Headlights

If you buy an old car and nothing goes very wrong with it, you might consider yourself lucky, but lucky isn't good enough. Sometimes you have to be smart. You have to check fluids every so often, Haynes recommends every week. If you think 10 minutes of calm, straightforward work per week is too much to prevent a serious problem from arising, you might not be cut out for this sort of work. But if you are, let me tell you about the funny things that I have done to my car with the hope that it will live longer because of it.

  1. Car wash

  2. Dash cam

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Auto

How do automobiles work? What are the core principles of automobiles? Why haven't I owned one until recently? Why do I own one? The answer to these questions and probably more may appear in this blog post.

Let's start with a bicycle, my preferred mechanism of transportation. Despite slander that occurs against it, bicycling is one of the most efficient forms of transportation that exists. I'll get to why below. Why would anyone need anything else? Well, bicycles are terrible modes of transportation for long distances. I live far enough away from work to make cycling a bad commute. I can do it, but not 5 days a week, not even 3 days a week. Bicycles are light and provide significant advantage over walking, running, swimming, kayaking, driving, and bussing, but in a very short range. Anyone who says they bicycle to and from work everyday lives a short distance from work or can cycle for a significant amount of time. How far is the furthest I've heard someone commute by bicycle? 17 or so miles up hill both ways is about the furthest and the cyclist was in terrific shape. The furthest I've cycled daily is 5 miles each way. It was so difficult that I could only ride 4 times per week, leaving me at home 1 day per week.

Efficient? If you are limited to only cycling 50 miles per week, your carbon footprint is almost non-existent. Remember that your footprint is eating and then breathing, something that all drivers must also do. If you eat more than a driver (which is silly to consider), it won't be much. Then where does all that energy (kinetic: ½mv² and potential: mgh) come from? Well, it's pretty clear that it's the pedaling you do. But everyone should exercise. Cyclists just do it on their way to work instead of at a gym or running in a circle. Have you ever exercised before? So let's compare a car and driver to a cyclist.
Random carbon footprint calculator says a car emits 1.03 metric tons of CO2 driving 2500 miles.
Another random carbon footprint says that the average American emits 20 metric tons of CO2 in a year.
But these are not good comparisons because the average American drives to work. The average person in the Netherlands rides a bicycle to work and emits 10 metrics tons of CO2 in a year. So the amount of carbon emission between a cyclist and a driver can vary by 10 metric tons per year. A car driving just 5 miles each way only emits 1.03 metric tons, so we're talking about an order of magnitude difference in carbon footprint. Alas, this doesn't solve the problem of whether bicycles are more efficient than cars, but it does provide us with some scale.

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Cosplaying Luffy and Doc Ido

Aug 13-14, 2016

Today I spent a few hours sewing a piece in my Luffy costume. It isn't completely finished but you can see the results below. What needed to be sewn? The shirt was originally a tank top from American Apparel. While Luffy wearing a red tank top is absolutely acceptable in a pinch, it needs to be a 3 button vest to suit say Season 3 Episode 78 where they leave the island of the giants and Nami is sick, so they go to the winter island.

Javantea in Luffy cosplay
Javantea in Luffy cosplay

If you're incredibly lazy, sewing isn't necessary for this cosplay. If you don't intend to wash the shirt or wear it more than a handful of times (shame, shame!), then a cut shirt will actually look reasonably authentic. A really good reason to sew a cosplay is to reduce the likelihood of fraying. Many fabrics when cut will fray. The cotton from this shirt almost certainly will fray in the washer. If you've never sewn a garment, you probably didn't know that because a part of the professional sewing business is ensuring that doesn't happen. Exceptions exist, but Luffy's shirt is most certainly not frayed and you won't want yours to be either.

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Photoblog of Zürich

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I thought I'd give you a short photoblog with a very important message. Okay, it's not that important. The lesson for today is: Never delete anything unless you have to for privacy or safety. The corollary, keep everything encrypted. The corollary to the corollary, remember the password as long as you keep that data encrypted.

Photoblog of Zürich, Switzerland from 2005

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