Friday, December 25, 2009


This year's JingEling comes in four parts:

Merry Christmas!  Be sure to leave Ryan & Bethany lots of messages if you like it.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Biking! Statistics!

View Arlington Triangle in a larger map

Statistics are here.

Elevation Profile
I used my GPS while biking finally, and used it to create a Google Map and record all kinds of information about a ride around the Arlington Triangle. I also used GPS Visualizer to create the nifty profile view.
So I'm clearly not very fast out there; I averaged about 15 mph even disregarding stops for crossings. My friend Chris averaged 18.3 mph while doing the 112 mile bike portion of Ironman Louisville this past weekend. Humbling. Still, extremely neat to have the data - statistics help you quantify just how much fun you're having.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Winning Streak

I was relaxing this evening after my online submersible design class by watching video from a large aquarium in Okinawa (follow the link in my shared items on the right to see it yourself, or look up Okinawa Chiraumi on YouTube).  As I watched, I thought to myself I've had a very good couple of months, though I haven't written about it at all.

My class has been going really well, and I'm learning about the exact thing that got me into naval architecture in the first place.  Every weekend for the past two months has been outstanding in one way or another - good bike rides, excellent sailing on the Bay on Sarah & Paul's boat.  Matt has completed the custom CVT bike (follow the link to re-turn on the right) and I'll get to ride it in a week or so when I'm up in Maine.  My broken refrigerator got replaced, and the weather hasn't been too hot, and I've had some excellent evenings out at the Army Navy Club, Poblano, the Dairy Godmother, etc.  I finished reading Anathem, North to the Orient and am now reading Joan of Arc: By Herself and Her Witnesses and they've all been great.  I finally watched High Noon this past Sunday, and I feel like I could skip every other western ever made because it was just perfect.

The best part may be that the outlook continues to be good.  My project for class is coming together nicely.  Sarah passed the PE, so Study Group may reconvene as she studies for acquisition courses as Jane and I tackle Advanced Aero/Hydrodynamics.  There is preliminary planning for a long sailing voyage on the Bay - basically a Tour de Tiki Bars.  I get to see the whole family up in Maine, and I got permission to prune the overgrown hedge in front of my house. Soon my friend Tyson will have arrived with his family to assume his new billet, and Steph & Aaron will follow soon after.  Everything is coming up Dan.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The End of Thinking

Where was this  when I was in school?  It will take derivatives, including showing you all the steps so you can show "your" work.  So much potential, and probably the geekiest way to waste time on the internet short of posting on comic book message boards.  "Who would win in a fight, Spider-man or Boba Fett?"  Maybe Alpha can answer that question...

UPDATE: Seriously, check this thing out.  Watch the overview screencast - it is breathtaking how much data is already in place.


Friday was Bike to Work Day, and with only a little bit of trickery I managed to take part for the first time.

I used to ride to work almost every day, when I worked at our DC office.  The company has a small exercise space and locker rooms there, and the garage has a bike rack.  Ironically, my current home office in Alexandria is built on top of a very large gym, which is just finishing a long refurbishing.  Too bad it ain't free, or I'd bike to work there, too.

So I haven't ridden to work since I left the assignment in Southeast DC.  Sarah is working at that office now, and she mentioned that she was thinking about trying biking to work, and asked for pointers.  That was pretty much all the excuse I needed.  Since we are working on the same project, I knew I could "hot desk" for a day at that office without much trouble.

I got up a little early so I could ride to Paul & Sarah's to meet up.  The ride in went really well - I know every inch of that route along Four Mile Run and up the Mount Vernon Trail.  We went to the WABA pit stop at National's Park.  Bagels, bananas, swag.  We didn't stick around long - who knows, we may have missed our names being pulled for the raffle.  We did see some Coasties we knew, who told us there was a CG-only pit stop at HQ - apparently the Commandant is an avid cyclist.  They were quiet adorable with their new baby and their matching USCG jerseys.  Pretty sweet.

The weather held, though it was a little sticky on the ride home in the afternoon.  I had forgotten how much I enjoyed riding to work - it feels like I'm getting away with something.  And I enjoyed riding with someone, since I almost always do solo rides.  I was very impressed with Sarah - she was flying right along even though she was riding a much heavier mountain bike.  I was also sorry I didn't get to see Jane  in action - it sounds like she did extremely well, especially considering 1) it was her first bike commute, and 2) she hadn't been on most of those trails before.  So kudos to both of my new fellow bike commuters, I hope they both keep riding.  And this may have convinced me to get the cheapest possible membership for the gym at work, just so I could start back up myself.

Yard of Mysteries

Odd appearances, strange comings and goings in my yard recently.

FIRST - The Metal Detective.  Last weekend, a man I did not know came to my side door (not the front), knocking as I was getting ready to go for a bike ride.  He explained he had spoken with my landlord about sweeping the lawn to look for... treasure, I suppose.  I explained that I had no problem with it, provided he didn't dig any especially large holes.  He's reappeared a few times, sweeping various sections of the yard.  He said he was hoping to find silver coins, since the property is pretty old for the area.  I don't think he's found anything.

SECOND - Beach Ball.  A cheap plastic beach ball, inflated, showed up in my fenced yard.  Not odd in of itself, but I couldn't figure how it got there.  The fence would keep most things out, and if someone threw it in, why wouldn't they come and get it back?  It probably blew in on a windy day; admittedly a minor mystery.

THIRD - Chutes & Ladders.  I'm impressed I even noticed this one, at first.  As I drove past the side yard on my way to back into the garage, I noticed an extension ladder, lying partially hidden alongside the house.  There's been a house going up down the street, and some painting crews working nearby.  But I could't figure for the life of me why anyone would just drop a ladder in my yard.  I figured the landlord had contracted for some work on the house.  Further evidence supports this theory - there are now paint chips in the yard, and the trim in those areas looks like it has been repainted.

For all the time I've been here, I've never known anyone to come into the yard.  Now in the space of a few weeks it is starting to seem like a public park.  Maybe I can get the city to mow the grass for me...

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Rolling like a droog...

...with my clockwork orange.  Windsor Clockwork, in orange, to be exact.  I've ordered the parts for Matt to begin construction up in Vermont of a Continuously Variable Planetary transmission version of the bike.  I think it will be an extraordinarily cool bike once he is done - nice road frame with no fixed gears.  I may have to swap out the tires, though - it comes with a road set, and I'd like to get it with some hybrid-style tires.  I'm not sure the really knobby cyclocross tires are what I'm looking for, or that they would even fit.  I just need something a little tougher, with a little bit of tread, that can handle the C&O Canal towpath and the gravel stretches of the Capital Crescent trail.

Regardless, I'm very excited about this project.  I hope Matt will be capturing the construction progress, or at least commenting on it, on his site  The last thing to figure out now is how to get the finished bike from Vermont to Virginia.