Archive of May 2006

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Tankless Water Heater

This past Saturday I walked down stairs to the basement to find my water heater leaking.  Fortuantely it wasn't a major blow out, but over the next couple of days it was slowly increasing in its output.  So this was an issue that needed to be dealt with sooner rather than later…

A couple of months ago Mary Lou and I talked to a guy at the Buffalo home show about tankless water heaters as we liked the idea of endless hot water.  We also liked the idea of moving to the "state of the art" in this exciting technology.  :)  The only tankless systems I had ever seen were smaller point of use units, but a while back I had heard that you could now get whole house units.  So at the show we did find that they were available and learned a bit about them.  This proved to be worth the time as we had to contemplate whether to switch to tankless or buy another standard tank unit.  It really comes down to cost versus life expectancy.  A tankless unit is 2-3 times the cost, but lasts 20-30 years where a standard tank only lasts 10-15 years.  (My tank heater was 12 years old so that seems about right.)  So in the end we opted to take the plunge and go with a Takagi T-K2 Tankless Water Heater.  And as a bonus we will get a $300 energy tax credit.  Only time will tell the wisdom of this choice…
May 31, 2006 @ 01:17 am | Category:

PolarLava CycleLog V2.2.1

After much annoyance over it, I've take the hour or so required to add the bike description to the default ride information display.  So a quick jaunt over to the latest ride page should illustrate the point.  Eventually there will be a bike page and then a bike maintenance record.  But those aren't likely to happen anytime soon.

Also while adding this feature I found and fixed a bug in the search page.  If you enter a complete "Start Date" (month/day/year) and there is only one ride for that day (as is the case for most days), it should take you directly to that ride.  But there was a bug in the search page logic which would then result in an unbounded search.  This would result in the multiple results found page with all rides in the database listed as matches.  Oops!  This was due to the date being assigned (single equals) instead of evaluated (double equals) in a conditional check.  But it's all better now.  Really…you can try it here.

And this morning's ride exposed another problem…when you enter zero hours for your sleep time, it wouldn't show because heck, who would ride after being up all night?  Me apparently!  This is now fixed as you can see.  :)
May 31, 2006 @ 12:30 am | Category:
Monday, May 29, 2006

Boulder Beer Planet Porter

Boulder Beer Planet Porter
May 29, 2006 @ 09:16 am | Category:


When I originally bought my Trek 2120 it came with Trek ISO 3K 700x25 tires on it.  That was more surface contact than I wanted or needed for the type of riding that I do.  It's pretty basic physics that a larger contact area means more rolling resistance.  Thus when I wore out those original tires I opted to switch to the much narrower profile Vittoria TechoTwin Tread 700x20 tires.  This was a huge improvement, but in hindsight probably less of a function of their width, but rather their lower weight.  If you don't cycle you likely don't understand what a huge difference lightweight tires make.

I've ridden on 700x20 tires ever since.  But after numerous pinch flats, a torn sidewall and my increasingly aching old body, I decided it was time to try something different.  I had also read that on rough roads —which is the rule rather than the exception in Western New York, wider tires provide more consistent road contact and in turn will increase your speed.  Thus the decision was made that when it came time for new tires, I would switch to a 700x23 tire.  So a couple of weeks ago I took my first ride on my new 700x23 Vittoria Rubino Pro tires.  And I'm now quite happy that I made the switch.  I haven't noticed a decrease in my performance and the ride comfort is definately much better.  The numerous moderate sized holes I encounter are now glided over and some of the larger bone jarring thuds are now merely annoying bumps.  I can now only wonder why I didn't make this switch sooner.  :)
May 29, 2006 @ 08:52 am | Category:
Saturday, May 20, 2006

Model Cruise Ship

It's been a long time since I've posted a "Way Too Much Time!" entry, but this definately qualified…

Meet Fran├žois Zanella and his scale model of the Majesty of the Seas.  Actually this is pretty amazing, but I have no idea why one would do this.
May 20, 2006 @ 07:45 am | Category:
Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I like the Dixie Chicks

Anyone that knows me knows I'm not a big country music fan.  With one exception being Johnny Cash who's the best.  And I don't really care for the Dixie Chicks music, although being a red-blooded male, my eyes could gaze upon far worse sights.  :)

No, I'm talking about seeing them (mostly Natalie Maines their lead singer) on I believe it was 60 Minutes Sunday evening.  I'm sure most all of you aware of the blow back in 2003 just before we invaded Iraq, during one of their concerts she said "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."  OK, not a popular sentiment at the time, although know it would clearly be a more popular statement.

Anyhow, they're churning out a new album and are about to hit the road to tour again.  And they are not a all apologetic for what was said.  No regrets. Period.  And that is why like the Dixie Chicks.  They too a rash of shit for the comment, but they haven't backed down.  It might not be a popular statement among their hard-core Republican voting fans but hey, get over it.  Freedom of speech people.  Some of us haven't forgotten that silly little Constitution thing like most in Washington have these days.

The Chicks might go down in flames and be abandoned by their former fans for staying the course, but at least you still have your integrity.
May 17, 2006 @ 01:42 pm | Category:

Monkey, It’s what’s for dinner!

Here's a little tale of the food chain in action.
May 17, 2006 @ 01:23 pm | Category:
Friday, May 12, 2006



They all laugh at the things you say
Going around the track without a way

Chameleon, Chameleon
They all think you're crazed
Chameleon, Chameleon
Are you from outerspace?

Working, working everyday now
Turning, turning it all around

Chameleon, Chameleon
What do you say today?
Chameleon, Chameleon
The all thnk you're blown away

Changing, changing shades
Learning, learning a different way

Chameleon, Chameleon
Show me how you make the colors change
Chameleon, Chameleon
Don't you care what people think?

May 12, 2006 @ 12:46 pm | Category:
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