Posted in Uncategorized by antisociology on May 26, 2008

The end of a semester is always kind of a tough time. You take stock of what you’ve done, and then look around to see how other people are doing. Things are coming together. Work is going well and picking up. I’m moving into a great new place.

I’ve been a little down about graduation time, though. Some of my close friends are graduating. While I’m happy for them, I can’t help but feel a little jealous. Other friends are publishing, and I’m still struggling with my last paper. I suppose it doesn’t matter anymore, but it’d be nice to get this paper out. On the other hand, I’m just not that motivated to work on it anymore.

I suppose I just have to be patient and hope things will work out. Run my own race, so to speak.


Gratuitous Picture Post

Posted in Uncategorized by antisociology on May 25, 2008

I just downloaded some pictures from my camera and thought I’d share them with you folks.

A few weeks ago, one of my classes had a pot luck dinner. I made some roast veggies and brought along some raw yellow peppers.

Here’s the contents of my messenger bag when kitted out for commuting. Work clothes, computer, papers, shoes, (and DayQuil for when my allergies are bad).

Finally, some pictures of the new apartment I’ll be moving into very shortly.

Paid to Play

Posted in Uncategorized by antisociology on May 21, 2008

I got to work on a fun project that was a little tangential from my regular duties. Normally I work on algorithms that process large amounts of social network data. Today, however, I spent my time working on preparing a visualization (i.e., pretty picture) of some of the data I work with. This is only a small portion of one of the networks I work on. The actual network has hundreds of thousands of nodes. This one only has a few thousand.

Here’s an earlier version that shows only the topology, and omits the coloring and variable node sizing of the final version I sent off.

Guilty as charged

Posted in Uncategorized by antisociology on May 19, 2008

It’s hard to be happy when you feel guilty for what makes you happy. I’ve been finding it increasingly difficult to communicate with my parents in a reasonable and civil manner. Part of this, I am certain, comes from a feeling that I’ve never felt like they’ve approved of my decisions — that I was never quite good enough. Favors and gifts on their part just seem like schemes concocted to assert control and create a sense of debt intended to direct my future decisions. I’m sure I sound paranoid.

Spend! Spend! Spend!

Posted in commuting, cycling by antisociology on May 13, 2008

Last week’s successful bike commute got me thinking about bike commuting stuff. Sure, for everyday commuting to work I can just ride my race bike. It’s not that bad, and there are ways around the annoyances. I think I might want to get a second bike — if only to save wear and tear on the race bike. You see, I love that bike. It’s a little ratty, but you can’t really get a bike made like that anymore unless you get a custom made frame. Go on. Go and see if you can find a 51cm x 51cm lugged steel frame. I bet you won’t find one. Even if you look on eBay, frames of that size are rare. I’m fond of saying, “When this one breaks, I’m going to take it to a framebuilder and say, ‘Build me one of these!'”

So, what am I looking for in a commuting bike?

  1. A light, thin tubed, steel frame
  2. Clearance and eyelets for racks and fenders
  3. Posts for cantilever brakes
  4. 130mm or 132.5mm rear spacing so that I can run my choice of road and mountain hubs
  5. A slightly long wheelbase for stable but not sleepy handling
  6. Longish chainstays to prevent heel strike when using panniers
  7. A 1″ headtube and threaded headset so that I can get the bars up higher without using a bajillion and one spacers

Does such a bike exist? Sort of. I could try and find a used touring frameset from the 80s. That would most likely have everything I want. Unfortunately, getting such a beast on the road would probably cost me a fair bit of coin. It would be expensive enough that I’d just start thinking about a new bike. Are there any new bikes like that? I think I’ve found three candidates:

  1. The Raleigh One-Way is pretty close
  2. as is the Masi Speciale Commuter
  3. and the IRO Cycles “Rob Roy” (no link, unfortunately)

The challenge is that each one has features that I like that the others don’t have. The Raleigh has cantilever brakes, but the Masi has a beautiful flat crown fork and a derailleur tab should I wish to run gears. The IRO has cantilever studs and is available as a frameset so that I could build it up however I wish (which means, of course, that the final price would be quite a bit higher than the others). The Raleigh is the more complete bike, but the Masi is more beautiful. The list goes on.

Pedal! Pedal! Pedal!

Posted in Uncategorized by antisociology on May 7, 2008

Biked into work today. I woke up and just didn’t feel like shelling out $81 for a new unlimited ride Metrocard. The route is surprisingly easy (although, behind the safe facade lies a multitude of traps just waiting to take out unwary cyclists). It takes me about 40 minutes door to door by subway, but only 25 minutes by bike. Fun times. I’m looking forward to getting a bike more suitable for commuting.

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