Gordon was a little spacey today and in no mood to listen to Drake. I suspect the heat was a factor. We hiked along the creek, which was nice and cool tho, which was nice and cool, so I guess he has no excuse 🙂
Inspired by, and to celebrate, my recent breaking even on bus fares thanks to the Bay Area Bike Share program.
Excellent small-run artisan boutique acid vinyl purveyors Balkan Vinyl have just released Music Sans Frontiers, a charity compilation of tracks from the likes of Posthuman, Hrdvision, Plaid and B12. Although they normally do vinyl releases, such as the Balkan Colors series, this is a digital-only release, to reduce costs and make sure as much money as possible goes to the charity.
All profits go to Doctors Without Borders, who are right now rushing supplies and personnel to the Philippines. I think this campaign is a coincidence, but their help is as vital as ever in the wake of this terrible storm.
BV also do special limited packs, like the awesome and long-since-sold-out Rave Wars and The Hardcore Strikes Back 7″‘s, which had a light side and a dark side, and came with a random genuine vintage (1977-85) Star Wars figure (none of this modern elbow-and-knee-joint business).
This compilation is pretty solid all the way through. There are some very nice slices of crunchy coated bass (the subtly de-tuned ‘Serpents’ by Jakeone), some crispy fried acid (‘Terminal 5’ by Affie Yusuf), with a side helping of light tangy melodic euro-thud (‘Air Spray’ by Nightwave) rounded up with a broad marshy landscape (‘Owl Creek’ by Brend).
There are a couple of tracks which definitely sound a bit sparse, like a few minutes twiddling the resonance knob. Not a bad thing in itself, to be sure. Minimal, efficient. Gets the job done. But they almost sound like outtakes dug out, quickly polished and submitted for release.
My personal favorite track is the friendly tree-lined drive of ‘Tact Switch’ by Echaskech.
Last year I wrote about an earlier Balkan Vinyl charity release, which included the wicked rave cut ‘Zombie 303’ by AGT Rave Cru (my “jam” for a week last December) and the relentless reverb of Ben Sims’ ‘Barrow Boy Acid’.
Good label. Nice action.
Mind you, if you don’t like this kind of music, by all means drop a couple of quid/bucks directly in the charity pot here. And if the reason you don’t like this music is the tortured metaphors I use to describe it, then by all means head to Both Bars On, where Bon does a much better job of describing electronic music than I do.
Back in September, I signed up for the Bay Area Bike Share scheme. I wrote about how I was getting on, and described the spreadsheet I’ve been using to keep track of my rides, and to see when the savings from not having to take a Muni bus would pay for the cost of the membership and helmet.
Today I have world-shattering news. This morning’s ride, chilly as it was, was the last one I needed to break even! As of today, I have saved enough bus fares to pay for the annual membership and my helmet and reflective ankle straps. You can see the spreadsheet in Google Docs here. Here’s how it looked as of today.
The graph has four series:
- “Trips Countdown” shows the actual number of trips taken, counting down from 85 (the number of trips I needed to break even).
- “2 rides per weekday” is a reasonable yet optimistic estimate based on riding once in the morning and once in the evening of each weekday.
- “Projected Average Trips” is a more conservative estimate, including sometimes not riding in the evening due to being picked up by Cassie, and other factors.
- “Today” just shows where today is. It’s a single orange bar at today’s date from the horizontal axis up to the “Trips Countdown” line, so today it is invisible.
While never beating the green line, and sometimes lagging behind the cyan line, I did manage to have quite a good run over the past couple of weeks. Every ride I take now saves me $2, which means by the time my membership expires, 297 days from now in September 2014, I may have saved over $500 if I ride just six times a week, and over $800 if I ride twice a weekday. Not bad.
Just out of curiosity, I looked into Wheels of Justice in Montclair Village yesterday, where a helpful chap in a Mogwai t-shirt showed me a couple of steady commuter bikes. Of course, if I were to buy a bike, there would then be the whole issue of maintenance, carrying it on the bus and all the hassle. The bike share scheme is great because I can just grab a bike and go, then leave it at a station and forget about it. But maybe in the future it will be worth getting a ride of my own.
In the meantime, I’ll carry on taking advantage of this great service. I hope it expands, gets more bikes and stations, and becomes a fixture of San Francisco street life, like similar schemes in other major cities around the world.
At the Farmers market yesterday, we saw a stall selling quiche, called ‘Quiche and Carry’. This made us smile, but also immediately start planning our rival stall, which Cassie named ‘Quiche and Tell’. I added the slogan:
“so good, you’ll go to the papers ”
I’ve finally found my niche.
Rejected stall names:
Quiche of the Spider Woman
Quiche Me Deadly
Quiche (as in” I just want your extra time and your… Quiche”)