Friday, May 20, 2011

Hey folks, I am moving to LINCOLN NEBRASKA! Who would have guessed that this prairie corn field land is my destination for the next five plus years? The universe works in odd ways, but I am sure it makes sense in the grand scheme of things. Oh ya, did I mention that I am going to be doing most of my research in tropical forests on the island of Borneo? Very amazing place...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I painted this while processing grad school options... It was a nice chance to let the right side of my brain catch up with all the ideas that the left side has been dealing with.

Built a bicycle!

Bicycle is finished! With any luck this bike will last me a lifetime. It is especially gratifying to know that I did all the work myself, quite an achievement given that I knew almost nothing about bikes when I started this project! :)

Here is a list of what I worked on:

- 'Trued' the wheel spokes
- New tubes and all kevlar reinforced tires w/ reflective band

- Converted down tube shifters to bar-end shifters
- New cables

- Swapped out drop bars for upright porteur French style bars with a 90 degree angle curve
- New extra tall stem
- Slightly different brake levers

Pedals and crank
- New symmetrical pedals (non-toe clip) and reflectors
- Repaired the crank arm (it fell off!)

- Brooks woman's saddle
- Hammered Japanese style fenders
- Leather bicycle bag (perfect size for my lock)
- Removal of rust (diet coke + sanding) and touch up paint

Yay! I am slowly on my way to a more car-free way of life

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Relaxing in the sun with Marty

Mmmm... I like days like this. Summer this year has been way too brief, most of my time has been devoted to math, work, science writing, and pondering where on Earth I'll end up in terms of grad school. Lots to think about, which is why simply taking naps in the sun with my sweetie is so important.

DIY bike skills

Bike just about complete... new tires, hammered fenders, new handlebars and stem, cables, bar-end shifters, and a new Brooks saddle. I also learned how to true a wheel! The only thing left is to swap out the foot pedals and get some decent handlebar grips. I am still getting used to riding busy streets, but I have been commuting by bike twice a week (my goal is to slowly work up to every day). Yay!

Ok, now back to science!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

sweet old school bike

Right now I am procrastinating on scientific writing in favor of fixing my bike... a 1971 Atala Competizone painted black except for the original chrome trim on the lugs and forks... mmm shiney.

With a little help from Marty I just replaced the tires with a new brand with thicker rubber, kevlar reinforcement, all-weather tread, and reflective bands (perfect for year round commuting). Next on my list is to install a pair of Honjo-esqe hammered metal fenders.

I also need to put in a taller stem with swept back handlebars for a more up right riding position (also helpful if you have a shorter torso/arms compared to the frame design). At some point I will also swap the downtube shifters (on the frame) with the bar-end variety (end of handbars) to make changing gears a little easier. Last on my list is purchasing a Brooks saddle, I just need to decide on which model and color to get...

Hopefully when I am all done I will have a stylish commuter bike that akin to a 1940's French portuer bike. :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Diagram of what I like to ponder (2008 version)

Here is an old school pic I created to introduce myself at a training on cyberinfrastructure and ecological informatics in Costa Rica back back in 2008. Essentially it is a quicky diagram of what I like to think about and how I organize the information/questions/ideas that I aquire along the way. I will have to create a more up to date map... the landscape has changed a little since then.