Posted by Jeff on August 15, 2008
I suppose there is some philosophical significance to the process of cutting ties here in Ann Arbor to start a new life in Cleveland, and I think that Kushida Sensei would have a decent amount to say about starting any new endeavor with a beginner’s mind… but it’s more than a little overwhelming to close the book on most of the things that I’ve been involved with over the last decade.
On Friday, I worked 16 hours for my last shift in dispatch. That it was a really busy and stressful shift helped to keep me from feeling too badly about walking out of the comm center for the last time. Although I’ll miss most of the people who work in there, I feel pretty relieved that I won’t have to worry about the bureaucracy and policies involved in actually working as a dispatcher.
Yesterday was both my last day in the office with UM (again, I’ll miss the people, not the work environment) and very sadly, my last day as lieutenant of the fire department. While I’ll be staying on with HVA in my capacity as a road medic, the opportunities for continuing in the fire service while in Cleveland are pretty limited. Very few departments are staffed by anything other than career firefighters and I just won’t have the time or flexibility to work a full-time shift schedule.
In any case, it is a huge change in our lives as we start an entirely new chapter and leave the familiar behind.
Posted in Day-to-day | Tagged: move, resignation | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jeff on August 5, 2008
On monday, I took the bike out for a trial run from the new house to campus. One of our neighbors (Fran) mentioned that it’s a 10-minute ride there and a 15-minute ride back. I managed to get there in about 20, with a 25-minute return trip. Here are some tips for next time to help shave that time down a little:
- inflate the tires to something more than 20psi
- Switch the knobby offroad tires to street slicks
- Write down the directions or take a map
- Check the brakes… back AND front
- The bike goes faster when the chain stays on the chainring
For you former Bursley-ites reading this, it turns out that my ride to/from campus involves almost the same elevation changes as the ride from north campus to central campus… approximately 200 feet. However, my ride now has definite bonus of taking me right through Little Italy.
Fortunately, most of the streets I got lost on were pretty nice areas of town, but I did see some areas a few blocks away from our neighborhood that I’m really glad we didn’t buy into (Derbyshire between Lamberton and Cottage Grove). The last time I rode a bike to work or school was about 10 years ago, so it also took me about five minutes to remember how to use a U-lock to property secure a bike to a rack.
Having finally made it to campus, I had a great discussion with Dr. Hauck, my advisor. It looks like I’m going to start my research by learning the finite element analysis software MARC and using it to study the lifecycles of lunar craters. While not quite as exciting as the other option (analysis of IR, visible, and topographic data from the next Mercury Messenger pass) it gets me going on a project quickly.
Posted in Day-to-day | Tagged: biking, case, cleveland | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jeff on July 15, 2008
I’ve seen this too many times for it to be a fluke with one device or even model. The Garmin mobile gps devices make some insane decisions for routing from one place to another and I can’t decide whether it’s due to poor maps or a poor routing algorithm. Our family uses the StreetPilot c550 and HVA uses the nuvi series, and I’ve seen the same issue with both.
A good example is our most recent trip to Cleveland from Milan. A reasonable person (and Google) would take US23 south to either I80/90 or I475 to get to the turnpike. Our garmin directed us to get off US23 at Summerfield, take that to Sterns, to Lewis, to I-75, to I-280, and thence to the turnpike. For those not in the know, these are all two lane back roads and while possibly more direct, it would be MUCH slower than staying on the highway.
On our first trip to Cleveland, we had to pull into a residential street to get out the laptop and look up directions online, since our Garmin kept taking us around in circles AROUND our destination, without actually taking us TO our destination.
I’ve seen the same thing happen with the nuvi series, where crews have followed the gps onto rural, 2-lane roads that end up being more direct but much slower, or have gotten stuck in the loop-around route.
I’ve triple-checked the settings in several of the units and they are all clearly set to choose the fastest route with all obstacle avoidance turned off. The weird thing is that our StreetPilot has actually tried to route us a couple ways around Toledo on several different trips to Cleveland, with the same start and end points, and all settings the same.
I am curious if I would experience the same bugs with another manufacturer (TomTom, maybe), or if it is a deficiency in a shared routing algorithm.
Posted in Computer stuff, Day-to-day | Tagged: garmin, maps, routing | 4 Comments »