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Toshi's thread

Discussion in 'Northeast' started by Toshi, Apr 20, 2002.

  1. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    This tagging business seems like a good way to get better acquainted with the island. As much as I loathe certain aspects of it (traffic, rude people, flatness) there are redeeming qualities as well, namely the lovely windy roads of the North Shore and a rich history. I'm going through the Tag-O-Rama thread, looking up each place as I go and following links.

    So far this hunt has yielded two cool sites, independent of the tags that led me to them: 1. Opacity.us and 2. Bygone Long Island. Opacity is particularly compelling and well done.
     

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  2. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    I tested the iPhone RAM Mount/Aquabox setup out today on my tagging expedition(s) and it was a partial success.

    The upside: the phone's display was visible, the Navigon app worked, and the audible directions were dutifully relayed from the iPhone to the helmet mounted Midland BT2-D headset speakers via A2DP/Bluetooth.

    The downside: the ~20 degree weather and constant app/Bluetooth/GPS use made the iPhone's battery life absolutely suck. How bad? Try one hour until it automatically shut off (thankfully after I'd snapped the photos of me at the tag site). It regained some life magically after being warmed up in my pocket but that level is totally unacceptable.

    The solution is to power the iPhone off of the bike, of course, but how to achieve this? My bike already has two sets of additional leads coming off its battery terminals. One is for the heated gear's controller. The other is for a Powerlet (aka, BMW-style) connector that currently is unused.

    I first thought that I'd string together a Powerlet -> cigarette lighter adapter -> iPhone car cable series of cables and somehow waterproof the whole mess. This seemed clunky, not cheap, and prone to failure given that it'd be exposed to the elements. Thankfully there exists a ready made solution, a 36" long Powerlet -> iPhone dock connector cable with a tiny voltage regulator in-line. Booyah.

    http://www.pashnit.com/product/powerlet/wire_ipod.html <-- first product



    Needless to say one is ordered. With this cable then my iPhone GPS solution (Navigon + RAM Mount/Aqua Box + Midland BT2-D) is actually pretty decent! It has multiple waypoint capability with savable/retrievable complex routes, audible directions beamed to my head, a waterproof handlebar mount with power, and is not in any way dependent on cell reception (all maps live on the device in its memory). I suppose there is the niggling flaw that I have to take my gloves off and take the phone out of its little waterproof box in order to change any settings. :D Other than that it rocks. Heh. It's still a hell of a lot cheaper than a Garmin Zumo 550…
     
  3. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    It turns out my bike's power plug isn't a Powerlet so that cable that I ordered is useless. Whoops.

    In other news I hacked up an installation of Wee-Strom handguards on my Versys. Some of the longer bolts that I needed were available at the local Lowe's hardware store such as the socket head M8 x 1.25 x 40 mm that now secures the handlebar end weights. Some of the other hardware isn't available locally, in particular a socket head M8 x 1.25 x 30-35 mm bolt that I'd use to secure both the mirror and the medial portion of the left handguard.

    I didn't let this stop me, however, and hacked up a "solution" involving a much longer hex head bolt, some washers, and much ugliness: the top of the mirror extenders is angled so the force directed through the washers is also unfortunately at an angle. It's a compromise but I think it'll hold for the time being.


    Final product as viewed from the front



    Comparatively clean right sided mount, on the medial side using a longer, special bolt provided with the handguards replacing the clutch lever pivot bolt. The gap between the grip and the weight is a bit messy but I don't have anything that'd fit there off hand.



    Ugly left sided mounting setup with hex head bolt outside its intended recess and a bunch of washers. The left mirror stem fouls the windshield on full lock now since the mirror extender is pointed forward, but I don't think this should cause much of a problem.


    Finally, I'm a bit of an idiot and had been using the motorcycle cover backwards. I thought it was just too small for the medium sized windscreen, tall front end, and wide mirrors, but it was simply reversed. Now it covers down to the "waterline" much better.
     
  4. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Nonartistic phonecam pics from an unexpected trip into the city:



    My old apartment building. This is where I spent years 5-9 of my life, up on the 30th floor.


    This red building in front of my old building didn't exist at all back in the day.


    My elementary school. Very snooty, upper East Side. We were bused in from the non-snooty mid West side. :D


    Under the George Washington Bridge on the NJ side. Palisades Park.


    Finally, looking towards Times Square on the way back to the Midtown Tunnel.
     
