Pardon Me, Excuse Me, Move it Over Please. Alcatraz

November 20, 2017 § Leave a comment

George Carlin’s “Class Clown” was one of my first albums. This wasn’t long after George made the jump from traditional straight-up suit wearing comedian to counter-culture long haired comedian. I played this album so many times, and many of those times with my friend Chris. There is a segment titled “Muhammad Ali” that takes a poke at the cleaned up white washed version of American History. The last portion of this concerns Native Americans and goes like this

We really gave the Indians a fast trip across the continent, you notice that? They were having a little cookout in Massachusetts- buncha boats came up, man…”Hey, ya mind moving over, guys? Bring in the stuff. Would you move it over, man. Bring in the stuff. Would you move it over, man. Bring in the stuff. Would you move it over, man. Over three mountain ranges…four mountain ranges. Got ’em onto an offshore island, Alcatraz, right? Off the continent completely! They had to take the island to get it! Then we kicked them off there.

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Fritz

November 18, 2017 § Leave a comment

Day 3 – Way back in my young adulthood I got this idea to ride my bicycle across the country, which I did during the Summer of 1981. I started in San Diego, and rode North where after some weeks and some time in San Francisco, we (My roommate Frank joined me) headed North for some Highway 1 scenery. On our second day out we met a cyclist named Jim, who was riding across the country as well, however there was a difference, and that difference was that his equipment was not really the kind of cross country equipment you should be riding across, but one look at him, and you knew he was riding what he could. That was near the end of the day, and when we found a State managed biker campground we pulled in, and to our pleasure we had company. That was where I first met Fritz Knochenauer.

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Fall Cycling Epic

October 8, 2017 § 4 Comments

On Monday August 14th at 9:27PM I received a text from Cliff.

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The Text that Started the Ball rolling.

It started with “let’s go to Princeton”, but it ended with “I’m thinking about a ferry to Bear Mountain Saturday October 7th with beer at The Tiki Bar afterwards”. It doesn’t take much more than that to get my planning habits working. As Cliff knows, a travel idea, once planted puts me in a single minded train of thought that won’t be satisfied until I have the route logistics all planned and drawn out. Before midnight I had used the “Create a Route” feature of Strava and mapped a route from the 11th St Ferry terminal in lower Manhattan, up the West side bike path, over the GW and then up the West side of the Hudson to Bear Mountain, and returning along mostly the same route. Of course I parsed Cliff’s original suggestion into what it meant. Let’s meet early at the Ferry Terminal in Highlands with our bikes, and then do a an epic ride to Bear Mountain and back, where we can catch an afternoon ferry back, and then we can party at The Tiki Bar in Sea Bright.

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Dolly Sods a.k.a Dahle Sods – 2001

August 18, 2017 § Leave a comment

In September of 2000, I started a new position at a small, growing fast startup called Tellium. I left IBM after only being with them for 2 months after AT&T sold our business unit to IBM for eventual outsourcing, so AT&T could sponsor the new stadium in Denver. There is no evidence that was the case, but the sponsorship deal was 200 million, and the IBM deal was about 190. At Tellium, I was hired to work on a team to in-source the Network Management software FROM India. Tellium was working night and day, and had just entered their third round of Venture funding, and they were gearing up for the big delivery. A brand new architecture in backbone network design, a mesh architecture with home-grown hardware and software.

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State College Instead of Mallorca?

May 29, 2017 § 2 Comments

It’s not the Mediterranean; There aren’t gorgeous ocean views, or even gorgeous ocean villas! However, in my mind at least, some of the best riding I have ever done was in and around State College, Pa during my tenure at Penn State.

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My Friend Loh-Ping Ying

March 11, 2017 § 4 Comments

At the time, I was working for Abe Osovsky in Yee Lee’s department. I had transferred over there from my old department where I had been developing test tools, but didn’t feel much like a tester. I wanted to do development work, but by the time I actually moved into Abe’s group, the project I had interviewed for was well past available, and someone else was working it. After a couple of months of trying to invent something for me to do, I was asked about a new project in Peter Ting’s group where a small group of people were just getting started.

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Pushing My Luck – I was an Idiot Though

May 20, 2016 § Leave a comment

Suddenly the truck lost power. I could feel the change in the accelerator pedal immediately and glancing at the dashboard display revealed my worst nightmare. The gas tank was empty and my gamble had failed. Just 3 minutes earlier I was in the queue at a Sunoco Station in the Service Plaza just prior to Exit 7A of the NJ Turnpike. The queue was long, and my gauge didn’t look like it was that empty. I knew from familiarity of the area that Exit 8 on I 195 has a Valero Station and that is less than 4 total miles from where I was currently detained in the queue. Why don’t I take a chance? In addition it had been a pretty lucky weekend overall. We had planned a 2 night 3 day backpacking trip into Tuscarora State Forest, and the 10 day forecast all week looked dismal. However it started to brighten on Thursday, and as it turned out, the rain stopped not long after we parked our vehicles in the hiking lot at Colonel Denning State Park. What luck! Furthermore, it only improved as the day progressed. The sun started to make appearances, and we had a clear sky all night. We watched the moon traverse a large arc in the heavens. Saturday started out as great as anyone could hope. Sunny and warm. Rain did eventually arrive, but tarps we possessed and deployed them we did, and after two fronts moved through we were good for the night.

