pphaneuf: (Enlightened)
Damn! I wanted to see Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, coming to the Metropolis in October, but it's sold out! Oh well, I'll be trying to go to more small shows, I think. It's been too long I have been to La Sala Rossa, for example, and places like Zoobizarre merit being visited again. Oh, and going to see Miss Kittin & The Hacker on the 27th at SAT! Awesome!

All those shows, I'd like to bike to them, but I've been finding my quest for fenders to put on my bike rather frustrating. It's a weird bike, rather easy to ride with its straight handlebars, but the rest is done in a racing style. Which means that there's basically no clearance anywhere between the tires, the frame, the fork, and the brakes, not a lug in sight for anything (well, except water bottles), and so on...

I'm also pondering a winter bike, as I'd like to try (to some degree, I always have my CAM in my bag!) to ride for at least part of the winter. I'm pondering what to do, as there are many parameters...

I'd like to have a city bike, that would fill in the role a car does for most people. It would have to be practical, something I'd be able to ride day in and day out. It shouldn't be a hassle to ride all the time. I do not want to be hardcore. I'd like to just dress normally, as if I had a car, and arrive maybe a bit rained on at best, as if I was parked a bit far, but not drenched, and no wet line along my back! It could be aluminium, to keep the weight (and the rust) down, but it wouldn't try to be super-light. I think an internal hub might be good, to minimize maintenance as much as possible. Chain cover, to protect my pants. Everything bolted on, so that locking it is easy and quick. Lights, possibly with a generator (but it shouldn't be awful like those against-the-wheel generators).

One of the problems I'm having in this quest is that most bikes fulfilling these criteria (that I can find here) tend to go for a vintage look and have some of the features I listed only because most bikes in the fifties had them, not because they're sensible bikes. One bike having all those items also had things like a seat with big springs (heavy if it useful, sure, but those are heavy and useless!), and a back wheel cover (so that my longcoat doesn't get stuck in the spokes). Stylish, yes, but practical? I live just at the foot of the hill between René-Levesque and St-Antoine, if my first experience when I take out the bike is consistently having this feeling that I'm going to die, well, uh, I don't think that'll be encouraging!

Batavus seems to have some interesting models, and while I haven't seen much of them in Montreal, they have a Canadian site, and there are some resellers in Montreal (I've been there before, but I don't remember seeing them, I guess they can order them, in the worst case). Some details are a bit off still, like the integrated horseshoe locks, which are pretty nice, but require replacing all the inhabitants of Montreal with Danish people first, so it's a bit impractical.

Another thing that's causing me some grief is the parking space. I don't think I want to give up my fast FCR for this hypothetical new bike, you see? On nice days, I don't see why I would deprive myself from the fun of zipping down Ste-Catherine at almost 40 kph! But at the moment, my spot in the basement is just big enough for one bike, maybe two if I could hang then (but it's a temporary setup, and I can't). And maybe I'll be wanting a crappier bike for the winter. And after trying out phython's fixie, I'm still longing for one myself (soooo smooooth!). Where am I going to put all of this bikery? I have my eyes on the mezzanine at home, but it's not very practical, so it might be good to put the winter bike in the summer and vice-versa, but getting stuff up and down there is rather annoying.

Ah, what to do, what to do...


I think I'll deal with the winter first, and get myself one of those cheap-ish Marin hybrid/commuter bikes...
pphaneuf: (Shy)
Went to the Montreal Pride Parade last Sunday, which wasn't all that much to speak of, this year, in my opinion. There were some good floats, but they were few and far between, and there's a lot of ads, it seems. Some of them have a decent float, like that bank one, but some were so utterly boring and out of place, it was stunning. There was a juice ad, and really, there's no other way to call it, that was just one of those trucks with ads on the sides. That's it. Nobody walking along with it giving out samples or flyers, or even just waving, and, you know, being alive. Nope, just a guy driving a truck with big signs on the side. Nice. Thankfully, the company was much nicer, and [livejournal.com profile] liberation_now led us through some very nice alleys, good to know!

I also found out that my awesome new mini U-lock is only bare millimetres too small for those parking markers that replaced parking meters. The problem seems to be that plastic covering. Argh. But I think this is still vastly good in its lightweightness and ability to fit easily in my mini-messenger bag (or my jeans back pocket, in a pinch). It works just fine with "no parking" signposts, and there's no shortage of those around Montreal. ;-)

The after-parade barbecue at [livejournal.com profile] archdiva was much more fun than the parade itself, in fact. Met some fun people from as far as England, and apparently managed to have a conversation about where Ubuntu is going these days. The latter doesn't sound very surprising for me, but considering the locale, it was rather unexpected. There was burgers, and as per [livejournal.com profile] archdiva's requirement, big fat sausages.