  5. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    First off, photo-geekery: ISO 6400, f/5.6, 1/15 to 1/80 or so, pushed 0 to 2/3rds of a stop. Cropping on the pseudo-macro shots and lots of noise reduction in Lightroom&#8230;



    Old bolt included with mirror extenders on left, new bolt from McMaster-Carr on right



    Previous setup with hex bolts, washers on top. Note the angled top surface of the mirror extender forcing everything askew.



    New setup with lovely recessed socket head bolt. Washers live below because the bolt is a bit too long (and McMaster-Carr didn't have it in 5 mm length increments, only 10 mm so I had to shoot long rather than short). Also note that the mirror extender has been rotated 90 degrees, so that the mirror now clears the windscreen even at full lock!

    Completed product:

     
  6. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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  7. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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  8. DaveW

    DaveW Space Monkey

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    Offroad adventure bikes tend to have quite a hard life.... If you look hard enough you can find pics of pretty much every make of bike smashed up like that.
    Unlike a trail bike the adventure bikes are big heavy things and when you slam them about into rocks boulders or the like offroad with that mass eventually something will give.
    Metal fatigues ya know. ;)
    My neigbour at the house I just sold had the same thing happen to his Honda transalp
     
  9. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    The people in the thread came up with at least 6 examples of this happening to the F 650 GS. Furthermore, BMW slipstreamed a new, beefier fork leg design during the summer of 2003, so it seems like the problem had come to their attention one way or another.
     
  10. DaveW

    DaveW Space Monkey

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    Fair enough then. :)
     
  11. Barbaton

    Barbaton Turbo Monkey

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  12. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Tip of the day: don't "test" your heated gear battery harness while installing other electrical stuff right before a ride by inadvertently shorting the positive and negative pins with a single multimeter lead. It makes for a cold ride.

    /me is teh dumb, and is glad there was an inline fuse!
     
  13. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Some scumbag stole my motorcycle cover and the bag it came in last night, ie. clearly intending to use it for himself. I hate my neighborhood, and I'm unsure whether to replace the cover now lest his buddies start helping themselves to the plenty in turn.
     
  14. Barbaton

    Barbaton Turbo Monkey

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    prolly thinks his newish Piaggio MP3 should be covered.

    sorry to hear it. move into a condo with semi-effective security like ours?

     
  15. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Our housing here is so cheap, tho&#8230; $850ish pretax with all utilities included and a walking commute.
     
  16. Barbaton

    Barbaton Turbo Monkey

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    850 is pretty good. 850 + 1 motorcycle and accessories starts to add up :)
     
    #4176 -   Feb 22, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2010
  17. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    If Jessica were working full-time as a teacher then we'd be able to live somewhere else but now her Starbucks wages basically just cover her clarinet lessons, if that, and, as you know, a resident's salary isn't much when there are student loans, life/disability insurance, the unexpected Fit payment, and sundry unanticipated costs to cover.
     
  18. Barbaton

    Barbaton Turbo Monkey

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    yeah I hear that. i just get by cuz i have a sugar mamma for the moment...

     
  19. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    I need this:

    Asphalt and Rubber: MotoSafe: Safe Parking for Your Motorcycle and Gear



    It's not even that expensive! Well, the municipal model with pay-per-use features above probably is, but the pricing above (up to 1150 GBP or so) is accurate for the personal-use ones. I wonder if NUMC would object if I put one of these in my "parking space"... heh
     
  20. DaveW

    DaveW Space Monkey

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    Ok now thats a pretty cool idea.... I wonder if having something like that would get you a discount on your insurance? :)
     
  21. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Yamaha Supere Ténéré

    1199 cc, 108 hp, and 575 lbs wet. Definitely aimed at the R 1200 GS, what with its shaft drive, 1200cc twin, 19" front wheel, spoked wheel setup, and factory hard bags. With regard to this bike's weight, I'll be interested to see how much the Ducati Multistrada 1200 actually weighs on reviewers' scales, as its claimed weight is much lighter&#8230;





    http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/bikes/yamaha-xt1200z-super-tenere/

     
    #4181 -   Feb 24, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2010
  22. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Comparative quickness data points over the 1/4 mile, sources for each linked in the text:

    1998 Vespa ET4: 0-60 in 19.2 seconds, so probably 1/4 ~22@55.

    Hummer H1: 19.6@67.

    2009 Honda Fit: 17.9@76.

    2003 Hummer H2: 17.3@80.

    I can't find an actual Vespa GTS 250 1/4 time. Plugging in 22 hp and 530lb scooter + fluids + rider + gear weight into this calculator yields an estimated 16.8@80, which sounds a bit optimistic, frankly, given that that's basically the scooter's top speed given infinite distance.

