May Garden Photography
May floral, macro photography using the Canon T6i Rebel SLR using the kit lens on the overcast shots and the macro lens on the sunny ones.:
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Long Way Up & Valentino: Rage Against The Dying Of The Light
My escape is usually to find some motorcycle media to get lost in but a theme this week in it was ‘getting old’, which is a tricky one to navigate. I’ve started watching Long Way Up and seeing two of my favourite adventure motorcyclists getting old is difficult. I got into Long Way Round and Long Way Down early on in my motorcycling career and they’ve saved me from many a long Canadian winter. I’m up to episode four now and they’ve hit their stride and are coming close to their earlier trips, but watching everyone looking for their reading glasses and groaning as they saddle up has been difficult to watch.
Many moons ago I read Melissa Holbrook Pierson’s The Man Who Would Stop At Nothing. In it she makes the startling observation that one day everyone realizes they’re probably having their last ever motorcycle ride. It’s a terrifying thought that has come up in TMD before in For Whom The Bell Tolls.
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How to Pivot To A More Digitally Literate And Resilient Education System In Ontario
Tiger Winter Maintenance Notes
Rims: Front: 36 spoke alloy rim 19 x 2.5″ Rear: 40 spoke alloy rim 17 x 4.25″
2005 Tiger: 14 spoke cast alloy: same size (is this findable? Yes it is! Not rears though)
Tires: Front: 110/80-19 Rear: 150/70-17
Coolant flush. 2.8l of coolant (50% distilled water 50% corrosion inhibited ethylene glycol)
– cool engine
– remove fuel tank
– remove pressure cap-
– unscrew bleed hole bolt (thermostat housing)
– remove reservoir cap
– container under engine
– unscrew drain plug (left side of engine) & drain (keep the old washer for flushing)
– remove lower coolant hose and drain
– flush with tap water
– reinstall old washer & plug & lower coolant hose and fill with water & aluminum friendly rad flush
– reinstall drain plug (25Nm) rad cap and bleed hole bolt (7Nm)
– put fuel tank back on
– run engine to warm (10 mins) then let cool
– refill with plain water, repeat running, cool and redrain
– use a new drain plug washer and torque to 25Nm
– with everything but the bleed bolt installed slowly fill with coolant
– fill reservoir to MAX and cap everything and install bleed bolt (7Nm)
– run 3-4 mins, rev to 4-6k a few times to open it up, check rad and reservoir levels
Spark Plugs: NGK DPR8EA-9 0.8 to 0.9 gap 20Nm (under gas tank, like everything else)
Fork oil change: Kayaba G10 or equivalent 107 mm from top of tube with fork spring removed and leg fully compressed. Larger riders (like me!) might want 15 weight oil.
Tiger oil change intervals. Tiger fork oil.
Fork oil viscosity – More Tiger fork oil info.
Capacity: 720cc/ml oil level: 107mm (from top of tube with spring removed and compressed leg)
Removal of forks (with body work & front wheel removed)
– one at a time and with all gubbins removed from fork
– loosen fork clamp bolts
– loosen top fork bolt while it’s still on the bike (hard to do when it’s off)
– note alignment of fork before removing it
– loosen lower clamp bolts, it should slide loose out the bottom
top fork bolt: 30Nm
clamp bolts top yoke: 20Nm
Handlebar holder clamp bolts: 26Nm
Brake fluid flush DOT 4
Chassis lubricant (swing arm, stearing head, levers & pedals): Mobile Grease HP 222 or lithium based multi purpose grease.
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Unmasking The Truth
I’ve been teaching the engineering design process for the past two weeks to grade 9s in very difficult circumstances. The engineering process underlies all the work we do in our stochastic, tactile technology/engineering program. We aren’t rote learning to the same standardized answer, so blind obedience to processes won’t get us working results. We need to be organized, agile and able to step back and gain perspective in our non-linear problem solving circumstances like any good technician or engineer would when solving a complex, arbitrary problem.
I’m struggling with the half-baked safety plan we seem determined to follow at all costs. Rather than get more frustrated with the optics, politics and bureaucracy that drive it, I thought, “why not apply the engineering process to my intolerable situation?”
ENGINEERING DESIGN: COVID MASKS
- ASK:how do we resolve physically untenable policies around masks?
- IMAGINE: a Heath Unit/Canada COVID19 compliant masking system that is effective and comfortable (if it isn’t comfortable it isn’t effective)
- PLAN: collect data, research how COVID actually works, find existing solutions to best mitigate its spread
- CREATE: build a testing system, create a solution based process
- EXPERIMENT: try different mask types and materials
- IMPROVE: deliver an improved masking policy that is constantly in review
PLANNING: DATA COLLECTION
What do ASTM1 medical masks do that a more comfortable, properly fitted non-medical option doesn’t? Not much in the context of a classroom. In a medical environment where a professional is working with COVID19 positive patients, a medical mask would be used in conjunction with a face shield to keep the medical worker safe in a known high risk situation.
of bodily fluid or other type of fluid.” (Health News Hub.org). In a medical context these masks provide a valuable level of protection, but an ASTM1 mask by itself isn’t a better barrier to COVID transmission, especially when worn incorrectly.
