Portable storage issues..

When flash memory “thumb” drives first hit the market, I really didn’t have a use for them. Network accessible mass storage and the limited capacity of the portable devices made them less than relevant. Once they reached 2G in size, quadrupling my network storage, they became a lot more practical. These days I carry a 2G flash drive to shuttle data back and forth from home and work, and I have an 8G at home that I use for quick maintenance file transfers on my home machines. As the capacity increases, I’m finding that I’m relying on these devices more and more which is particularly scary to me since they are so easy to lose track of. Small size, plus the tendency to forget that they are hanging out of a lab computer could be a recipe for disaster. I’ve already started a regimen of backing up my main flash drive weekly, but this still doesn’t account for someone finding your lost drive and absconding with personal data. I’ve lately taken to making the volume label on flash drives my phone number, so at least if lost and then later found, it will be relatively easy for the finder to contact me. I also toyed with the idea of attaching the drive to a retractable keychain, but that seems a bit much.

Anyone have other ideas for keeping track of flash drives?

Roast Burger? ..more like Gross Burger.

I’ve not posted any fast food in a while, so I guess it’s time.

Arby’s Roast Burgers have been available for a while, and once I realized that they were just roast beef sandwiches with “seasonings” added and dressed like a burger, I decided that I didn’t want one. As is usually the case, the temptation of saving a few buck lured me in – the Arby’s e-mail list sent out another round of “Free Roast Burger with the purchase of any drink” coupons.

To be concise, the Roast Burger was awful. The particular variety I had was the BBQ Bacon Cheddar. It’s possible that some part of it was good, but there’s no way I would have known because the BBQ sauce was kind of gross and overpowered everything else on the sandwich with the exception of the occasional stale tasting fried onion things on top. Now that I think about it, the BBQ was so overwhelming that I can’t even remember eating the bacon on the sandwich. I couldn’t really detect the “seasoning” at all, so I can’t comment there, but I think it’s safe to say this sandwich should be skipped. Regular roast beef sandwiches are way better.

The flatland bike project..

So for the past couple of months I’ve really been spending a lot of time on bicycle related projects. I pseduo-restored my childhood bike, an ~1985 mongoose expert, and I’ve also been piecing together a flatland bike.

I started with a 1999 Dyno Slammer frame and fork that I bought from another local BMX enthusiast. I was pretty into it because it’s got the “pac-man” dropouts which both protect and align the pegs. This should save me from bent axles. I also liked the amount of foot clearance behind the front tire.

From there I went in search of some inexpensive, used three piece cranks. I ended up getting a deal on some profile SS cranks. They came a little beat, but with a sealed bottom bracket, 3 DC990 brakes and a pair of Dia-compe tech-77 levers which I’d also been on the lookout for. The downside is that I didn’t realize that the SS cranks had an oddball size spindle, which turned out to be kind of a pain. They are the only cranks with a 7/8″ spindle, so I ended up having to machine out my sprocket and spacers..

I went crazy on www.flatlandluel.com and got a St Martin 26T sprocket, Odyssey Bar Mitzvah bars, a KHE Geisha/Sun Big City Lite rear wheel, clear Odyssey brake pads and red Twisted PC pedals. I grabbed a new Gyro GTX off of ebay, and got a pair of old school Odyssey Bermuda tires and 4 of the aluminum GT pegs that go with the special dropouts from www.bmxmuseum.com. A stem, seat, headset, front wheel and cables came from a donor 2000 Dyno Compe from Craigslist.

The parts I’m still waiting on include Odyssey Griswald grips
that match the pedals, a 27.0mm seatpost, headset cap and a chain.

The super cheap closeout prices at flatlandfuel have been really helpful in putting this project together, as was all the help and scores I’ve gotten at the BMX museum, and as usual, the help from Old Skool Cycles in Lafayette. I’ve been learning a lot about “newer” BMX technology from this project (even though it’s probably considered “mid-school” by most) and I’ve especially come to have a great appreciation for the Odyssey company for the amount of really cool/useful products they are making, and the research and development methods they employ in doing so. Back in the day, they just made Gyros and goofy looking brakes, but with offerings like Evolver brakes, Twombolt cranks and their 41 thermal steel treating process, they really seem at the front of the pack.

With any luck I’ll have this project wrapped up within a week. Perhaps some time riding it will make me forget about the crazy idea I have to build some Odyssey 7k-a/g-sport homer wheels.


The general use of Twitter has always been kind of nebulous, and sometimes even confusing. It certainly is a weird phenomenon. I personally use it as a mini-blog and a web link manager, but I’ve added a new function to it lately. It seems more applications, whether mobile or not, offer integration with twitter and/or facebook. I’m personally using such features with MapMyRide.com and Yelp.com. Yelp tweets to my account with a web link whenever I post a new review, and Map My Ride tweets whenever I submit a ride. The information that each of these apps is posting is pretty trivial, but I’ve been ruminating over whether these things are more or less relevant than my usual status updates like “i’m hungry”, “studying”, “going to see a movie”, etc. Also, posting such information also kind of changes the functional idea of twitter for me. With this integration, it seems to me more like a stream of whats actually going on in my life.

Either way, it’s an interesting concept, and I’m anxious to see what other apps add Twitter integration in the near future.