Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Archive for the 'School' Category

Taking the bus

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

I’ve discovered that I really, really dislike bike commuting in the rain, especially when it comes to school. When I was working full-time, I still didn’t like it, but it was more manageable to bring a change of clothes with me, and let my wet clothes dry throughout the day. Now that I’m moving around campus all day, that’s not a viable option. Sarah and I share one car, and our schedules are different enough that it would be difficult to make that work. Plus, parking is a nightmare on campus, unless you’re willing to pay for a parking garage.

On Monday, it was just pouring all day. I opted to take the Bloomington Transit bus to campus. It was the first time I’ve ridden a bus in a long time. I thought that the bus route/schedule wasn’t going to work for me, but Sarah pointed out that I was misreading the bus schedule. (Note to Bloomington Transit folks: if a GIS student can’t read your bus schedules, maybe you’re doing something wrong.)

I have to say, riding the bus worked quite well. As a student, I get to ride the bus for free. And it’s a lot more  tolerable — even enjoyable, I found — walking in the rain, versus riding. And I still got some exercise in the form of 2.5 miles of walking throughout the day. Another bonus: listening to music and reading a book on the bus.

The buses here do have bike racks on the front, so if I can figure out how they work, I could try a multi-mode commute.

Today I went by the forecast and rode the bus again, given that we had a 70% chance of rain. It didn’t start raining until 5:30 pm, a while after my last class. Oh well.

I don’t intend to take the bus often, but it’s good to have alternatives.

Photography Assignment

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

Here are the final 10 photos I submitted for my first photography assignment. We had covered virtually no material prior to doing this assignment, so I was really just shooting based on prior knowledge. This was narrowed down from over 130 photos, covering over 30 different concepts. For the final 10 photos, each one is from a different concept.

To make this a little more interesting, I’m not posting the concepts yet. If you want, try to guess the topic for each image. I’ll reveal the actual concepts in a future post.

UPDATE: Here is the full list of concepts. Each of the shots represents one of these.

  • America
  • Betrayal
  • Coming of Age
  • Confinement
  • Death
  • Dichotomy
  • Family Portrait
  • Gender
  • Humor
  • Idealism
  • Identity
  • Intrusion
  • Lie with a photograph
  • Man/Woman vs. Himself/Herself
  • Man/Woman vs. Man/Woman
  • Man/Woman vs. Nature
  • Man/Woman vs. Society
  • Misfortune
  • Old age
  • Politics
  • Propaganda
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sex/Sexuality
  • Shoot from someone (or something) else’s perspective
  • Social Criticism
  • Stereotypes
  • Tell a narrative story
  • Terror
  • The landscape
  • Truth or Dare
  • Use the camera to look where you can not see
  • Youth





















Warm spell

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

We’re having a warm spell. Monday morning, I was amazed how warm it was: 25°F! And that was in the morning, on my way to class. No need for an extra layer of pants, at that temperature. I guess it was particularly jarring since on Friday we had the coldest day of the year. -1°F, with -8°F windchill.

Here’s a shot of the Trucker in school mode. I mounted the milk crate sideways, which means it doesn’t stick back quite as far. This helps handling a little bit. It’s still awkward at times, but I think it’s worth it. Being able to just throw things in and go is very convenient.


I upgraded my rear brake. I’ve never been happy with the stock brakes on the Trucker (Tektro Oryx). The new one’s a Shimano. It does seem to have better stopping power, which was my main goal, but it also has much better modulation. It also takes V-brake cartridge-style pads, which seems like it’ll be convenient when it comes time to replace the pads. I’m not 100% sure yet, but if I continue liking it, I’ll upgrade the front to match.


It got up in the mid-30s Monday, and yesterday too. Yesterday was a particularly beautiful day, the sun shining, warm air, and even some signs of life. Birds were chirping, a woodpecker worked on a tree, squirrels were out and about. Here are some shots from around campus. The light was just beautiful yesterday.






I was impressed with this tree, which apparently has steadfastly refused to give up its leaves.









I’ve seen this bicycle a few times around campus. It’s a beauty.



I couldn’t agree more.


I got out of class early yesterday so that was a great opportunity to go for a ride. I did 20+ miles on the road. It was such a beautiful day that I took the Bianchi out for a spin! That’s the first time I’ve ridden my road bike this year. The roads have just been too snowy and icy. I did encounter a little snow/slush/ice yesterday, but only in a couple of spots. I also rode harder than usual, and it felt great. I wanted to get the most out of the ride, from a training standpoint. I’m amazed at how responsive that bicycle feels, especially after riding the Trucker around with studded tires all the time.






By the end of the ride, my beautiful road bike was covered in sand, salt, and road grime. I have some fenders for it, but I have never actually figured out how exactly to install them. I’ll have to do that soon so next time I won’t make such a mess of the bike.

I really hope I can ride the Bianchi again soon. It’s such a joy to ride, and the miles melt away a lot faster and easier on it than on the Trucker.

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