The real threat is touching an infected surface and then putting your
hand to your face: Frequent hand-washing is a sure way to avoid
COVID-19” (Health News Hub.org) A focus on cleaning surfaces and regular hand-washing would be far more effective than the false protection of a single layer of PPE/incorrectly applied medical mask.
to critical shortages during the COVID-19 response, we are implementing
and/or proposing a range of strategies to respond to the increased
demand for medical masks” Bins full of them outside every public school in Ontario every day isn’t helping to solve this world-wide shortage, especially when it’s done for optics rather than efficacy.
There are numerous well researched sources of information on mask usage this far into the COVID19 pandemic. Its modes of transmission are known and technology is on hand to mitigate them, yet myths persist, like the idea that a medical mask is somehow a cure-all and significantly ‘safer’ than a correctly fitted cloth mask. Every health agency in the world wouldn’t be advocating non-medical masks if they didn’t work.
|The appearance of medical safety, without the efficacy..|
That educational staff are being required to wear poorly fitted and environmentally damaging ATSM1 medical masks at a time when they are vitally needed by people who would be wearing them with a complete set of PPE in an appropriately controlled environment is problematic. The education system seems incapable of understanding or providing a masking solution that aligns with masking requirements everywhere else. We need to stop acting like this is a marketing gimmick and start acting like it’s a medical emergency.
- Must fit the wearer’s face (current one size fits all masks do not fit all user faces)
- Masks must be comfortable enough for 150 minute continuous usage scenarios
- Masks must be breathable enough that users aren’t constantly pulling them away to breathe
The latest data suggests that droplet transmission happens when people are in close proximity to one another. In this scenario it is much more important that staff and students have properly fitted, comfortable masks than it is to have a splash ready ATSM1 medical grade mask.
NOTES & LINKS:
Advice on the use of masks in the context of COVID-19: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/advice-on-the-use-of-masks-in-the-community-during-home-care-and-in-healthcare-settings-in-the-context-of-the-novel-coronavirus-(2019-ncov)-outbreak
School of Public Health, he told us he trimmed his own facial hair down
“so that the mask could completely cover my beard.” The key, he added,
is to make sure there are no gaps and that the mask is hugging your
skin, not your facial hair.”
A well written article by a pile of doctors that explains how viral transmission happens. An airborne virus is a terrible thing. Whether or not COVID19 is airborne is still in contention, but the latest from CDC suggests it is.
“Currently, WHO guidance
considers surgical masks to be adequately protective for healthcare
staffers working with potential COVID-19 patients, and advises using N95
masks in limited situations, such as when intubating patients, which is
known to generate small particles from deep in the lungs. Healthcare
workers who follow these recommendations have been generally protected
against the virus, WHO notes.”
Medical masks for medical work…
“A dual-layered cloth mask is sufficient to protect people in public settings. It’s unlikely you’ll be infected in public by airborne viral particles. The real threat is touching an infected surface and then putting your hand to your face: Frequent hand-washing is a sure way to avoid COVID-19”
“medical masks protect people from the wearer’s respiratory emissions. But it’s designed to protect against large droplets, splashes or sprays of bodily fluid or other type of fluid.”
would be a daunting task unless proper administrative, clinical, and
physical measures are taken within the healthcare settings”
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Cultivate Your Intuition
It had been one hell of a morning. I got to work only to get a frantic phone call telling me to turn around and come back home because a snow plow had backed up into my wife’s car. An hour later we’d dropped off the car at the repair centre (while finding out it might get written off and/or take weeks to fix) and were on our way to work. As we approached the last traffic light before work I must have seen something out of the corner of my eye and my foot was hard on the brakes.
I don’t consciously remember hitting the brakes. In retrospect I must have seen something out of the corner of my eye and instead of ignoring that peripheral warning I instinctively acted on it. At 50km/hr we were moving at over 3 metres a second. Had I hesitated or waited for clarity, we would have driven right into a t-bone with the big, V6 American sedan that was running the light at twice the posted limit.
We were just outside of two school zones in a residential area with low speed limits, but that big sedan was easily doing 80km/hr when it blew threw a very red light. I sat there stunned for a moment, as you do when something happens and you don’t know why. There were a lot of questions popping into my head: had I just run a red light because I wasn’t paying attention? Why were the people in the other car were trying to kill us? Did we really just come that close to getting clobbered after the morning we’d just had?
