Bike to Work Day in the Bay Area

May is national bike month, and today, May 12th, is Bike to Work Day (in the Bay Area at least).  It’s always exciting to participate in Bike to Work Day.  The volunteers at the Energizer Stations are so energetic, and excited (I don’t know how they get all that energy at 6 am).

So if you are wondering why there are so many bikes on the road today … well this is why.  I kinda wish we had a bike day of the month … that way, this excitement will come not just once a year, but 12 times a year.

I was able to stop by 4 Energizer Stations.

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Kaiser Energizer Station at Homestead/Lawrence

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Energizer Station off of San Tomas Aquino MUT at Agnew

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Energizer Station at the end of bike trail by Baylands Park

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Energizer Station at Yahoo

What type of schwag did we get?

Bright florescent green vest
Rear blinkie
Usual advertisements
Clif bar

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BTWD Goodies Bag

For the ride, I got 1.5 bananas, half a zucchini bread slice, granola rice Krispies, mini cup of trail mix … That’s a healthy breakfast.

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Grass is always greener on the other side

The title of this blog could apply to anything … but in this case, it applies to Cable TV/Internet.  In the Bay Area, the Cable provider is Comcast.  Yes, we all like to punch Comcast in the gut, complain about how bad their customer service is … and I am one of those … but man, I found something even worse.

I went to visit dad in LA, and in LA, the cable provider is Charter Communications … yeah, the same one who just got FCC approval to buy and take over Time Warner Communications.  Well, when I arrived, I found out Cable TV service is out … not only that, but Internet is also down.  Their phone is also down (but we don’t have that service, so at least we didn’t have to worry about that).

I went to their web site, to see if I can find any outage information.  Oy vey … You can’t even get support for a network problem.  How did I find outage information?  Not on the http://www.charter.net web site … no, I had to go to http://downdetector.com/status/charter-communications.  No, it’s not a Charter web site … at least with Comcast, they have a section on their web site, where you could check for status of the connection, and determine if there is an outage … but with Charter, you had to check through third party sites.

They didn’t even publish a phone number to report a problem.  I had to find the local Charter office, then call a 888 number … not a local number, but a 888 number, where I was able to get to support.  Then, they said they detected a service outage in my area.  However, they don’t allow me to speak to a live person.  Eventually, after about 3 subsequent calls, I found there was a fiber cut, which was affecting multiple areas … constituting most of San Gabriel Valley area.

So go ahead, complain if you want to about Comcast, but be careful what you ask for.  With this small sampling, Comcast is not that bad .. Charter … oof.  I wonder how Customer Service is with Cox, or Centurylink.  Why do cable providers strive to have bad customer service?

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What … It’s May Already???

Wow, the month of April really flew passed me.  It is already May?  I remember being all excited about April, with the 30daysofbiking … but then I had some family obligations (dad having knee surgery, having to sell his condo).  Family obligations took a lot of my time away … plus, having to work on call many weekends, it didn’t give me much time to ride.  With all this, this must have been the lowest mileage I’ve ever recorded on Strava.  Only 394 miles.  Good thing I didn’t sign up for any Strava challenges.

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I am in the middle of a 4 weekend layoff from biking on the weekend.  It started with a trip to LA, two consecutive on call weekends, then another visit to LA.  On my visit to LA, I don’t really have anywhere to store my bike, so bringing it with me is out of the question.  Plus, my time while down there is very busy, with no time for biking.

Here’s to a more productive month of May … I’ll be happy if I can get over 500 miles in May.  Who knows what endurance shape I’m in too.

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Why Not Ride Home from Work?

Traffic in Silicon Valley is ridiculously bad … I mean this video, is at 5:30 pm, and everyone is rushing to get out, just so they can wait in this line.  To me, I gladly will ride, just so I can pass everyone.

 

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Blogs Are Now Secure

It’s funny what you find out through Security Podcasts … while on the drive to LA, I was listening to the latest Security Now podcast, and found out all our wordpress blogs now are accessible via a secure SSL connection.  Woohoo!!!  And we didn’t have to do anything … no extra registrations needed … it just works.  Thanks WordPress!!!

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Moving Dad Out of the Condo

Several months ago, we moved my dad out of the condo (that mom and dad was living in) to a senior home (mom passed away quite a while ago, and he was living by himself all that time).  The plan was to keep the condo, in case he didn’t like the Senior Home, in which case we could move him back. 

Dad seems to like the Senior Home enough where we had to move on selling the condo.  We didn’t move everything, so now we have to move all the junk that is left in the condo.

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Part of this is to allocate stuff between myself, my sister, and my brother, and the rest would be junked.

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We did meticulous account for everything (taking pictures, tracking then with a spreadsheet).  However what we didn’t account for was stuff we had in the storage cage.  Oops.

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A bunch of stuff we found brought back some old memories, the type of stuff that will get you nostalgic.

There was also some confusion over which storage cage was ours.  I was the one who typically went down to the storage cage more than my brother or sister.  I had my bike stored there, so naturally I would go down there more often.  So my brother identified what we thought was our cage, but actually it was the one next to it.  With this in mind, he didn’t recognize anything that was in that cage.  It was unlocked, and the thought was people were putting all sorts of junk in our cage.  So they cleaned it out, and put some of the stuff from the condo into the cage.

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When I finally made it here, I went down and immediately said “that’s not our cage”.

That was just hilarious.  Well, we finally got the right cage, and was able to get the right junk in the right cage.

After finally identifying the right cage, I found even more junk that we didn’t identify.  It’s eerie going through some of this old stuff, that you remember from years past.  I guess this happens to everyone, but still think it’s eerie.

Time to finally close another chapter if our life … Saying goodbye to dad’s final condo.   It just made me reflect being alone in an echo chambered empty condo.  Eerie ….

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Pulled the Plug, Bye Bye Comcast

I kept hearing from others how they pulled the plug, and disconnected their cable tv.  Well, I went and jumped on the bandwagon.  Boy, what a liberating feeling it is.

I was paying for premium cable (no HBO or Showtime), but was hardly watching it.  I’d typically view ESPN, TBS, TNT, but other than that, nothing really special.  I’d watch a bunch of Hulu, Crackle, so the time watching actual cable was pretty small.

I bought one of those flat tv antenna, and reception turns out to be incredibly good, and the HD channels are extremely sharp.  In fact, it blew away the image I would normally get with cable (which makes sense, with all the compression cable does).  The only problem I had was the NBCSN channel, but I figured moving the antenna to another part of the room will help with the reception.

Ok, that’s it … Call Comcast, and with glee, cancel the cable tv connection.  However, as soon as I hang up, the Internet connection goes down.  Why can it never be that easy?  At least I didn’t have to haggle too much with them … Got the connection back up in 15 minutes.

So what am I going to do about ESPN, and TNT?  Sling has a $20 subscription, so that may be an option.  Only concerns … Stanley Cup playoffs … Tour de France … I guess I can view the tour on steephill.tv … I guess there’s always some trade off.

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