    2009 Honda Accord EX [4-cylinder]: 16.6@85.

    2009 Honda DN-01: 15.4@87.

    2003 Mini Cooper S: 15.4@92.

    Suzuki Burgman 650: 15.2@85.

    2005 Harley-Davidson Sportster 883: 15.0@89.

    2008 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SV [V6]: 14.7@96.

    2009 Pontiac G8 GT [V8]: 14.1@101.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR: 13.9@99.

    2010 Ford Mustang GT: 13.5@104.

    2007 Harley-Davidson FLHRS Road King Custom: 13.4@96.

    2008 Kawasaki Versys: 13.0@99.

    2004 Harley Davidson XL1200C Sportster: 13.0@100.

    2004 Honda Gold Wing GL1800A: 12.7@103.

    2010 Tesla Roadster Sport: 12.6@103.

    2005 Harley-Davidson VRSCR Street Rod [V-Rod]: 12.1@115.

    A crazy, modified drag scooter from UK: 11.9@104.

    2009 Nissan GT-R: 11.5@120.

    2009 Corvette ZR-1: 11.2@130.

    2007 Honda CBR 600RR: 10.9@126.

    2007 Suzuki GSX-R1000: 10.0@147.

    2006 Kawasaki ZX-14: 9.5@152, given enough tries at it, heh.

    Can you tell that I'm bored because I can't ride due to all this snow? :x The point: fast bikes are fast by any measure, and scooters are as fast as plebian cars, which is probably fast enough.
     
    #4182 -   Feb 27, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2010
  23. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Today's ride, to West Neck Beach Town Park. Some sandy roads and snow-laden speedbumps on the way there. The bike stepped sideways in turns a few times on the sand. The most treacherous part of the ride probably was reparking the bike, as there's compact snow/ice where my front wheel lives near my favored locking-pole…



     
  24. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    I whipped together some data about automobile curb weight and MPG over the years, as I wanted to see for myself whether the perception that cars have become thirstier and larger is true. It turns out that the latter is most definitely true but not necessarily the former.

    Side note: Making these charts forced me to learn how to properly format charts in Excel with multiple Y-axes, a skill that probably will come in handy for other, more useful endeavors in the future. Data were sourced from Edmunds and Fueleconomy.gov.













    Not as easy to read but workable. Note the big step backwards of the 4.6L 1994 Mustang GT :rofl: . Whoops, Ford…
     
    #4184 -   Feb 28, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2010
  25. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Tonight's route:



    http://tinyurl.com/yklkfqm

    Roads were clear and dry initially, and I quite enjoyed doing a little roll-on power wheelie in 1st. :D Then it started to rain/snow lightly and I had to back off a lot. The bike did a little shimmy on the freeway when going along a tar line that ran parallel to the lane but was otherwise very well behaved today.

    This was a warmup of sorts for Sunday, when I plan on heading up past Bear Mountain with a few other riders: the other, local Versys guy and at least one other person on a KLR 650. The season begins! (at least for some)
     
  26. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    I've had two rides on the Respro Foggy mask now.



    I wore eyeglasses for the first ride and it was near freezing. In these conditions the mask frankly didn't work that well. I had recurrent fogging of the right lens of my glasses and had to ride with the visor cracked open much of the time. Riding this way is annoying because of the noise and because the visor slams itself shut every time I go over 35 mph.

    I didn't wear glasses for the second ride, tonight, instead donning contacts. This made all the difference! I was able to ride in 35 degree weather for over two hours without opening my faceshield at all, even at stoplights! The only time I opened it was when stopping at the gas station.

    Verdict: it works if one uses contacts or has uncorrected good vision. Even it's not good enough to keep eyeglasses from fogging up.
     
  27. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Near Harriman State Park. Lots of riders out today, pirates and squids and ADVwhores alike.
     
  28. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    I shot some "official" promo shots for Jessica tonight. She's soloing with her former orchestra back in Seattle in a year and needed a portrait w/clarinet so I bust out the 135/2 and the off-camera flash and had some fun. Net result:



    A few more here with goofy expressions: five faces of jessica.

    Photo-nerdery: 5D Mk II, 135/2L at f/2.0, ISO 1600, off-camera 420EX at -2 EV triggered via ST-E2.
     