As we proceeded through the intersection I double checked the light just to make sure I hadn’t made a mess of this whole thing, but I was still facing a green light. The guy next to us who was turning left had also stamped on the brakes to avoid the flying Dutchman. He looked over and rolled his eyes at the situation. I grinned back uncertainly. I asked Alanna, “did that just happen?” After the morning we’d already had this seemed beyond the pale. As I pulled in to work the implications of what happened were starting to sink in. In an alternate reality where I didn’t listen to that feeling my son was an orphan and the mouth breathers in that car, if they weren’t scattered down the road, were probably trying to explain to the police how it wasn’t their fault. No one is responsible for anything any more.
This all got me thinking about what saved us. Peak performance requires your rational mind to apply itself to practice in order to develop basic skills, but there comes a point where you have the basics in hand and spontaneous, complex action can arise seemingly without intent. If you’ve ever become competent at a sport you know what this feels like; you don’t think about it when you backhand the puck into the net or make that diving catch. I don’t think about vehicular control, I inhabit the vehicle.
Driving is one of those things I’ve worked on for years, taking advanced classes, racing carts in Japan and expanding my vehicular operation into new areas like riding a motorcycle, which is itself also an intensive exercise in situational awareness. I have to wonder if the Tim who never took up bikes had the same developed peripheral attention and reacted on it as quickly; riding a bike makes you open your third eye or you tend to keep finding yourself in situations that make you want to quit doing it.
It’s important to cultivate an awareness of your intuition and trust in it. Your subconscious mind is a much less cluttered and restricted part of your thinking process and can see things with a clarity that your reasoning mind is oblivious to because it keeps getting in the way. If you have a bad feeling about something, listen to it.
Here is some philosophy to connect the link between intuition and performance:
“Intelligent spontaneity, then, is a fully embodied state of mind where one is perfectly calibrated to the environment. The environment essentially becomes an extension of your skill.”
This comes out in the summer, I’ll be looking it up:
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This is a WIRED story about tech software startups in the Denver area. In it a man who has an idea about buying insurance online has become a ‘TECH CEO’ even though he has no idea of what it is he is actually building. With no background in technology hardware or software development, this guy is trying to launch a tech-startup with an idea and little else.
The quotes below are from the article. The bolding is mine…
ROSS DIEDRICH HAD gone pale and raw-boned. The CEO of a year-old startup in Denver, he’d stay at his office until the middle of the night, go home and sleep for about five hours, then chug a spinach smoothie and start again. He was just 27 years old, but he felt wrung out.
He still didn’t have even a basic version of the software that he could demo—an “MVP” in coder parlance, for minimum viable product. Chris was still holding down his full-time job; he didn’t want to quit until Covered had some funding in hand. The lead development engineer that Ross had brought on, a big, quiet nerd named Jonathan Baughn, was juggling a bunch of projects and wasn’t as available as Ross had expected. But Ross didn’t want to put too much pressure on Baughn. As a contractor, he was within his rights to work for others. A junior software engineer Baughn had brought to the project, Reyna DeLogé, tried to manage on her own, but they kept blowing past their self-imposed deadlines.
He navigated to the demo site, typed in his password, and tapped on the mousepad. Then he tapped again. Nothing happened. The demo was broken. “What the heck is going on here?” he murmured.
Where Jobs diverges from the disaster described in the WIRED article above is that he surrounds himself with the most knowledgeable engineers – an orchestra of expertise, and then focuses on having them produce their best possible work. An argument could be made for a manager like this, but not at the expense of engineering, never at the expense of engineering.
Your ideal manager must have some technical background if they are to work with skilled labour. In the clip above Woz tells Jobs that he can’t do anything, which isn’t really true; they met and bonded over their shared knowledge of electronics. Jobs may not have been able to engineer the devices he helped create, but he was very aware of the technology and how it worked. With that knowledge he was able to gather experts because he could appreciate their expertise.
A manager who is only an expert in management is best when not managing people who perform skilled work, whether that be engineering or teaching or any other complex, skills based process. Matt Crawford does a great job of examining this in The World Beyond Your Head. In the book Crawford distinguishes between the skilled labourer who modifies or ‘jigs’ their environment to better perform their profession and the unskilled script follower who does what they’re told in a prefabricated production line. Being free to manipulate the physical environment in order to perform your expertise is a foundation stone of professionalism in Crawford’s mind. A lot of the downward pressure you see on worker valuation in education and employment in general is because of the Taylorism of workplaces into script following routines. Making the end goal of education a result in a standardized test plays to this thinking perfectly. In those prefabricated and abstracted workplaces skill isn’t a requirement, obedience is.
