8.26.2012

Day to Cape Cod

First the bad news. My camera doesn't fit inside a jersey pocket neat enough that I wouldn't be afraid of catching air and losing a nice lens. Sadly this means there are no pictures of this adventure. I need to find a better solution for good pictures while biking.

The bike trail today is the Cape Cod Rail Trail, or CCRT. Besides the acronym sounding like either a knife company or dance group (College in a nutshell?), the trail starts inland and takes a good course through the Cape, with just enough hills to whet your adrenaline. My favorite part was at about mile 16, a headwind picked up just before we tackled a gradual hill. The best way to answer a challenge from nature like this is to put on your war smile, take your lead at the front of the pack, and lay down a solid 20mph tempo as your own music.

I did have my phone with me, which thanks to the same roller coaster data espionage software, I was able to map out the route again. Overall, 50 miles on the dime, with a lobster roll on the beach for lunch.

    
The route sends you by a number of 'ponds' which is the archaic name for lakes that I can hardly see the far side of. At one point I thought I was riding along side the ocean, but the only point where that happens is at the end. In my opinion, if the body of water has power boats and waves on it, it's not a pond. Ponds belong in back yards. 

I only fell over once in bike shoes. Declipping one foot then using the other doesn't quite work.

This is also the weekend of Armstrong news. Lance quits his legal fight, while Neil passes away. Although this made NPR news dense, their other programming is the reason why you should shovel money at them. For example, if you can put away 18 minutes, I highly recommend this story from an astrophysicist that meshes a slice of life with the probabilities of the universe.

But one story like that deserves another, also from WSF.

The first story came on after a stop at what I can officially say is my first Dunkin Donuts. I decided that a half century was worthy enough of that. After 10 minutes or so though, I was home, in the middle of the story. For me, there lies the addictiveness of NPR. Not knowing if I would ever be able to find the story again online, I sat in my car and listened to the story until it ended. 


In other news this week, some might know that I'm applying to legally become the best friend you could ever have in a zombie apocalypse, aka Licensed to Carry in MA. The next part of this step is my interview with the chief of police later this week, which I'm excited for (Yeah, maybe education was worth it if I get excited for interviews).

7.23.2012

This week in adventures: Magical Swamp


It's times like this, miles away from places that are familiar, that you stumble across the most colorful and puzzling water. Almost looks like the trees died from green goo.


I'll offer $100 bucks to a person who will jump in this.

7.13.2012

Nigerian CS Majors, you are in danger

Every once and a while I look into my spam folder. Occasionally, something sticks out. Sometimes, that occasional message is hilarious.

Message is below. The distinction between my comments and the original are left to the reader as a rigorous exercise of grammar and voice.

DEAR FRIEND,

I AM MR. HOWARD BENSON A COMPUTER SCIENTIST WITH CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA. I AM 26 YEARS OLD, JUST STARTED WORK WITH C.B.N. I CAME ACROSS YOUR FILE WHICH WAS MARKED X AND YOUR RELEASED DISK PAINTED RED, I TOOK TIME TO STUDY IT AND FOUND OUT THAT YOU HAVE PAID VIRTUALLY ALL FEES AND CERTIFICATE BUT THE FUND HAS NOT BEEN RELEASE TO YOU. THE MOST ANNOYING THING IS THAT THEY CANNOT TELL YOU THE TRUTHS THAT ON NO ACCOUNT WILL THEY EVER RELEASE THE FUND TO YOU; INSTEAD THEY LET YOU SPEND MONEY UNNECESSARILY.

I'm glad to see that the Central Bank of Nigeria employs a healthy number of computer scientists. As many of my friends who are computer scientists have told me, any file marked with an X and painted red deserves the utmost of attention. But I'm glad you took time to study it, and saw that my payment history is flawless. Maybe this is why I have good credit and I can spend money on unnecessary things.

I DO NOT INTEND TO WORK HERE ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE, I CAN RELEASE THIS FUND TO YOU IF YOU CAN CERTIFY ME OF MY SECURITY, AND HOW I CAN RUN AWAY FROM THIS NIGERIA IF I DO THIS, BECAUSE IF I DON'T RUN AWAY FROM THIS COUNTRY AFTER I MADE THE TRANSFER, I WILL BE SERIOUSLY IN TROUBLE AND MY LIFE WILL BE IN DANGER. PLEASE THIS IS LIKE A MAFIA SETTING IN NIGERIA; YOU MAY NOT UNDERSTAND IT BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT A NIGERIAN.