I spent most of Monday cursing at the sky for being so sunny when I had left my bike home because of severe rainstorm warnings, but no worries, I got the rainstorm all right by the end of the day, just as I had to walk home with a heavy piece of hardware. How convenient!

But the weather was good yesterday (even took some detours, blazing down University and taking in the view along the Lachine Canal), and it looks very promising today as well!
pphaneuf: (Enlightened)
So I went for a weekend in San Francisco... I was planning on that already, so I had packed a light raincoat and a few long-sleeved shirts, so I wouldn't look like a tourist, but as it turned out, I forgot them in Mountain View and looked like a tourist anyway! After obtaining a lender bike for the weekend (thanks Noé!) and deciding to leave my laptop at the office so I could travel light, I hopped on the Google shuttle and managed to get the wireless Internet they have onboard working on my iPod touch. This was already kind of cool, but I was totally amazed when I thought I would consult the map and I pressed the "go to my location" button, just for the heck of it, and it actually got it! I was then further amazed at how it seemed to do a kind of pseudo-tracking, updating my position every ten seconds or so... So I didn't feel quite as lost as I did the last time.

After getting together with [livejournal.com profile] morethanreal, dropping off my stuff at her place and inflating the bike's tires (I quickly found out that the brakes were not working well at all either, which was a bit worrying, considering how hilly San Francisco is!), we headed to some show she had heard was recommended that night. It was in a small but pretty cool art gallery, where they had a good number (maybe a hundred or so?) of speakers embedded in wooden sculptures, hanging by wires from the ceiling. The curator later told us that this is an art installation and that they are actually operational, seemed like this could be pretty cool in itself, but as it turns out, the main attraction of the night was a DJ. He was pretty competent, I have to say, and enjoyed his set, despite the fact that we had just missed a part of his performance where he donned a dinosaur suit and hugged everyone in the audience, I was a bit disappointed having missed that! It's funny how people recognize my accent, including in particular the bartender, whom I was asking for a beer. He pointed me at the menu with just two beers available (this was a temporary setup), and I told him that, well, I had no idea what either of those were. So he apologized quickly, asked me if I knew about Unibroue, to which I responded in the affirmative, and he then told me that I would find the first one horrible, and that the other one, well, wasn't nearly as good as Unibroue, but would probably not offend me too much. Heh!

After getting back to [livejournal.com profile] morethanreal's place, there was some inevitable discussion about music, of course, and I introduced her to the new Apple Remote application for her iPhone. She fell in love at first sight, it would seem, she even moved her iPhone dock to put it beside her bed! We were pretty tired, but she had put on Black Eyes's eponymous album, and it is quite good, we just had to finish it before going to sleep.


Tour de Fat
Originally uploaded by Pierre Phaneuf.
The next day, I wasn't feeling too sore from sleeping her couch, which was good, because we were heading out to Tour de Fat! There was a brief stop for chocolatines and cappuccinos, of course, it wouldn't have been civilized otherwise. There were crazy bikes, crazy bands, and crazy beer! Much fun was had, including bouncing around with (very) limited success on a pogo-stick. I then accompanied [livejournal.com profile] morethanreal to a tattooing session (hers, not mine!), which was pretty cool, including a pretty classic Californian laid back surfer artist. I then headed back with her to pick up my stuff, had some (spicy!) burrito on 16th, then headed to [livejournal.com profile] jbdeboer's place, where I elected to stay that night (thanks, by the way!). That place is up. Very, very up. Like, on top. Yowzer. I had some idea of taking a cab from there to the DNA Lounge, but I was too wiped and gave up (fail!).

On the upside of being at the top is the good view (hmm, there's the view to Lafayette Park, which can be interesting according to the "near here" feature of some random iPod Flickr app!), although it was a bit cloudy. Biking down Gough was mental, though! I realized at some point that with the intersections being flat, that I couldn't see past them! All of that while going upward of 40 kph, of course. That led me eventually to a nice breakfast at Cafe Petra, since there was too many people at Ritual (and I don't think they have food either). I biked around the Mission, dropped by Good Vibrations (got myself a book), then back up around Market and Stockton, where I resisted the siren call of the Apple Store. I managed to get some excellent coffee at Bluebottle Coffee, once more, and then eventually got lost in the Tenderloin without realizing it, while I was taking photos. It was very sketchy, especially with my big SLR camera hanging from my neck.

Monday, the excitement level was much lower as I went to Barefoot Coffee Roasters with a team-mate who is a fan of good coffee. It is also very good, although I preferred Bluebottle's. As it is customary in Mountain View, we were back home before 10pm.