An effective manager of skilled labour acknowledges and cultivates expertise in their people. You can’t do that without having some kind of handle on that skillset. Being oblivious to how reality works and managing complex, skilled labourers who work in that demanding environment like they are a production line is the single greatest point of failure in management, unless your goal is to chase out skilled labour and turn your organization into a mechanical process where the people in it are little more that scripted robots. There are financial arguments for that, but they aren’t very humane. We might not perform as many repetitive job tasks in the future, but if we remove human expertise from the workplace it will damage us as a species, and any financial gain from it would be short lived.
Shopclass as Soulcraft: IT Idiocy, Management Speak & Skills Abstraction
Taylorism in Edtech
Implications of a Situated Intelligence in Education
A Thin and Fragile Pretense
How We’ve Situated Ourselves
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Chasing Eclipses on a Tight Schedule
Things have tightened up around the total solar eclipse that crosses The States in August. If I can make it back for the 23rd I’ve got a conference I can attend to demonstrate virtual reality, and who wouldn’t want to do that? The conference would also pay for the trip, so that’s nice. Timing and weather are the key factors in making this work. This eclipse is also a two for one deal because it happens right over the Tail of the Dragon at about 2:30pm on August 21st.
There are a lot of very detailed maps out there showing you where the path of totality is thundering across the Earth’s surface at over six hundred miles per hour. From 1:05pm local time to about 4pm is the time it takes for the moon to go tip to tip over the sun. Totality only lasts from 2:33:54pm to 2:36:25pm – a scant two and a half-ish minutes, then daylight returns.
|Taken from the interactive Google eclipse map|
I’ve seen partial eclipses before but I’ve never seen totality, so that’s the goal (that and riding the Dragon). Fortunately Deal’s Gap and the road to the Fontana Dam are right in the path of this once in a life time (in North America) event.
I’ve got to boogie home after seeing totality. If I’m on the road by 3pm local time, how much time can I make before stopping for the night? Now for the iron-butt portion of the trip.
The conference kicks off late morning on Wednesday, August 23rd in Toronto. As long as I’ve gotten my ass home by Tuesday night, all is good in the world.
It’s a 360 mile interstate blast to Dayton, Ohio (home of Les Nessman!). Google Maps says just over six hours. With a couple of stops call it seven. If I’m on the way by 3pm, I should be stopping for the night between 9 and 10pm – just after a late summer sunset.
Day two is a long distance run up to the Canadian border and back home – just over four hundred miles. If I were under way by 9am, with a few stops and some lunch, I’d be home by 6pm-ish; totally doable.
South through Buffalo and into the mountains, then it’s three days of winding Appalachian roads and Blue Ridge Parkways south to Cherokee in the heart of the Smokey Mountains.
If I left on the Thursday before, I could do Thursday and Friday nights on the road south, Saturday and Sunday nights in Cherokee near the Tail of the Dragon, Monday night near Cincinnati on the way back and then home again. It’s a lot more interstate than I’d normally go looking for, but it’s still a once in this lifetime opportunity.
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Bun Burning MotoGP
A few years ago we rode down to the last Indianapolis MotoGP. It was a great few days in Indiana and it was pretty close to us. At a push the ride there could be done in a day (we took two because I had my ten year old son with me).
This year’s only North American MotoGP is in Texas and happens the weekend before Easter. How few days could I do it in? It just happens that Austin is a Bun Burner Gold away, just over 1500 miles south west of here. I watched a couple of fellow motorcyclists from the Lobo Loco long distance rallies pull a Bun Burner Gold off in the fall. If I could get to COTA in 24 hours I’d be a rockstar!
If I left on Thursday evening I’d be down there Friday evening or a bit later if I missed it (BBGs depend a lot on construction and delays to pull off). Either way I’d be up Saturday morning with some kind of Iron Butt ride (if I missed the BBG there are half a dozen other, easier ones that I could still aim for) under my belt to catch qualifying. Early to bed Saturday night and then another day at the Circuit of the Americas on Sunday for the races. After a good dinner I’d be back on the road again making tracks north to home.
If I missed the Bun Burner Gold on the way down, I could attempt it again on the way back! Either doing a Sunday night to Monday night blitz to get the gold, or breaking it into two long days and going for a plain old Bun Burner 1500 (1500 miles over 36 hours).
In a perfect world I’d do the BBG on the way down, enjoy the weekend and rest up again before getting a Bun Burner 1500 on the way back, riding Sunday night after the race as far as I can, having a sleep and then getting up and finishing the ride within 36 hours. If I’m back Monday night I would have only missed two days of work while getting to watch a MotoGP live and picking up multiple iron butts! That’d shake the rust off after a long, cold, Canadian winter.
Does two Iron Butt rides around a weekend of MotoGP sound extreme? From the dark depths of February after weeks and weeks out of the saddle, it sounds like a brilliant idea! When you’re trapped under a polar vortex and some truly grim, neverending Canadian winter, the thought of trying to cross much of North America twice in five days on two wheels scratches an itch.
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