Shimano Bike Gears Failure

Man, what a bummer. I was planning to go to work early to really finish some emails that I had postponed for some time. At one point I switched gears, and BOOM, my back wheel is stuck. I quickly jump of my bike, and carry it to the side of the road. I had to run, as I was crossing a busy street, with the lights on red. Yes, I know, it’s a bad Amsterdam habit, but as I got used to it for 12 years, it’s hard to resist not to cross when no car is coming.

On the other side of the road I see how badly damaged my gears are. I cannot even move any of the broken off parts of the thing that changes the chain to other blades (no clue how you would call it in English).

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Even my fender is completely out of place.

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The good thing is, is that it’s getting fixed. I brought my bike to the store where I bought it a little more than a month ago. They told me they would fix it for free, which I think is excellent service. The bad thing is, is that the parts need to be ordered at Shimano. That could take around 7-10 days… Outsch! That means I would need a different way to get to work…

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star

I just bought myself two pairs of old school Converse Chucks. I love these shoes! I wonder how long these will be as clean as I got them in the picture below here!

Converse-Chuck-Taylor-All-Star

On my way to Europe

I just boarded my plane, a BA flight to London. I was super surprised I could not load any Google.com application in the British Airways lounge, so I was stuck with opening multiple tabs with interesting blog posts, instead of downloading all of my feeds in Google Reader. This sucks. I’m used of flipping through a great number of posts while flying transatlantic. I will have to do with less to read. Maybe I can go deeper into the material, and actually reproduce someting meaningful here.

Sitting at a window seat, just above the wing, gave me a great view of The City of San Francisco during take off. Unfortunately, the plane already made a fast turn over the Golden Gate Bridge, so I could not take that many great shots from the air. Some of the shots are in taken in wide view of the whole city, which shows how big Golden Gate Park really is.

San-Francisco-Widescreen

First off, what are we drinking and eating after take off.

Flight-Menu

Now to my opened up sites in multiple tabs in the browser. I started with a great post of somebody I highly admire: Matt Mullenweg. I once went to the WordPress upgrade party at Matt’s house. At the time I didn’t know who he was, I just found the party on Upcoming, and I thought it would be fun. Later I found out he is the founding developer of WordPress. I just thought it was super cool of him to invite complete strangers into his house, to help each other upgrading their WP installation. That is true community building right there!

Matt-Wordpress-reading

Since then I’ve been a big advocate for WordPress. Not only because the code Rocks, but I  like the way the platform has been developed over time by the founders and multiple volunteers. Cheers Matt, this Champagne I drink on you and your accomplishments. Hope to speak with you on Wordcamp San Francisco.

In any case, read Matt’s thoughts on the Acquisition of Sun by Oracle, which includes the MySQL open source database. If only to re-assure you Matt is totally in sync:

  • I’ve met a number of people at Sun who are incredibly smart, and if they stick around I expect cool things to continue to come out.
  • There are some new developments in the WordPress world, namely that I think it would be possible to add support for databases other than MySQL without changing every $wpdb call or breaking any plugins or themes. It won’t be easy, but the coolest stuff seldom is.
  • I have full confidence Matt and WordPress will weather any perfect storm, just because the WordPress community is build on top of so many smart minds which all have a vested interest.  With all the new applications Automattic is putting out there and managing and now with  the recent announcement taking over Blo.gs I have full confidence that Automattic is going to play a much bigger role in the way people are able to publish to the Internet, and I’m sure they will do an excellent job.

    Airplane-dinner

    After the dinner, I dove into the 31-Day Project becoming a better blogger from Problogger.net Darren Rowse. The content is really good so far, and I will need some more time to digest it all. With this program, Darren shows how far he has come as a blogger. Clearly I still have a lot to learn. It’s amazing how Darren is helping anybody becoming a better blogger, not only with these great posts, but also with the help and the forum that goes with the program.

    The 31-Day project is a good example of how you can get more valuable links and readers on your blog by giving away value. Every post, one a day, is a potential link magnet and a potential blue print for a second book Darren would be able to publish.

    With two movies, Pride & Glory and Quantum of Solace, and a bunch of slides to produce for my presentations, the flight was over before I knew it.

