More Cycling, and First Del’s

What goes well with cycling? Many things, with food and drink being high on the list.

Del’s Frozen Lemonade is everywhere here and now: here being Rhode Island, now being summer. Tomorrow, being Labor Day, will mark the end of summer for many people and businesses. I expect to see fewer Del’s trucks and carts on my travels, starting September 5. But there is the Del’s storefront in Warren.

I stopped there to get a lemonade on my ride yesterday. I rode from Barrington down to the the south end of the East Bay Bike Path, which is in Bristol. On the way down I passed the Del’s store and a Del’s cart next to the path as it goes through Colt State Park. On the way back I rode right past the cart again, but didn’t ride right past the store!

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Three Cycling Things

The East Bay Bike Path is rather wonderful. It’s never very far from the water; perhaps its name gives that away, and it is in Rhode Island.

It was a lovely morning to cycle up the path from Barrington to its northern terminus in Providence. A breakfast wrap and coffee at Amy’s Place fortified me for the ride back. It’s about 10 miles in each direction.

The second cycling thing of the day is not so positive. This afternoon, I tried out the Komoot app on my Android phone. Komoot allows you to plan your ride, provides navigation along the way, and… Well, I asked it to help me go to a particular bike shop right on the East Bay Bike Path.

Komoot seemed unaware of the bike path. It wanted me to turn onto a main (by Barrington standards) road. I ignored it, crossed that road, and got onto the path, heading toward the shop. Komoot advised me to U-turn, presumably because it thought I should be heading back to the road.

So I deleted Komoot from my phone as soon as I got home. Perhaps that’s harsh after one ride, but for me, bike ride planning and navigation needs to include bike paths, and especially the East Bay.

The third cycling thing of the day, and the bike shop in question, are one and the same: Your Bike Shop. It’s in Warren, the next town south along the bike path from Barrington. (There is another location in Riverside, which is on the way to Providence.)

I bought a mirror (this one by Mirrcycle, to be specific). They fitted it for me right away, then we discussed bikes and related matters for a few minutes. I’m happy to have Your Bike Shop as my local bike shop.

So it was a good cycling day. Two out of three ain’t bad, as the song goes.

Hello (from) Rhode Island!

Greetings from  the Ocean State! To be more specific, hello from Barrington, a town of about 16,000 people, south of Providence.

I used Google My Maps to show some of our early favorite places. Here’s a link to the interactive map, and here’s a link to a PDF of My Barrington.

The kids might disagree with my including their schools among the favorites. I hope that they like the schools, since the school system is one of the things that brought us to Barrington in particular when we decided to move to Rhode Island. Anyway, school starts on Monday (August 28).

We’ve been here about a week and a half. So far, so very good. More about Rhode Island, and about much else, soon. Thanks for reading!

 

My Own Devices

Mobile devices are on my mind at the moment. I have an iPad 2 that recently turned 6 years old. And I have a new Android phone, because my previous phone just bricked.

I didn’t expect the iPad 2 to last this long. I didn’t think that Apple products were meant to last, but to be cast aside for fresher Apple stuff. My iPad 2 hasn’t always had the gentlest of treatment.

But on it goes, insisting that its software–iOS 9.3.5–is up to date. What it really means is that it can’t go beyond that version of iOS. That’s a good thing. I don’t want it to go to iOS 11, under which some of my favorite apps will not run.

As long as it holds up, I will continue to use it for apps such as Polyhedra, Card Thief, Through the Desert,… and many more. I’ll also use it for email. It seems to struggle most with web browsing, although that may be the fault of the Guardian’s site.

My Android phones have been rather less long-lived. My Motorola Droid Maxx turned into a brick a few days ago. It was itself a replacement for a similar phone that suffered from terminal boot-loop.

I now have a Samsung J7 V (for Verizon, I think). So far, so good.

But I’m wondering whether the 6 year old iPad 2 will outlive the new phone…

Washington: From General to Statesman

Washington, Ron Chernow’s biography of America’s first president, is tremendous. I’m just over halfway through it. I’ve just finished the third and longest of its six parts: The General. Part Four is The Statesman: hence the title of this post.

Chernow deftly sums up a couple of striking things about Washington the General.

Throughout history victorious generals had sought to parlay their fame into political power, whereas Washington had only a craving for privacy…

He was that rare general who was great between battles and not just during them.

Indeed, maintaining the Continental Army, given the lack of resources, the differences among the thirteen colonies, and other obstacles is as impressive as any specific victory.

I’m looking forward to the last three parts: The Statesman! The President!! The Legend!!! Those are Chernow’s titles, but my punctuation. There’s a great cast of characters: not only Washington himself, but also Martha, Lafayette, and of course Hamilton. That said, I may spend some time with shorter and more fictional reading before I read the next 360-ish pages.

I’ve been reading Common Sense…

by Thomas Paine, and I’ll quote from it in this post. But hey, I just quoted Angelica Schulyer! Here she is, with her sisters, and other members of the Hamilton company, at the White House.

Now to quote T Paine himself. There’s a wonderful passage from toward the end of Common Sense. Here’s the setup.

We ought to reflect, that there are three different ways, by which an independancy may hereafter be effected… By the legal voice of the people in Congress; by a military power; or by a mob

And here’s the payoff.

Should an independancy be brought about by the first of these means, we have every opportunity and every encouragement before us, to form the noblest purest constitution on the face of the earth. We have it in our power to begin the world over again.

Feel free to share your own favorite quotes from Thomas Paine, Lin-Manuel Miranda, or…

What I Learned at Mount Vernon

Toward the end of the eighteenth century, a rebellion arose in America. It was provoked by the imposition of a tax on a beverage. George Washington was the most important single individual involved.

Washington put down the rebellion with a show of armed force. It was 1794, so he was President Washington at the time. I wasn’t aware of the whiskey rebellion until today.

We spent an interesting day at Mount Vernon. One of our party wanted to go down onto the sand near the wharf. That was not permitted. I had to break the news that we do not have freedom of beach.

Nevertheless, she persisted

Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day. Tor is marking the day with a festival of flash fiction, in the form of stories inspired by the phrase “Nevertheless, she persisted”.

I’m about to read the contribution of Catherynne M. Valente: The Ordinary Woman and the Unquiet Emperor. I’m looking forward to the other contributions.

I hope that the day goes well for you.

Seven Surrenders on the Seventh

My most eagerly awaited book of 2017 is Seven Surrenders, by Ada Palmer. It is the sequel to my favorite book of 2016, Too Like the Lightning. 7S will be published on the 7th (of March, 2017). So it’s just a few hours away as I edit this post.

What does the title Seven Surrenders mean? I suspect that it means that each of the seven Hives in some sense surrenders. But if so, to whom? To Bridger, the remarkable kid we met early in TLtL? And why, and how, and…

Or the number seven might refer to days of the week. The narrator, Mycroft Canner, tells us toward the end of TLtL that it takes two books (presumably TLtL and 7S) to tell a seven-day story. TLtL covered Monday to Friday. I expect 7S to describe a wild weekend!

These books make me want to write as well as to read:

Future Countries in Favorite Fiction

The world currently consists of about two hundred countries: sovereign states, most of which are members of the United Nations (UN). They tend to be durable entities with rather stable borders.

The world of the future isn’t divided up in this way. At least not according to a couple of recent novels I enjoyed very much. I refer to:

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