Raymond Avenue Road Furniture Graveyard

Apparently the traffic calming features along Raymond Avenue sacrifice the road furniture:

Smashed Raymond Avenue Road Furniture
Smashed Raymond Avenue Road Furniture

I hadn’t realized the “standards compliant” road design caused the death of so many street lights, but the dead bollard population is definitely under-represented. In round numbers, every traffic circle (“intersection”) always has at least one smashed bollard in addition to the vestigial stumps of those removed rather than being replaced.

The upright bollard is a relic of the earliest installations, back before they realized a bollard with an eye-level light glaring into drivers’ eyes weren’t an effective design, particularly along a road lined with dead-black / non-reflective posts.

Spotted in the Town of Poughkeepsie Highway Department compound.

Too Many Deer: Another One Bites the Dust

I passed another dead deer on New Hackensack Rd while hauling groceries home:

Deer Collision - roadkill - New Hackensack Rd - 2021-09-08
Deer Collision – roadkill – New Hackensack Rd – 2021-09-08

The next day I walked past the other side of the collision at the corner gas station’s dead car collection:

Deer Collision - front end damage
Deer Collision – front end damage

A closer look at that nice rounded dent links the two contestants:

Deer Collision - front end damage - deer hair detail
Deer Collision – front end damage – deer hair detail

The impact didn’t blow the airbags, so maybe the car isn’t a total loss, despite extensive front end damage and some scrap metal inside the engine compartment.

As far as I can tell, Vassar College has been holding a deer cull every January, but taking out a few dozen deer definitely hasn’t eliminated the road hazard. If the folks objecting to the cull set up a fund to help drivers damaged by the objects of their affection, it’d demonstrate their understanding of the problem.

Beverage Faucet Replacement

The lesser kitchen faucet began dribbling and required replacement, as there are no user serviceable parts within. One of the 3D printed adapters I built during the previous iteration had disintegrated:

Beverage faucet base plate adapter disintegration
Beverage faucet base plate adapter disintegration

The new faucet came with a somewhat different baseplate and I managed to conjure a firm, sealed mount from the various parts without further construction.

The nicely curved brass snout is the third in my collection. Surely they’ll come in handy for something!

While I was in a plumbing state of mind, I again replaced the spout O-rings in the never-sufficiently-to-be-damned American Standard Elite (hah!) faucet, as it was also dribbling.

This time, I used oxalic acid to remove the assorted scale and crud inside the spout. It seemed to be more effective than the usual white vinegar, although nothing seems to preserve the O-rings.

Sharing the Road on Raymond Avenue: Zero Clearance

We’re bicycling on Collegeview Avenue, approaching the eastern traffic circle (of three) along Raymond Avenue. I’m in the lead, hauling a trailer with the week’s groceries:

Zero Clearance - Ed Front - 2021-09-07 - 0497
Zero Clearance – Ed Front – 2021-09-07 – 0497

The four digit frame numbers tick along at 60 fps for my helmet camera and 30 fps for the rear cameras.

Note the “splitter” (a.k.a. “pedestrian refuge”) on the left, intended to separate Collegeview’s incoming and outgoing traffic. It formerly had one non-reflective black bollard on each side of the ladder crosswalk, but errant drivers destroyed so many bollards along Raymond that they’re now WONTFIX remnants. The flush concrete disk in the lower left of this picture will become relevant in a few seconds of real time:

Zero Clearance - Ed Front - 2021-09-07 - 0593
Zero Clearance – Ed Front – 2021-09-07 – 0593

Collegeview has the same deteriorating pavement as found along Raymond Avenue, so we must maneuver beside the potholes:

Zero Clearance - Mary - 2021-09-07 - 0797
Zero Clearance – Mary – 2021-09-07 – 0797

The potholes make maintaining a safe-ish distance from the parked cars somewhat difficult:

Zero Clearance - Ed Rear - 2021-09-07 - 1140
Zero Clearance – Ed Rear – 2021-09-07 – 1140