  29. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    I'm only a pretend photo nerd (hell, I own an Olympus) but why would you shoot WFO for a portrait? Obviously for depth but why would you want that effect for a portrait? Unless you are trying to hide scratches in the clarinet why wouldn't you want the shot to be as sharp as possible?

    Not trying to criticize, I like photography but lack good subjects to shoot and learn from.
     
  30. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    I was "taught" to keep only the eyes in focus, throwing the hair, ears, nose, clarinet in this case, everything else out of focus. I'm not sure why people do it other than that they can, but I like the look.

    Besides, stopping down doesn't yield a huge amount of depth of field (10 cm at f/8, 2 m subject distance, 5D Mk II sensor, 135 mm focal length vs. 2 cm when wide open) and it loses the bokeh for which we pay so dearly&#8230;

    http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html
     
  31. DaveW

    DaveW Space Monkey

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    Got myself a new cellphone Took a few pics with it on my way home from picking it up on the bike.... was a lovely evening for this detour. :)

     
  32. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    That's a beautiful vista, Dave. :thumb:

    I logged about 45 miles tonight, trying to get some saddle time in before leaving for Japan on Saturday. Left at 10:30 after karate practice (which kicked my ass--tonight was day 1), got back around 12:30. Long Island is nice when no one else is around! The roads are finally swept for the most part, the pavement good, and the corners fun. I'm becoming more comfortable with the bike each day, with actions becoming unconscious and things feeling "normal."

     
  33. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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  34. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    I'm about 12 hours away from being home after 11 days of being on the road. I'm tired, and won't even get to work on the 10 gb of photos and bids until Thursday. I'd say poor me except that both Japan and San Diego (conference) were pretty cool. Both Jessica and I even pretended to be normal people in that neither of us brought our instruments. We don't have a concert for another month and I didn't want to deal with finding space in which to practice throughout Japan...
     
  35. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Just in case anyone doesn't check the lounge:

    Japan and San Diego pics

    toshiclark.com usually does from 25-250 MB/day, 50 or so being typical. Yesterday it did 2347 MB thanks to all my gallery-whoring. :thumb:
     
  36. stevew

    stevew unique white person

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    here's a Japanese motorcycle/cycling blog you may or may not find interesting.
     
  37. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Interesting aesthetic that that guy has. I'll page through it a bit later.
     
  38. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    This is one of the things I've been working on:



     
  39. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    On another forum someone asked the following question about the Kinkaku-ji shot:



    My reply:

    Nothing I post is straight from the camera--no camera can read my mind as far as metering, white balance, contrast and color tone curves, etc. even my pricey 5D Mk2. I do all my adjustments globally in Lightroom, however. No cloning and explicit manipulation of small elements in Photoshop--hell, these days I don't even have a working copy of Photoshop installed on my computer. Lightroom is that good, and I am that lazy. It'd be different if someone were paying me to fix tiny details. :lol:

    As for this particular photo: it was shot in RAW format so that I could choose "developing" options after the fact, on the computer, instead of being stuck with a jpeg "printed" by the camera. The intense reflection is courtesy of a circular polarizer. The camera's metering was a bit under for my tastes so the exposure was pushed +0.28 stops. I actually shot this one with a straight-enough horizon but if it were a degree or two off I would have rotated it to fix that. White balance was as shot, as the camera correctly (imo) picked a WB very near that of sunlight. No highlight recovery was applied (a fabulous feature, btw!) but I did add +9 of "Fill light" to lighten up the brown wood on the house. I never mess with the "Brightness" and "contrast" sliders since I adjust exposure, tone curves, and shadows/highlights directly elsewhere. Vibrance and saturation both were bumped a bit to +10. The contrast point curve was set to "Strong contrast." Finally, the camera color calibration profile was set to Canon's "Camera Landscape." Overall these are pretty hands-off settings, nothing too crazy.

    It might be easier to parse screenshots of the settings in Lightroom instead of my words:



    [minirant]
    IMO a photographer is responsible for making the photo as good as he/she thinks it can be. For some people that involves posting whatever their camera spits out, whether rotated, exposed incorrectly, with the correct white balance and a pleasing level of contrast, or whether miraculously "correct" via the whims of the gods. For others that involves cranking contrast so that shadow detail is lost and saturating until one's eyes bleed. I prefer a slightly more subtle approach but certainly don't leave things to fate or the camera's (or RAW converter's) default settings.
    [/minirant]
     
  40. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Here's where I rode today. Straight bits at the bottom of the map are no fun. Twisty bits up top are.