Richard Nelson

Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

R.I.P. Will Caviness

In Uncategorized on 2011 October 10 Monday at 01:13:53

Captain Will Caviness of the Greensboro, N.C., Fire Department collapsed 500 yards from the finish of the Chicago marathon this morning, and died later in hospital. He was running with his brother to raise money for the IAFF burn fund. The story is here. Captain Caviness’ fundraising page is here. And here is an image he posted to that page just 3 days ago.


“Fan throws hot dog at Woods”

In Uncategorized on 2011 October 10 Monday at 00:05:39

Great headline to a rather question-raising story. The first question is, Why is the assailant called a “fan”? But at the end of story I was wondering what on earth he was arrested for. Thrown off the property, sure—but to jail?

And the story does rather remind me of what is probably my 2nd favourite Monty Python skit on how to defend yourself from a man armed with a banana!


What’s the biggest difference in how we use our time, 1998 to 2010?

In Uncategorized on 2011 October 9 Sunday at 23:55:41

Computer usage.

According to Statistics Canada’s recently published General Social Survey—2010: Overview of the Time Use of Canadians (PDF):

… the proportion of Canadians reporting using computers (excluding using a computer while doing paid work) for such things as email, on-line social networking, and searching for information increased nearly five-fold between 1998 and 2010, from 5% to 24%. In 2010, computer users spent an average of 1 hour and 23 minutes on the computer on the diary day. Computer use increased significantly across all age groups. In 2010, the age group with the highest proportion of computer users continued to be 15- to 24-year-olds (at 32%). This group spent, on average, 1 hour and 41 minutes a day using the computer.

You don’t have to reflect on this very long to realize how significant this change is, in how computers have penetrated our society.

This post is Priority A1!

In Getting Things Done (GTD) on 2011 October 6 Thursday at 15:12:39

I like this thought on priority-grading schemes:

One of the reasons you won’t find ABC/123 priority coding in the GTD system is that most people’s lives change too quickly for it to ever be an accurate reflection of what’s true in this moment. Not to say clarifying priorities shouldn’t be a priority, but I bet you can think of a time when you thought your day looked one way at 9:00 a.m., and an exciting or challenging or annoying interruption or surprise happened at 9:05 a.m. that blew all of that out of the water. How quickly could you shift and change to adapt to that—while bookmarking what you were working on to easily get back to it?

The rest of David Allen’s post is an interesting extension to this insight, using fire services as his example.

One of my favourite pieces of infrastructure remains closed to motor vehicles

In active transport, cycling, running, Toronto politics on 2011 October 5 Wednesday at 22:25:52

The Toronto Star has reported that Pottery Road from Broadview to Bayview avenue will remain closed indefinitely until a solution is found for an unstable hillside. In the meanwhile, the improved bike/ped facility on the southern side remains open, so it’s a quiet route into the ravine of the Don River.

This is barely a kilometre from our house, and I often run down or up it. I’ve never biked up it because it’s so steep and I’m reluctant to take the lane; but the new facility is wide enough for upbound cyclists. For downbound cyclists, I understand the City will be painting sharrows in the centre of the downbound lane; in deed, I can cautiously bike down the hill faster than I can drive a car down it.

Here’s a set of drawings of what the City planned to do.

An Ironman event for Toronto? Doesn’t look good

In Ironman, Toronto politics on 2011 October 5 Wednesday at 22:15:18

Despite my continuing quest to complete another “real” Ironman triathlon, I have no particular love for the Ironman business, and its brand extensions, particularly the so-called 5150 Olympic-distance triathlons.

This article relates the September meeting of Toronto City Council’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, which considered Ironman’s application to close a long expressway section to mount a 5150 event in Toronto. Interestingly, a prominent environmentalist and usual opponent of the incumbent mayor, seems to have led the fight not to approve the closure.

The September meeting deferred further consideration to today, but the meeting minutes are unclear. It seems that the committee set out a ten-point framework for deciding whether a closure was to be granted, but did not clearly approve or disapprove Ironman’s application.

Here’s the original, favourable, staff report on the proposal, and here’s the course map.

I keep having to check I’m not reading The Onion

In Uncategorized on 2011 October 4 Tuesday at 23:00:44

Something about this seems somehow unlikely. Sadly, it isn’t.

Leslie has to withdraw

In Uncategorized on 2011 October 4 Tuesday at 22:59:11

My friend Leslie Holton has been attempting the Deca Iron Italy, but withdrew from her, gulp, 5th Ironman. According to her husband, she’ll rest up and do “only” 8 Ironman-length triathlons. You can read Drew’s Twitter timeline here.

Wow: Scott & Allen give a new meaning to “iron war”

In Uncategorized on 2011 October 1 Saturday at 14:04:58

Dave Scott & Mark Allen are so unhappy with Matt Fitzgerald’s upcoming Iron War they’ve published an open letter—and sued.

UPDATE: Coverage in the local newspaper of triathlon.

Cyclists: threat or menace?

In Uncategorized on 2011 October 1 Saturday at 14:00:41

Bialik’s usual good take on two well reported studies on how dangerous  cycling is to cyclists and pedestrians.