They don’t call ‘em Armadillo tires for nothing

Three years of city riding in Chicago and Shanghai and my 700x28mm rear tire has finally had it. So bad the tread is coming off the base of the tire, despite two gashes in the rubber.  What finally took it down?  An unlucky staple in the road.

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Specialized Armadillo tires. Highly recommended.

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The pollution moves in…

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Friday afternoon.  Here’s the view from our new office on the balcony of the 25th floor. The wind is blowing from the north and bringing in the “fog” that you see.

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Lightning in Shanghai (Quite possibly the coolest photo I’ve ever taken)

From my apartment at 徐家汇路135号:

All lightning shots here on Google Plus.

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Two years of commuting by bicycle in Shanghai

A mere 1500 miles in the last two years of commuting to work in Shanghai traffic madness.  20 minutes every morning and every evening, from Jing’An to Huaihai/Chongqing Lu via Changle Lu and Jiangning Lu last year, Shaanxi Lu this year.  Two years of getting yelled at by police men, dodging pedestrians, running red lights on occasion, getting soaked in the rain, dodging pedestrians who don’t look before they run into the road, jockeying with taxis, giving the finger to the oversized green construction dump trucks, rapping my knuckles on the side of buses that cut me off and drivers who don’t seem to value human life, traffic assistants who are never happy with where you’ve stopped at a red light and always give you the go-ahead 3 seconds before green, and did I mention dodging pedestrians?  Oh and dodging cyclists who ride slower than I walk, mopeds, electric scooters, motorcycles and taxis who will always pull in front of you when they see a fare waiting to pick up.

Number of taxis hit: 0 (but I almost rear-ended one)
Number of pedestrians hit: 1 (I feel bad, but she didn’t look before she ran into the road like a frightened deer. She’ll look from now on. She walked away. I still can’t sleep right after the accident.)
Number of times smushed by buses: 0 (not that they don’t try!)
Total number of accidents: 1 (on par with Chicago riding)
Amount of road rash: none!
Number of expletives hollered at selfish drivers: too many to count
Number of expletives thought in my head that I didn’t have time to holler: even more Number of miles ridden: 1500
Number of commutes: ~600
Amount saved on subway fare: 1800元 / US$300

Cycling in the city – especially a crowded one like this with crazy traffic patterns – means one thing: no matter how fast you can get moving, how good a jump you get off the green light and how well you shift through the gears, you’re going to have to stop even better.  Good brakes are king.  Fixie riders do not do well in this town.  You must have a fantastic front brake and even when you’re standing sprinting, have your hand on it, because that pedestrian eyeing the gap in traffic has no fear.  Which leads me to my photo, and the end of this article.  My two year old, Shimano brake pads from my front brake:

You might notice the snapped brake cable in between – that snapped the other day which caused me to finally get around to putting on new cable & brake pads.  (Don’t worry, I have a rear brake, and I didn’t coast into a red light when it snapped.)

Another two years, here I come!

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No better farewell to the Western conference: Game 7, Wings vs. Hawks

Playoff hockey doesn’t get any better than this!  Game 7, Western Conference semi-finals, between Chicago and Detroit.

I don’t think anyone expected the Wings to take the Hawks to game seven – did you?

Well played – both teams & best of luck to Chicago.  Nightmare On Helm Street has a few fair points to make about the game.

See you next year Chicago – a few less times, but each meeting will be that much more fun.

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Friday Night Lights

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View from my room in Sydney

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Life is hard…

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It’s going to rain tomorrow

But the sunset is beautiful today!
"The Mona Lisa"

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Singapore visit

Having a late brunch (4:30pm!) here in Singapore and I’m sitting across from a rather brightly painted Alkaff Bridge, drinking a Bulmers and waiting for my dim sum to arrive.  They have my favorite kind, chasiu bao (barbeque pork steamed buns).  Lets hope they’re as good as in Shanghai, else I’m on the next flight.

Work here has gone very well.  My primary task is installing an IP phone system which is really great technology and simple to use.

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Why do we send email from noreply@?

I received an email today from Yes 4G in Malaysia trying to sell me an internet service that I’ve already bought. But forget about that slip up, here’s what really bugs me: why do their emails come with a From: address of noreply@yes.my?

Why would it be so bad if a customer decided to reply and say, “Yes, I would like to buy your product!”  Do we really detest customers talking to us?

Some crufty old IT people will say “we use that because the number of bounce-backs we get because of full or nonexistent mailboxes.”  Unless you’re an email dinosaur, you’re using marketing email software that will automatically filter out bounce-backs and allow you to read the replies of your would-be customers.  Every one of those emails is a sales lead.

A sales lead that Yes just missed.

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