    Approaching Heathrow, you always get a good view over London. Unfortunately it wasn’t such a clear day today, but I still managed to get some great shots of the Thames, the Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace from the Air.

    Buckingham-palace

    The-Thames-London-Air-Picture

    Tower- Bridge  

    Just one more transit, and I will be in Zurich, Switzerland.

    heathrow-Transit

    FAIL: Parking in San Francisco

    You know the feeling. You run to your car, because you know there is street cleaning today. Unfortunately you are already too late, and there is a parking ticket on your car... $50 wasted. Well at least the city can put that money to work... Yeah Right!

    But how funny is it that these little parking police cars will park anywhere, even when there is a sign they can't!

    Parking-San-Francisco

    Should GM go bankrupt

    How much money can you sink in one company. General Motors is a huge driver in the US economy, and don't forget the pride of Detroit and the US car industry. But seriously, if you cannot make enough money to keep afloat, you might not have a reason to exist...

    Apart from all the people who loose their jobs, and I mean not only in the car companies but also with all the companies who sell products to these car companies, it's a destructive recession. Nobody is left out, everybody feels the pain. But still, why should the government help badly run companies keeping their head above water?

     I almost would like to preach for a Darwinian economy, where only those companies survive when these make money and are profitable. The only thing that keeps me from preaching the Darwinian economy is the fact that I feel for the people that will get hit with the crisis.

    I'm blessed that I work in a company that actually still grows ~12% year on year, AND is profitable. So the question is, should GM go bankrupt?

    First time In N Out Burger

    A few of my European colleagues are crazy about In N Out Burger. As long as I've been living in California, I've never been to In N Out Burger yet. So for 3 years I have been able to avoid the experience. But today, I have been forced to go to the In N Out Burger in Sunnyvale.

    first-time-In-and-Out-Burger-logo

    first-time-In-N-Out-Burger-ordering

    In-and-Out-Burger-menu

    I can highly recommend the Double-Double with Animal style. The animal style means the unions get grilled too.

    first-time-In-N-Out-Burger-receipt

    first-time-In-N-Out-Burger-Double-Double

    first-time-In-N-Out-Burger

    Parking Tickets San Francisco Style

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    Everybody hates it, getting a parking ticket. And yes, I hate it too! Last week, when I had to take the family out for a short while, and intended to WFH, Work From Home, I totally missed the window for the street cleaning. Monday morning, I thought street cleaning was from 9-11! But nope, it was from 11-2. And I ignored to look at the signs as I was over confident that I was right to park there. And boy was I happy to have the parking place. Normally the street is packed with cars from other neighborhoods, now I could find a parking spot just in front of my house, sweet!

    Paying your ticket in San Francisco is quite easy. Coming from Europe I have always been surprised that people still pay with checks here in the US. But I've never seen a smooth payment system for parking tickets in The Netherlands, as I've seen here in San Francisco. And trust me, I've had more parking tickets than I would have wanted!

    First of all, you can easily check if you have gotten a parking ticket at the SFgov site. Just type in your license plate and you will see all the open tickets that you still need to pay for your car.

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    The overview gives you the full list of all the open citation tickets you still have to pay.

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    The total will give you the overview the amount of money you will be down. Always painful, but better pay off these tickets, as the amount will go up if you don't pay!

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    Unfortunately you cannot pay with Paypal, but paying with the Paypal plugin is a possibility as you will be able to pay with credit card.  The whole process only takes a couple of minutes, maybe not even two!

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    And just print out the confirmation, and you are ready again.  

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    Sweet processing & payment process. Not so sweet that I'm $50 down again!

    Presidential Limo – USA #1

    The presidential limo looks impressive. This is a Cadillac, on which even Cadillac can be proud of. This Cadillac is specially build for President Obama to serve as the Presidential Limousine.

    Presidential Limousine

    Falafel Drive In San Jose

    Well known in Silicon Valley with the people working in San Jose/ Campbell; The Falafel Drive Inn. Formerly been a movie drive in, now a falafel restaurant. The owners kept the sign, and just placed a new sign on top of it! Wonderful falafel and Banana shakes!

    Cartman-Falafel-Drive-Inn

    Heineken Commercial Men vs Women

    This is a Dutch commercial! Yes, we can be politically incorrect in commercials in The Netherlands. Why, because we CAN!

    And it's funny!