So let me get this straight. This fund that I am unaware of and is in impeccable order, is one that you have transferred, and because of this, you are now in mortal danger? I'm sorry my friend, but it looks like you got yourself into some deep trouble there. Maybe you should stop these meddlings, then you will no longer have to worry about the Nigerian Mafia.

THE ONLY THING I WILL NEED TO RELEASE THIS FUND IS A SPECIAL HARD DISK WE CALL IT (120 GIGS). I WILL BUY TWO OF IT, RECOPY YOUR INFORMATION, DESTROY THE PREVIOUS ONE, AND PUNCH THE COMPUTER TO REFLECT IN YOUR BANK WITHIN 24 BANKING HOURS. UPON CONFIRMATION OF THE HARD DISK I WILL CLEAN UP THE TRACER AND DESTROY YOUR FILE, AFTER WHICH I WILL RUN AWAY FROM NIGERIA TO MEET WITH YOU. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED, DO GET IN TOUCH WITH ME IMMEDIATELY, YOU SHOULD SEND TO ME YOUR CONVENIENT TELL FOR EASY COMMUNICATIONS AND ALSO RE CONFIRM YOUR BANKING DETAILS.

Well, I was rather fond of my hard disk. You see, (120 GIGS) is the name of one of my favorite pet ducks, so much that after he died I named a hard drive after him. But, I do want to see you punch the computer of the Central Bank of Nigeria, so I may be tempted to part with it to ensure our safety. 

CALL ME ON: +234-80-51-77-46-50

REGARDS,
MR. HOWARD BENSON
POSITION: COMPUTER SCIENTIST.

7.08.2012

Bike trip to Sierra Leone?

and the real postings begin...

So I've acquired a new bike that's fast and actually fits me. The plan is to commute as many days as possible to work via bike. On top of that, I want to rack up miles on new bike on weekend trips.

Well, today was the first of hopefully many weekend trips. My goals were to bike to DeCordova Sculpture Museum, then bike through or around Hanscom air force base. DeCordova grants free entry to all bikers, and I've been there before to hear some pretty unique art. I have a feeling they will be a waypoint for many more of my bike trips.


Didn't really stop for more than Gelato though. After that, I discovered where our drinking water comes from. I was very tempted to fill up my bottle and give it a try.


Now, one thing that I played with was trying to log my route using my phone GPS. Thankfully, a sensor logging app that Clinic paid for is on my phone. Boot it up, and it was able to give me a .csv, .m, and .kml file of my route. Might be cool for mapping out places in the future. However, the 'Boot it up' phase can be interesting. 


 Either I recorded the first few data point of rogue GPS data, or I went on a really long bike ride. Man, 5328 miles with hills that go from -18000 feet below sea level to the ocean can be tough. Skimming the ocean for a few thousand miles was fun though. Also, I didn't think I would ever visit Sierra Leone. No wonder I'm tired.

The actual good logged data though shows me biking into the air field. I noticed that there was a bike path labeled on google maps, and wanted to get to it from the west.


Google really needs more distinction between good bike trail, bike friendly road, and no data. At first glance, the map suggests I just have to bike up Hanscom drive, take a right, and then connect to the green segment of Hartwell Ave. No problem, I was biking on Highway 2 earlier, and that was a white no data road. Well, it turns out right about where the really nice bike trails that go nowhere start, there is an air force security gate. Complete with tank traps to stop traffic, and no entry warnings. Not wanting to get my new bike shot, I reluctantly turned around and biked out. 


In other news, I dreadfully* miss the Cheese Cave in Claremont. However, at a quick stop to pick up a bottle of water at a farm stand, I saw this. This is pretty much across from where I work, and that entire top shelf is cheese!


 * The injection of the word dreadfully may be partly due to the fact that I ran out of listen material on my roadtrip, except for one Jane Austin audiobook. Nothing like driving through Ohio rockin the Jane Austin.


7.01.2012

A new start

For those of you that know me, welcome to my blog.

For those of you that don't know, greetings! On this blog you may find accounts of various activities, including philosophical gear and tech musings, parkour events, how much radiation I've eaten at work, photos and dirt on backpacking, and life's little adventures that you might find going 160 kph.

It's not very well known that I had a blog, because as you can see in the archives, I thoroughly and fully neglected this thing through my 4 years in college. But now, you can expect two things. One: A few glimpses into my current life, and two: retroactive posting into my 4 years at Mudd, going through photos and events that make you sit down and grow nostalgic. There are stories that are worth sharing, and a caption on a photo on Facebook doesn't do them justice.

For example, a teaser of the past to come.








6.25.2008

Coming Soon

Posts start on August 9!

EDIT: Pfft... College.