All of us are slowing to stop at the traffic circle, with Mary behind the car that will eventually stop beside me:

Zero Clearance - Ed Rear - 2021-09-07 - 1522
Zero Clearance – Ed Rear – 2021-09-07 – 1522

Mary could see the car behind her in her helmet mirror, but she’s slowing to stall speed with no time for sightseeing and no room for maneuvering. The view from the camera on the seat frame behind her left shoulder:

Zero Clearance - Mary - 2021-09-07 - 0957
Zero Clearance – Mary – 2021-09-07 – 0957

Two seconds later:

Zero Clearance - Mary - 2021-09-07 - 1078
Zero Clearance – Mary – 2021-09-07 – 1078

One second:

Zero Clearance - Mary - 2021-09-07 - 1110
Zero Clearance – Mary – 2021-09-07 – 1110

Two more seconds:

Zero Clearance - Mary - 2021-09-07 - 1182
Zero Clearance – Mary – 2021-09-07 – 1182

Mary has stopped, as shown by the parked car’s unchanging position in the frame over on the left in the next images. The driver, however, continues creeping slowly forward; there can be no doubt she sees Mary at this distance.

After three more seconds:

Zero Clearance - Mary - 2021-09-07 - 1270
Zero Clearance – Mary – 2021-09-07 – 1270

One second later, the front wheel is exactly at Mary’s left foot:

Zero Clearance - Mary - 2021-09-07 - 1308
Zero Clearance – Mary – 2021-09-07 – 1308

The same events, viewed from the camera on my bike, start less than one second from the 1522 image above. I’m stopped, while the driver next to me continues to roll forward.

Mary is extending her left leg in preparation for a complete stop, at about the same time as the 1078 image:

Zero Clearance - Ed Rear - 2021-09-07 - 1542
Zero Clearance – Ed Rear – 2021-09-07 – 1542

Three seconds later her toe touches the pavement, while both she and the driver continue moving forward very slowly:

Zero Clearance - Ed Rear - 2021-09-07 - 1634
Zero Clearance – Ed Rear – 2021-09-07 – 1634

Five seconds later, she is stopped with her foot firmly planted:

Zero Clearance - Ed Rear - 2021-09-07 - 1773
Zero Clearance – Ed Rear – 2021-09-07 – 1773

And the driver continues moving:

Zero Clearance - Mary - 2021-09-07 - 1333
Zero Clearance – Mary – 2021-09-07 – 1333

Another five seconds and the sidewall bulge of the car’s radial tire is pressing her foot to the pavement:

Zero Clearance - Ed Rear - 2021-09-07 - 1934
Zero Clearance – Ed Rear – 2021-09-07 – 1934

A closer look:

Zero Clearance - Ed Rear - 2021-09-07 - 1946 detail
Zero Clearance – Ed Rear – 2021-09-07 – 1946 detail

She yanks her foot away:

Zero Clearance - Ed Rear - 2021-09-07 - 1953
Zero Clearance – Ed Rear – 2021-09-07 – 1953

While the driver continues to creep forward:

Zero Clearance - Mary - 2021-09-07 - 1397
Zero Clearance – Mary – 2021-09-07 – 1397

Sometimes, it’s the only way to get some attention:

Zero Clearance - Ed Rear - 2021-09-07 - 2026
Zero Clearance – Ed Rear – 2021-09-07 – 2026

Mary is now off-balance, leaning on the car door, explaining what just happened:

Zero Clearance - Ed Rear - 2021-09-07 - 2152
Zero Clearance – Ed Rear – 2021-09-07 – 2152

Mary regains her balance as the driver backs cautiously away:

Zero Clearance - Mary - 2021-09-07 - 1546
Zero Clearance – Mary – 2021-09-07 – 1546

Were the bollard still atop that sad concrete foundation, the driver might not have driven up on the splitter to get around Mary, if only to avoid scuffing a fender:

Zero Clearance - Ed Rear - 2021-09-07 - 2479
Zero Clearance – Ed Rear – 2021-09-07 – 2479

Compare this clearance with what you saw earlier in the 0957 image:

Zero Clearance - Mary - 2021-09-07 - 1627
Zero Clearance – Mary – 2021-09-07 – 1627

Mary can’t get far enough away, but this must suffice:

Zero Clearance - Ed Rear - 2021-09-07 - 2761
Zero Clearance – Ed Rear – 2021-09-07 – 2761

Now the driver can pass her again with more clearance:

Zero Clearance - Mary - 2021-09-07 - 1891
Zero Clearance – Mary – 2021-09-07 – 1891

I pointed to the car, then to the circle, and shouted “GO!” because neither of us wanted to be in front of that particular driver:

Zero Clearance - Ed Front - 2021-09-07 - 2540
Zero Clearance – Ed Front – 2021-09-07 – 2540

We’ll surely meet her again, ideally with more clearance.

Henceforth, we will take the middle of the lane into splitters, as cyclists should do on a “shared” roadway. I was assured by the DOT engineer who designed Raymond Avenue that it’s all “standards compliant”, so this is what NYS DOT regards as “making their highway systems safe and functional for all users”.

Having amateur radio HTs on the bikes lets us talk with each other in real time, which is a definite asset when stuff like this happens.

Not to mention having cameras here, there, and everywhere.

Elapsed time from the first to the last picture: 33 s.

For the record: blue Ford (although the ersatz fender vents seem reminiscent of an old Buick), license ANC-4273.

Naming Is Hard

A recent update to the X Windowing System (or whatever it’s called) once again changed the names of its monitors / displays / output devices, so that my startup script no longer confined the tablet to the landscape display.

In mostly reverse chronological order, here are various commands I’ve puzzled out:

#xsetwacom --verbose set "HUION Huion Tablet stylus" MapToOutput "DP1-8"
xsetwacom --verbose set "HUION Huion Tablet stylus" MapToOutput "DP-1-8"
#xsetwacom --verbose set "HUION Huion Tablet Pen stylus" MapToOutput "DP-1"
#xsetwacom --verbose set "Wacom Graphire3 6x8 Pen stylus" MapToOutput "DP-1"
#xsetwacom --verbose set "Wacom Graphire3 6x8 Pen stylus" MapToOutput "HEAD-0"
#xsetwacom --verbose set "Wacom Graphire3 6x8 Pen eraser" MapToOutput "DP-1"
#xsetwacom --verbose set "Wacom Graphire3 6x8 Pen eraser" MapToOutput "HEAD-0"

Over the last two years, the display name changed from DP-1 to DP-1-8 to DP1-8, and back to DP-1-8. I grew accustomed to this with the Wacom tablet (HEAD-0‽)and now know where to look, but I still have no idea of the motivation.

Aaaand the tablet’s stylus name? The Wacom names were stable, but the Huion names apparently come from the Department of Redundancy Department.

Guten Tag, Deutchland!

Mostly, this blog ticks along with 400 to 500 page views per day, with 300-ish visitors looking at a page or two each.

This week, something happened:

Blog Stats - 2021-08-28
Blog Stats – 2021-08-28

Both of those spikes came from Germany:

Blog Countries - 2021-08-28
Blog Countries – 2021-08-28

Traffic spikes generally come from a single post getting fifteen minutes of Reddit fame, with a zillion visitors hitting a specific page.

In this case, a German “visitor” read nearly all of my 4461 posts on two days: 822 + 3561 = 4383. I’m reasonably sure no human finds my writing that interesting, so it’s likely a scraper capturing my text for the purposes of spinning it into a blog-like site with “unique content” for the purposes of SEO.

Perhaps the first traffic spike was a targeting run?

I’ll never know the rest of the story, but if you happen to stumble across a blog with an uncanny resemblance to this one, written by something with a wide vocabulary and no techie knowledge, let me know.