Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Right Turn on Red?

Okay, so I drive in lots of different places.  I figured I'd better get a grip on which states allow you to turn right at a red light after stopping.  (Little known fact: in California, "stop" is an acronym.  It stands for "softly touch other pedal.")

The Wikipedia article on the subject is, well, a festival of "citation needed" requests.  So I wandered around a little to try to sort it out.

It looks like it's a Federal guideline.  Maybe.  It actually might be just a recommendation of the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances.  Their idea was that you should be able to expect similar driving laws in all the states of the union.  (Think base speed limit, dui, dwb, &c.)  If you collect antiques, you're in luck, their website says "Copyright 1997."  Take that, time travel naysayers!

Ostensibly, it's for fuel economy, and seems to've been promoted in the late seventies when the US was enjoying an early beta-test of the Manufactured Fuel Shortage(tm) system.  You don't want cars idling at a red light if they can safely proceed through the intersection and down to a nearby gas station.  Feed the beast.

The exception?  The five boroughs of New York.  Which means New Jersey wishes they had the same thing, but just can't manage to pull it off in a cheap-but-still-classy way.  Anywhere else though, you're probably fine unless otherwise posted.  Clever tip from a site's comments: stay stopped at the red light, and if the person behind you honks, it's legal to turn there.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Polyglot Shoe Money

I run in so many interesting cities now, and my intended routes don't always match up with reality.  So, I keep a twenty dollar bill under the insole of one of my shoes.  If I get completely lost, I'm hailing a cab.  I've done the math; my running distance is within twenty bucks, including tip.

But here's what happens when I go running through three nations.  I've got twenty dollar bills from the US, New Zealand, and Australia all in there.  I won't remember to swap them around each time I cross a border, so I figure I'd better keep all three for these two months in the southern hemisphere.

True story; funny story.  This is actually a brand new pair of shoes.    I left my old pair on top of a recycling bin in San Francisco.  They've still got some life as normal shoes, even if all the spring has gone out of them for running.  Well, as I was stuffing the stack of twenties into my new pair, I realized I left the twenty in my old pair.

I wonder if the next wearer will ever find it.

Friday, November 1, 2013

The "C21 Pentagram" Photo Filter

Click for the Flickr set.
My photos of the Space Needle just came back and the Kodak Vest Pocket has once again opened a portal back in time.  The Space Needle was built for the 1962 "Century 21" world's fair, by the "Pentagram Corporation."  When the digital crowd asks what filter I used to get the effect, I'm going to tell them it's called "C21 Pentagram."

Friday, October 18, 2013

Telemetry Before It Happens

I'd like to borrow another runner's memory.

I've been traveling a lot, and it's easy to scope out a route near each hotel using Google Maps' measurement tool and some Street View sleuthing.  But knowing when a turn is coming up, or the sidewalk becomes choppy dirt, or the hill evens out just past the firehouse .. you don't know those on the first run.

My Nike GPS watch gives me telemetry after each run.  What I need is telemetry before.  Start out the route on my second run, and I'm a little better prepared for the details.

But is the novelty of the first-time around "worth" something?

Nope.  What if the borrowed runner is used to marathons .. I'll bet she'll have a different stride and pace than me.  Or what if this is a noontime stroll I'm borrowing .. maybe he's never seen it in the evening with the city lights glimmering.  "Interesting, I've never done it this slow/late/sober/male/lean ..."

So, GPS running-accoutrement makers, how about it?  Telemetry after my run is so 5k ago.  I'll pay extra to have it up-front.