The next day, we went for dinner on Castro (in Mountain View) at an Italian restaurant with a very colourful owner, who seems to be a big George Michael fan. Excellent service, though, setting up a table just for us (my other team-mates are known there, it would seem), and of course, singing at the table by the owner. There was some ice cream after, and some of us were rebellious and went home past 11pm!

Now, I'm about to be taken out to In-N-Out, which I'm told I just have to go to. Sounds questionable, but hey, I've done worse.
pphaneuf: (Enlightened)
We moved into our new office this week (photos courtesy of MAD, thanks!), and it's pretty damned awesome! Considering the small size of the office (in number of people), it is extremely nice, the food is great, and so is the view (we had a nice view from the 24th floor, but now we're more "in the action", I like that better). Plus, we can easily reach the wifi from the pub nearby, hehe!

While the move was ongoing, we had an off-site activity on Île-Ste-Hélène that was pretty cool, involving, among other things, geo-caching, which I had never done before and is a lot of fun. It can be surprisingly difficult to find a small item, even when given the location within 10 feet! I bike there from home, and it was particularly nice, hitting 40 kph for fairly long stretches and all. On the return trip I was pretty confident that I'd get to the dinner's location first, but when I found out that the likely reason for my swift arrival was a wicked strong headwind, I wasn't so confident anymore. I did arrive first anyway, but I'm told they took a brief detour in a sketchy St-Henri bar first. Crazy people!

Today, we also obtained a vacuum cleaner at home. You're probably thinking that this doesn't really sound all that exciting, and normally, I'd agree with you, but that was before I met the Dyson DC20. As far as box-opening experience goes, relatively speaking (let's face it, it's still just a vacuum cleaner), they're taking lessons from Apple, it looks like. One of the selling points is how it can fit into a small space, and when I got the box, I was a bit worried that it'd be missing, you know, maybe the whole thing?!? But no, it was all in there, and even when assembled, it packs into almost no space, and is very cleverly engineered.

Tomorrow, a rather late in the making haircut.
pphaneuf: (Shades)
[livejournal.com profile] azrhey showed me the upcoming Locus Plethore, but [livejournal.com profile] cpirate pointed out that it's a a three-seater! So now, there's not just one! Awesome!

Beside the obviousness of what a 1,300 horsepower, 2,450 pounds mid-engined car is able to do, it being both a three-seater and Québecois is just so fitting, as [livejournal.com profile] madamewoo would certainly agree.
pphaneuf: (Sleepy Head)
On the train back from Lyon, this time on a fancier two-stories TGV, and being in the daylight, I can actually see outside. No snow in the Alps for Christmas, which is pretty strange, but being at a bit of an altitude, there was frost everywhere like I've never seen before, it was quite beautiful with the late morning sun.



Nantua Lakefront Frosted Over


I didn't call anyone or put out any "merry Christmas" messages, though. I feel right at the edge, being okay, but not having anything left for what's not here and now. It doesn't seem like I can code, yet.

But still, while it might be a bit late, happy celebrations to everyone. Well, actually, you know what? Just be happy in general, and that'd be quite okay, I'd say.
pphaneuf: (Default)
Was supposed to do a bunch of things outside the apartment last weekend, ended up staying home the whole time. Oh well. I did manage to do some of the computer related cleaning up I was meaning to do, and finished watching Babylon 5.

I cut back on biking a good deal recently, for no particularly good reason beside "it rains often" (but not nearly "always"), and I didn't get to do any fast riding since I got myself a bike computer. So I went to go out for a ride yesterday, after dinner.

I stopped for some a bit of hacking in a café. This time, it was in Europe and I do have the hip Powerbook, but I wasn't dressed to kill, went inside rather than the terrasse (kind of chill in the evening), didn't have my own music (but the café's music was decent) and there was a bus station in front. Well, I'm getting there!

Then, I proceeded to get lost, after leaving from the café.

When I recovered my bearings, as I was crossing the Place du Capitole, I heard a solid Québec accent as I biked past some people. I just turned around and said "hey" to the two girls . Clearly out of character for me, I must be going nuts or something. They had landed the day before and are planning to bike across Europe, more or less, pretty cool. I even got invited out for drinks, which I found rather flattering, but had to turn down, being rather late with all of my being lost, work the next day and everything...

Seems like that bike is pretty damned awesome. I'd say that for a given effort, I can go about 20-25% faster than with my old bike, and I didn't even put in the clipless pedals yet! 25 kph is effortless, and I clocked in a hair under 50 kph on a flat straightline on my way to work (where I try not to sweat too much). It's pretty sweet. :-)

February 2016

S M T W T F S
 123456
7891011 1213
14151617181920
21222324252627
2829     

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 23rd, 2017 09:14 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios