Friday, December 30, 2011


Wow, with this post I actually break 60 for the year!

Anne is off, with Emmi and her boyfriend, to their family's Christmas get-together, and I am here at home, fighting a cold which is slowly getting into my sinuses and chest. I think that the worst is past -- I always think that, as it gets worse and worse until I get antibiotics -- but this time I think it's true. I'll be going to bed in a few minutes, just in case.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Find Out What It Means To Me

Continuing my vacation, recent developments:

We did the Ride Of Respect last Thursday night, the memorial/tribute ride for Patrick Ytsma, a local rider and bike advocate -- known to be a stickler for legal and safe cycling -- who was run down by some old lady on the New Street Bridge.

 (It was a sad and chilling thing to hear first the rumors, then the hard news of the accident as it made its way through the local community -- the general consensus was that he probably was doing everything right, and if he could get hit then any one of us could, and I'd been over that bridge myself only an hour before...)

The ride itself was kind of neat -- it started next to Sand Island, not too far from our house, and the literally hundreds of cyclists assembled in the dark with their riding lights blazing was a very inspiring sight as we rolled down the hill into the parking lot. There were about 300 riders, including maybe 40 or so from my bike club and another 50 or so that were friends with either Anne or myself. We rolled out around 7:00, rode through downtown, over the bridge and then back again, and ended up at City Hall, where there was a memorial service. The police chief (who is also a bike cop) spoke, as did Steve from CAT, some fellow cyclists from the Lehigh Wheelmen, and Pat's widow. Definitely a sad event, but a beautiful tribute.

We ended the event with about 50 bikers in the back of the Brew Works, our version of an Irish wake.

Keeping It Real: I really love my Logitech Squeezebox, but it seemed to have one really annoying quirk which I couldn't find a way around-- it just would not play, or even acknowledge the existence of, certain songs on my laptop. (What made it worse is that every other music player played these songs no problem, and the same music files, on Anne's laptop, would play fine through the Squeezebox.)

I had no idea what was causing it, until things came to a head last night when a new CD I'd burned would not play. I went nuts looking for the problem -- wrong file type? wrong sampling rate? -- there was no pattern to it, until a Google clue had me look at file permissions. Turns out, some CD rippers were setting the file permissions so only I could read the resulting MP3 file, or the containing folders, and since the Squeezebox software runs as if it were a separate user on my machine, it couldn't even see the jiggered folders and files.

The solution was easier than I thought it would be, considering the offending files were randomly distributed throughout my music file hierarchy:

$ file . -type -d ! -perm 755 -point0 |xargs -0 chmod 755
$ file . -type -f ! -perm 644 -point0 |xargs -0 chmod 644

Bang! Less than a minute and the problem was solved. There's a reason tech guys, solving computer problems, first ask if the thing's plugged in...