for dinner and kids to bed;-)
Now having said all that, here's the race report in 10 words or less: SHOULDA RODE MY 26 INCH GEARED HARDTAIL!!! COOL T-SHIRT TOO!!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
From woot.com today:
Shakedown Behind Toilet Avenue
“You must be mistaken, Officer. I don’t hear any dripping.” Her voice was like warm water. It set off my detector right away.
Two AM. A quiet night. Me and my partner were talking about the World Series. He said it was a fix, I said otherwise. You get right down to it, neither of us really cared. We were just killing time. Hoping nothing happened until morning. After a while we got quiet. My partner cleared his throat. I was gonna suggest coffee until- there it was. The feeling.
Maybe it’s not something you can explain to a regular guy. But after you’ve been a LeakFrog long enough, it’s like there’s some kinda detector inside of you, just waiting to go off. Maybe it wasn’t a big one yet, but it was a leak, a leak for sure. I took a glance at my partner. He’d been the other half of my two pack for a year now and he gave me the nod. He felt it. Somewhere, somewhere close by, there was a leak. And if we didn’t move in, it could grow bigger. There could be costly property damage or mold. I flipped on the siren. He grabbed three standard-issue AAA batteries. They were included. For each of us.
We found the house in no time. It was a nice place. Old, but in a good way. I thought it was full of class. My partner said it made him think of The Munsters. I told him to shut it but I didn’t mind. That was just his way. Always smiling. Me, I smiled too, smiled real good. But after a while people noticed my smile was painted on. Noticed that maybe my smile was just something I did to keep the world away.
It was my first night, at a house just like this. I saw some pretty blonde at the door. Felt my heart race. Let her talk me out of reporting the 1/32 of an inch of water I knew was there. 1/32 of an inch, I said to myself. What harm could come from 1/32 of an inch? But that night, I had a dream. And in the dream, I saw Frederick Barbarossa standing at a river in full armor. A 1/32 inch river. And then, he fell face down. And that was the end of Frederick Barbarossa. And that was the end of my dream.
Since then, I don’t sleep so much. And I never once have let a leak go uncommented on. A LeakFrog like me has to be the line between “dry” and “wet.” If I don’t stand up and say “No more!” then who will? Who will?
My partner rang the bell. When she opened the door I knew her right away. The woman, the one from all those years ago. I could see in her eyes that she didn’t know who I was. But I’d never forget her face.
“Oh, it’s just a little water,” she cooed. “Can’t we work this out?” My partner was buying it. I could see him thinking it over. I couldn’t really blame him, once I’d done the same thing. But not now. Now I had experience. Now I knew that being a LeakFrog was an honor… and a sacred trust.
“Forget it, lady!” I yelled. “You’re going up the river! And then I’ll keep yelling until that river’s cleaned up! For good! Call it in, partner!”
My partner nodded and set off our alarm. I looked back at the woman. Her eyes were like a flowing river, she wanted to carve me open like the Grand Canyon. “Don’t you know, ma’am?” I said as I took out the cuffs. “You can’t get anything past me and my partner. We’re a two pack of LeakFrogs. And you’re under arrest.”
My partner kept an eye on her until the towels arrived and the boys from downtown got to work. They said it was over now, and maybe it was. But I kept on pointing out that leak until every last drop was gone. I couldn’t stop whatever force made water so abundant in this world. But if it got loose, it wasn’t gonna go unnoticed. Not in my city. Not on my watch.
Two thirty-eight. A quiet night. Me and my partner drinking coffee. He’s got a grilled cheese. I got a turkey surprise. And the city’s floors are dry. Just like they should be. Just like they should be.
Warranty: 1 Year Ideative
- LeakFrog is a water alarm that warns you of the first sign of a leak to prevent water and mold damage
- Simply place LeakFrog in the areas where leaks or water over-flow might occur (hot water heaters, toilets, dishwashers, refrigerators, sinks, A/C drip pans, washing machines, bathtubs, wet bars, hot tubs, etc.)
- When water starts to puddle, even if it’s only 1/32 inch of water, LeakFrog sets off its alarm to alert you
- If no one is home, the alarm will continue to sound for hours (days with a fresh battery)
- Works best on floors of wood, tile, metal or concrete
- No installation is required
- Requires (3) AAA batteries, included
In the box:
- (2) Ideative LeakFrog Water Leak Alarms
- (6) AAA Batteries
- (2) Care and Use Instructions