OrnothLand

 If you know what life is worth, you will look for yours on earth…

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Support Ornoth’s 2024 Pan-Massachusetts Challenge charity ride!

PMC Top 10% Heavy Hitter badge

This August I will ride my 18th Pan-Mass Challenge — my fourth as a remote rider — to raise money for lifesaving cancer research and treatment through the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Jimmy Fund.

This year, as a member of Team Kermit, the money I raise will directly underwrite pediatric brain and spinal tumor research through the Jared Branfman Sunflowers for Life Fund.

Please take a moment now to help me reach my goal of raising $4,000 in 2024. Thank you so much!

Sponsor Ornoth’s Ride

It’s A Small World After All

Map of Ornoth's 2018 travels

In typical user-unfriendly fashion, Google has unilaterally decided to shut down the web version of users’ Location Timeline, forcing everyone to transition to a mobile app with only half of the old functionality.

In addition to the entire web interface, one of the features they’re taking away is the ability to summarize your travels by year, something I found useful and informative.

As an example, I thought I’d share the following three screen shots from the soon-to-be-removed online version of Location Timeline. Each map summarizes all my travels for a particular year. In this case, it’s 2018, 2019, and 2020.

It’s a stark comparison, as my travel horizons shrank from global to national to zero.

Thanks largely to Inna’s work and family, in 2018 I set new records for the farthest I’v »more

2024-06-12

2020 Travel 2019 Travel 2018 Travel

These Streets Knows My Name

Ornoth on Streetview

As I mentioned last year, I occasionally pop over to Google Street View to check out various and sundry.

As a cyclist with around 7,000 hours of road riding since Street View came out, I’ve seen numerous camera vehicles during my wanderings, but I’ve never happened to come across my own image.

But having seen the Street View camera car while checking our mailbox a couple months ago, I recently looked to see whether they’d updated their imagery, and whether Y.T. had made the cut.

I’m happy to report that there’s now a permanent visual record of my presence in this benighted world, in the form of the following two images (as always, click for teh bigness):



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2024-06-11

Streetview Streetview

Anty Up

Cruising to a strong finish

Last year’s 100 km Fire Ant Tour was both my first organized cycling event in Texas, and the first one on my new bike (writeup). And this past weekend it became the first Texas event I’ve repeated for a second time. I approached it with more confidence this year, having already completed my first century a month ago (writeup).

Since I normally only do writeups for imperial centuries – and this wasn’t one – I’ll limit myself to some brief highlights.

In an effort to avoid the afternoon heat, this year 230 riders rolled out at 7:15 rather than 8am, which meant I climbed out of bed at 4am and hit the road at 5:15 for the 90-minute drive up to Gatesville. Although it was 23° at the start, a cloudless sky promised a hot pre-solstice afternoon and a strong wind out of the south.

The first »more

2024-06-10

Line of early starters rolling out All blue sky and sunshine Texas ain't all desert yanno Cruising to a strong finish

Texas Toast

View of downtown Austin from Town Lake

Eighteen months in Austin. Here’s a monologue about what I expected, or more properly the numerous things that surprised me, as a lifelong New Englander. If you’re curious, read on…

The Climate:

We knew Texas would be hot; it’s supposed to be hot. Guess what? It was hot. In fact, 2023 was Austin’s hottest summer ever recorded, and the driest year since 1910. In fact, it was hot enough that a friends’ house caught fire when empty wine bottles in his outdoor recycling bin spontaneously combusted!

But ya know what? We handled the heat. In fact, we handled it better than most Austinites, who surprised us with how much they complained about it. Granted, we do cherish our air conditioner, but even outdoors the lower humidity usually made the heat feel a lot less oppressive than we expected. It »more

Twist Away the Gates of Steel

View of downtown Pittsburgh from Grandview Ave

Now that I’m 18 months removed from it, I’d like to reflect on my seven years in Pittsburgh.

Let me apologize in advance; this’ll be more negative than positive, because I want to talk about why I left. My intention isn’t to shit on anyone’s chosen hometown. There really is a lot to like about Pittsburgh and Western PA, many good reasons to live there, and lots of genuinely awesome people. But I also want to be forthright about why I was eager to leave.

By far the biggest reason actually had nothing to do with Pittsburgh itself; it’s just that I never intended to stay. When I left Boston in 2015, my #1 desire was to finally move somewhere warm, after enduring 50+ New England winters. Pittsburgh’s weather wasn’t much of an improvement, so I always knew Pittsburgh was a temporary stop on m »more

He Is a Blockhead

E-waste Management

Everybody has their own ideas about what’s appropriate to post on social media, and how to separate the desired signal from the undesired noise.

I’ve posted before about what I want from social media, and it boils down to this: the only reason I read social media is because I want to read about the lives of the people I care about (i.e. you)… and I don’t want to read stuff that doesn’t directly pertain to your life. For that reason, I don’t get any enjoyment when people I’m interested in (i.e. you) post links to unrelated, prefabricated third-party (i.e. not you) content… and some of you (I hope you know who you are!) post a shit-ton of it.

One of the best ways I’ve found to filter out the trash — and thereby keep my Friends feed interesting – is the god-given ability to block Page »more