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Drivers: Treat cyclists like cars and we'll all get along fine...

I ride my bike around Fort Collins, CO a lot. Collins is nice, it's a college town, so by default it's peppered with cyclists. Lately, it seems like cycling is on the rise, and it's becoming cool to have a single speed fixie and dress like a bike messenger.

My problem with Fort Collins drivers is not the usual one of rudeness, it's one of politeness.. When I show up to a busy 4 way stop that's moving smoothly with everyone taking their turn.. and a motorist (who was there first) tries to wave me through, I get seriously angry. This waving exchange takes a good 5 seconds or so, whereas if they would have just treated me like a car and acted normally, traffic would have kept flowing.

Yeah, it sounds like a silly thing to be angry about, but think about it this way. Dumb motorist sits there waving at me.. I do what they say but the one across from them (who thinks it's their turn) doesn't see any of this. That results in me riding to the center of the intersection and getting hit.

The rules of the road are extremely well thought out. There are very few instances where you need to trust a motorist to not do stupid things, you only have to trust that they too understand the rules. If you throw those rules out for cyclists, we are suddenly put at risk because we have to trust that the rules this one polite idiot just made up won't kill us.

This morning I was crossing a busy 4 lane road, The first two were clear, and the second two had one lone truck, followed (at a bit of a distance) by a huge pack of cars.

20 minutes of exercise a day for 2 years

So as I mentioned in my previous post, I've been doing this thing where I exercise in some fashion for no less than 20 minutes every day. I hit 2 years over a week ago, and it was more or less a non-event. The 20 minutes thing has gone from something i'm 'doing' to just something I do. It's habit. I think about it every day, and I just do it.

Why I love the Thinkpad #37

I needed to take apart a my precious Thinkpad today. (The poor thing is getting on in years, and I needed to swap out its CPU fan.) It struck me as I was taking it apart. (something I've done many times) I don't know of any other puter manufacturer that makes it this easy on you. This is a primary reason I love the Thinkpad. It's like the Jeep of computers. Simple, easy to service, uses basic, standard parts and screws.

Fix Site design horribleness with the stylish plugin

Celeste mentioned to me that a bunch of the design blogs she reads have switched to a grey font on a white background... which is.. frigging stupid and hard to read.

The neurotic problem solver that I am, I told her about Stylish, a Firefox Plugin that lets you easily write user style sheets on the fly before content loads in your browser.

You can fix pretty much any display annoyance with application of stylesheet rules these days. The only obvious drawback to this plan is that most people don't know CSS or how to wield it. That, I can't really help you with. I'm just planning on illustrating the power here. ; )

The target:
http://www.mstetsondesign.blogspot.com/

notice the grey text on a white background. Yeah.. you'll be upgrading your glasses prescription in no time.

A Great GTD kit for $1.44

I read a lot of Lifehacker and other organizational blogs. The trend these days is GTD. Basically, you keep and manage lists and ideas on a series of cards, in folders, whatever. This is my implementation of that. (this has also been called a Hipster PDA as well.)

What I use are Mead Ringdex cards..

What's a Link? What's a URL?

I've been helping my mother set up a website for the business she started recently. I gave here a straightforward drupal setup, with TinyMCE for some WYSIWYG HTML authoring.

That's obviously not enough though. If she's going to make her own content, she needs to at least understand the basics. Here's an email I sent her on the topic of why the content she created isn't available anywhere, while some of it is. (there are no links to it.)

Maybe it'll help someone else as well.

If you can't open it, you don't own it... Apple closed it.

Apple finally cracked down on iphone hackers. So today's the day I feel justified in not buying one yet. They've released a fantastically powerful tool and hobbled it to be nothing more than a shiny toy.

As consumers we need to demand access to the software of systems we buy. Software being in the hands of everyone to modify is what gives it great power.

FrankenToys For Pets

I made a flickr group for my more interesting pet toys. Our dog chews through toys faster than we can buy them, so I've been reworking them with needle and thread whenever possible.

Craftzine took an interest. Yay!

The Flickr group can be found here.

Put the date on your blog entries!

I don't know how many times lately I've been googling for info and found an article that describes what I need for some obscure CSS or javascript trick, or even server side programming language only to find that it's completely obsolete.

I dig through the whole thing then realize that it was obviously written in 1997 and is completely irrelevant. Put a date on your articles people! Tech is constantly in flux and your tips and tricks rot in obsolescence... I'm tired of googling articles about php 3, or javascript for Netscape navigator 4!

File Faster, Pull Icons Off of Your Bills

I was reorganizing my file cabinet recently (after neglecting the project for many years and building up a severe organizational deficit.) I was getting all fired up and ready for making a word template for the folder tabs I would need, when laziness (and therefore invention) struck.

Why not just cut the cool colorful letter head off of one of the bills in each folder and slap that on there? I don't really care to define that 'comcast = cable bill' I know that.. I just want to come up with a tab that tells me what's in there.

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