Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Archive for December, 2006

Two awesome biking blogs

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

I found two awesome biking blogs. These two make me feel like such a slacker.

First is Velocipete, a guy from Minnesota who has a lot of great road biking stories, but also rides his bike to work much of the time — something I want to try at some point. And even though it’s pretty cold in MN by now, he’s still commuting by bicycle often.

I found Velocipete when looking for information about the Jamis Satellite, a steel road bike. Velocipete has one.

From Velocipete’s blogroll, I also found the Up in Alaska blog. This is a woman named Jill who lives in Alaska and writes about mountain biking in all kinds of insane conditions. She’s also got some great photos, and seems to dabble some in skiing. Pretty fascinating stuff — and I have to say, riding in deep snow, in the dark (a necessity due to the 5ish hours of daylight per day right now), in cold conditions — that’s pretty inspiring.

I should get out and ride, even though it’s chilly here.

Roadside America, Lanam Ridge, North Tower Loop

Monday, December 18th, 2006

I found this cool Web site, http://www.roadsideamerica.com/. It claims to be “Your Online Guide to Offbeat Tourist Attractions,” and has listings for each state of weird places you can visit. I definitely want to visit the Cursed Pyramid Ruins near Bedford. You see, Bedford is the Limstone Capital of the World. Somehow, they managed to get a grant to build a 1/5 scale limestone replica of the Great Pyramid of Cheops and a 650-foot version of the Great Wall of China (yes, also in limestone).

However, funding for this great Limestone Tourist Park was pulled partway through the project, and the work was never completed. Some ruins are there to this day, according to the site, along with some rusted-out vehicles. This sounds like an absolutely perfect location for a photo shoot — the first chance we get, Sarah and I are going to check it out.

There are plenty of other attractions on the site. Here’s the listing for Indiana. Sadly, many attractions have been closed due to people being jailed or dying, fires, acts of God, etc.

On a side note, today, I passed the burnt log cabin Sarah and I photographed recently. It had been razed to the ground! I sure am glad we didn’t wait around to take photos, because it simply isn’t there anymore.

I did a road ride with Dave on Saturday. We were planning on going to Valley Branch Retreat to try the trails there; we had heard they were in better shape (or at least, less muddy) than those at Brown County, where we usually ride. However, his foot hurt from an injury he got last weekend, so we did a road ride instead.

This map links to a much bigger alternate version that also includes an elevation profile.
We rode basically the same route as before, starting at Dave’s house and riding along State Road 45 a bit, then turning onto Lanam Ridge Road. We followed that for a while, then went down a gravel road. We took a slightly gravel road down than before — last time, we took Plum Creek Road down, whereas this time we took Salmeron. Salmeron was actually a bit cooler, I thought, it’s just a one-lane gravel road that feels really remote and even has a small creek crossing. I’m not sure I would even want to drive my car down it; you could make it, but it would make me a bit nervous.

On the map above, where it looks like we rode across Lake Lemon, that’s actually right. There’s a causeway going across the lake. It’s a lot of fun to ride on. Later, as we passed under a train trestle, Dave told me how you could get up on it. I think Sarah and I may have to go back and do that sometime to take some photos. Dave said that his sons walked all the way across it once, and he was mad when he found out. They asked him if he had done it himself when he was younger, and he said yes, but that he did it so they wouldn’t have to. Nice one!
On our way back up Dave’s street, there’s a huge hill (you can see it at the end in the elevation profile on the bigger map). During that climb, my front derailleur stuck, and I got stuck in my middle chain ring for 80% of it. By the time I made it to the granny gear, the grade had gotten easier, although I stayed there just in case it got steeper again (it didn’t). All in all, we rode almost exactly 15 miles.

I felt pretty shitty last night, with a big headache and an upset stomach, so we went to bed early. I woke up today still feeling shitty, so we slept a while longer. By late afternoon, I felt much better. I debated going for a ride at Brown County, and almost decided against it because it was getting too late, but decided to go anyway. I took my flashlights, just in case.

I had a pretty uneventful lap around the North Tower Loop. I rode the connector to the Aynes Loop and debated whether I should ride that as well. I decided against it; I wanted to get home in time to spend some good time with Sarah, and it was going to be dark soon. I’ve ridden it in the dark before, but it’s been a while since I rode at all. Besides, riding in the dark just isn’t as much fun.

On my way back to the parking lot, I passed a woman who was running the other way — I had passed her as I was starting out on the North Tower Loop. She stopped me — she told me where she parked and I told her she was going the wrong way to get back to her car. I hope she made it back safely.

Debugging ASP.NET

Friday, December 15th, 2006

I don’t use the debugger in Visual Studio 2003 all that much. I got used to not using a debugger when doing PHP programming, since PHP doesn’t ship with a debugger. I did use a debugger in some of my computer science classes, but much of the time I just don’t find it necessary.

This means that I make a lot of changes to my system between the times when I do want to use Visual Studio’s debugger, and pretty much any time I try to use the debugger, I find it isn’t working. Whether it’s a permissions problem, a security setting, or something changed in an update, something always goes wrong.

This MSDN article lists some things that can go wrong with the debugger. This blog post and its comments are also useful. This time, the setting I had to change was an authentication one — except that the first time I changed it, things still didn’t work. I tried again a few minutes later, and it did work. The setting I changed was within Internet Explorer — go to Tools -> Internet Options -> Security ->Internet -> Custom Level -> User Authentication and select “Automatic logon with current username and password.”

It’s truly astounding to see the list of problems on that MSDN article. Not only are there a zillion things that can go wrong, the error message I got didn’t match any of those. In fact, the error message I got said I wasn’t in the Debugger Users group, which simply wasn’t true. This is definitely a situation where accurate error messages could make a big difference. I wonder if this situation is any better in Visual Studio 2005.

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