Sunday, March 6, 2016


My trike headrest has been drawing a lot of notice, curiosity, and even admiration. This is its story...

My trike headrest didn't start life as a headrest, but as a solution to the chronic recumbent bike & trike, "How do I mount taillights?" problem. I have a mesh seat so I needed clamps that didn't go all the way around the frame tubes, and I found them. Yay!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Every recumbent Trike Needs a Walking Cane

Maybe not every one, but mine does. I recently spent a couple of weeks in Manatee Memorial Hospital after a bit of congestive heart failure (which is what killed James Brown and damn near got me). They didn't exactly release me, either. It was more of  medical parole. They wanted to send me to a rehab joint, but I whined that I wouldn't have the equipment there I needed to do video work, and I'd sleep better in my own bed, and so on, until we came to a compromise: I could go home, but they'd send a nurse and a home health care worker over twice a week to make sure I wasn't driving, was doing my physical therapy (but not too much of it), and generally being a Good Little Patient. They even gave me a walker so I could limp around like an invalid. Which... hmm... I guess I am.

I still have my recumbent trike, though, and while I hardly have any balance it doesn't take any to ride -- until I get someplace where I might want to dismount and walk around, for which I need at least a cane, which I had slung on the rear cargo rack, a totally inconvenient location. It was the (bike-riding) physical therapist who suggested the side-of-the-mesh-seat mounting point. It's working out really well, Cheryl. Thank you!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Boycotting the Lily-White Oscars

Will and Jada Smith aren't going. Neither are (wife) Debbie and I. But the person whose boycott would be meaningful is Chris Rock, and he hasn't pulled out. Yet. Read the rest here.

Big Auto Searches for Meaning Beyond Selling Cars

Carmakers want to get in on the driver-exploitative hire car business pioneered by Uber and Lyft. Read the rest @ Technology Review.

Friday, January 1, 2016

A "State of the Trike" Video, Dec. 30, 2015

A crappy video - really a test of my $62 GoPro knockoff "action camera." Good visuals, poor sound. Next time, if I want sound, I'll record it with my smart phone. 

Anyway, this is a look at my trike in its present state of modification, along with a very brief ride around our neighborhood, heavily edited to prevent excess boredom. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

My Light Bar and Head Rest

This (left) is my combination light bar and head/neck rest. It started as one vertical stub on each side of the mesh seat, held on with lamp mount clamps.
A seat-edge lamp mount clamp

The trick is that this kind of clamp doesn't need to go all the way around the bar you clamp it to, in this case the edge of a typical recumbent trike seat. The other end goes around a piece of 3/4" (inside; about 7/8" outside) PVC pipe.  And then I thought, "Hmmm.... if I put a horizontal piece of PVC pipe between the two vertical ones, I could put a short length of foam pipe insulation around it, then put some soft, furry fabric around that, and there's my headrest." 

This sort of worked, except it tended to lean forward or back depending on my head position, which made my lights sort of crazy. So I put another horizontal piece of PVC at the bottom of the vertical sections, with four L fittings holding it all together and a drop of superglue at each joint for added rigidity. This all works out because of my seat angle and curve; the lower horizontal pipe rests against the back of the mesh seat and created a perfect angle for my neck to rest against. 

Your bike or trike may be different and require two of the clamps instead of the lower horizontal pipe. And -- again, this depends on your trike or bike seat -- you may need (or want) to bend some of your PVC, which you do by filling it with sand to prevent kinks while bending, then heating the sand-filled tube with a blow dryer or other heat-producing tool. 

PVC is magical. Cheap, too. 

One last note about my light bar: the vertical curved thing sticking up is an 18" Foam Glow Stick held on to the light bar assembly with two lengths of velcro. The sticks cost less than a buck apiece and really make your trike or bike visible at night from all directions, especially if you use two of them. 

Plus, of course, you have your regular headlights and taillights, and likely a reflector or two. I like to say, "If they don't see me, they're working at not seeing me." Which, since this is Florida, is entirely possible. Sigh.

A Permanently-Attached Leash for Easy Dog-Trotting

This is the right (front) wheel on Silver, my Trident Spike recumbent trike. The blue thing is your basic retractable dog leash. It's "permanently" held on with zip ties, so I don't need to go find a leash and hook it up if I want to take Terri the Terrorist Terrier out for a trot. In fact, I can and do hook her up before I open the gate, and give her enough leash to let her head on out while I roll the trike out and close the gate behind us.

And in case you hadn't guessed, 
this is Terri. ------------------------------>


Friday, December 4, 2015

About the San Bernadino Killings...

I considered the whole thing terrorism from the start. All I didn't know was why they were terroring. Hate for fellow employees? Republicans who didn't want the county to give poor people free or discounted health care? ISIS-style martyrdom? Ask the dead people if they care. "No," they will say, "We're dead. We don't care *why* they shot us. All that matters is that they did. And no matter what the investigations turn up, we are still dead."

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

They're my kind of people: the Addams Family! Readers, Meet BookBub

BookBub claims to offer "Great Deals on Bestselling Ebooks." And that's what it does. I get a daily email tailored to my reading preferences. Some of the books are new, some are older titles, some are by "name" authors -- mostly the older titles -- and a lot are by new (to me) authors. Prices range from $0 up to $5.99 or so. A lot of the $0 or $.99 books are parts of series, with other books in the series going for $2.99 - $6.99.  Nothing wrong with that. $4.99 is as much as I spend on light fiction these days, so I check prices on other books in an author's series before taking that first taste.