So after all that good luck, why shouldn’t I try to make it 4 more miles? Off I went, and now the Tundra was losing speed on the ramp incline just shy of the toll plaza. I engaged the emergency blinkers, and pulled out of the travel lane. It wasn’t completely hopeless, as my insurance has coverage for just this sort of emergency, but what did the tow truck driver say to me the last time I used his service? “95% of my service calls are because people ignore their low gas warning and then ran out of gas. What idiots!”. Now I was one of those idiots! Or was I? I could simply pick up the phone and dial, or I could wait a moment, and simply turn the key. What is the worst that could happen? It doesn’t start? Well, it wasn’t currently running, so that doesn’t really change my status. But it could start. So, I turned the key, and it started! Now I just had to see how far I could get this time. I may not even make it to the top of the ramp, but then again, I might if I could just get some speed built up. I threw it into gear and eased my foot onto the accelerator and  sure enough, I moved faster and faster and over the top of the hump. I let off the gas and coasted through the toll machine with “EZ Pass Paid” displayed and I kept rolling right on through to the entrance ramp for I 195 East “Shore Points”. I took a chance and depressed the pedal a little more and I picked up more speed. I had one more initial hump in the overpass over the Turnpike. I cleared that easily, and then the exit sign for Allentown (Exit 7) came quickly. I didn’t want that one, because there are no services on that road, and it would be a longer distance to the Valero. So I pushed my luck further and on to Exit 8. Exit 8 has a long swirling ramp that ends at stop light where most vehicles make a left turn. Fortunately for me that queue was short and it didn’t block the right turn I could make onto 539 South and to the Valero Station which was right there. I had made it!

The truck owner’s manual lists the tank at 25 gallons and change. How much change? Well the Gauge on the pump indicated I put 26.34 gallons into the tank. That is the most ever! Whew!

Thirty Years Ago – The Adventures of Frank & Stein – Part II

July 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

June 1st 1981 was the set departure date for the journey that would become known as “The Frank and Stein Route”. We had everything we needed, and the time had come to put the plan into action. We weren’t shipping our bikes and gear to San Diego, so we had to get bike boxes from a local shop, and disassemble our machines enough to re-pack them in these boxes. Fortunately there was room in the box to stuff many of the other items we had as well. What didn’t fit in the bike boxes we crammed into two other normal packing boxes, one each, so that we each had one huge bike box and one rather large box to manage at the Airport. We didn’t need suitcases, because we couldn’t carry them back with us, so disposable cardboard was the way to go.

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The Adventures of Frank & Stein Part I

July 3, 2015 § Leave a comment

Every year is an anniversary of “The Adventures of Frank & Stein” played by myself as Stein, and a college friend and roommate Frank Falcione. The name really has to be credited to Thomas Dudek, another college friend. Tom was a somewhat streetwise Philadelphia fanatic that played a great game of pool, and lived in the same student housing slum as both Frank and I. We were in the same small Engineering Science department at Penn State, and we spent a lot of time together in class, at the Rathskeller shooting pool, at The Hub shooting pool, and drinking lots of beer. Somewhere along the line in this friendship Tom gave me the nickname Stein. Pretty soon that was how my circle of friends knew me. Very much the same way that I am known today amongst my cycling contingent as Bird (yes, it is short for Big Bird). I don’t really recall how Tom came up with stein. It was not like we were all looking for nicknames. We weren’t sitting around drinking and smoking dope thinking out loud “We should all have some nicknames….Eric you be stein”. Suddenly it was there, and that was who I was. So the following (and subsequent posts) is a recollection of an adventure that was hatched by me, and drew in Frank so that by the time we left for this adventure it was already being called “Frank & Stein’s Big Adventure” or something like that. “What route are you taking?” “It’ll be the Frank & Stein route.” “What the hell is the Frank & Stein Route?” “It will be the route that we travel, where ever that takes us.” Mostly it should end up being a tale of friendship, and the people we meet along the way. What are stories, but the recollection of past events shared with friends? So here is the recollection of one of my major past events.

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Barbados Needs Sidewalks

February 7, 2015 § Leave a comment

Yes Barbados has some sidewalks but hardly enough for all the roadway that exists on this island paradise. Perhaps you might believe that paradise doesn’t include sidewalks, but you would be wrong. If there are roads, and there certainly are roads in Barbados, and there are pedestrians, and there are plenty of pedestrians in Barbados, and they have to get from the transit stop home, then Barbados needs sidewalks. Keep in mind that pedestrian traffic is not limited to daylight hours only, oh no! They are in the road in the dark in dark clothing and are very hard to see. Did I mention that they drive on the left here in Barbados?

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