Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
I just got another email from an excited lady who bought her first bike - a hybrid. Oh joy. Why has this become the bike of choice for ladies just getting into cycling? Why does this heavy bike become the bike of choice for women especially those over the age of 50?? I guess if you are biking in a city or on bike trails, this bike might make sense. For biking at the beach along the shoreline, a hybrid would work fine.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
This is not surprising to Case and after you watch her 8 minute lecture on the topic you might agree that yes, we are indeed turning into cyborgs. Is this a good or bad thing that is happening to us? The conclusion is not as clear as you might think.
Friday, March 25, 2011
There has been a wasteland in bringing science to the masses since Dr. Carl Sagan's tragic and early passing in 1999. However with minds like Kaku and Neil DeGrasse Tyson there is new hope for all of us who want to learn more about ourselves and the cosmos.
To learn more about the book click here.
To learn more about Michio Kaku check out his official website here.
They are hiring now for jobs in Yonkers
* Junior Network Administrator
* Billing and Collections Administrator
* Appeals Specialist
* Quality Assurance Manager
As far back as 1961 cloud computing was being described by the likes of Professor John McCarthy (pictured right in 2006). McCarthy described his vision of computer programs being distributed to the community in the same manner as a utility with customers simply paying for what they use. This vision of McCarthy's was actually quite popular and accepted in the 1960's. However by the mid 1970's it was clear that hardware and software companies were simply not ready to provide such a service.
Beginning in the early 2000's the idea of cloud computing had resurfaced and with each passing year the surge to cloud computing continued to increase. This move towards cloud computing is driven by many factors, with perhaps the most crucial justification being cost savings. Computer hardware (servers) and licensing costs can seriously challenge an organization's budget. For example, a server capable of running Microsoft's Exchange (email) service can cost between $10,000 and $15,000. The cost does stop there however. The organization must also purchase Microsoft's Exchange (email) operating system as well as Microsoft's server (operating system) software. These costs can tack another $5,000 onto the mail server. We are not done yet! Microsoft licensing fees must also be purchased. These are what are known as CALs (not Cows!). CAL is the abbreviation for "Client Access License". The organization must also pay a license fee for each and every user who has an email account. The current government cost is about $54.00 each (and this is discounted). In the case of the Borough of West Chester who has 150 email users another $8,000 is added to the cost of running a mail server.
Now that the server is purchased it has to be installed, updated and maintained. In addition email accounts need to be backed up and archived daily. All of this is very critical because email has become a crucial part of how we communicate. Maintaining this service can be very taxing on an IT department.
All of these factors plus countless others are inspiring organizations and companies to explore the possibility of cloud computing in respect to email services.
So what is cloud computing exactly? I believe you can simply define cloud computing as anytime your data is stored offsite at a data center. The contractual agreement between the organization (West Chester) who owns the data and the cloud provider (Microsoft) will usually include data management, backup, archiving and data security through the use of secure and multiple data centers. This reduces hardware cost for the organization and allows the organization to free up and possibly reduce information technology staff while continuing to provide efficient service to it's users. Maintaining offsite data is especially critical keeping in mind the possibility of natural disasters and terrorism.
The Borough of West Chester in an effort to continue controlling its information technology cost is moving it's email to the cloud with Microsoft as it's cloud provider this spring. Users will continue to use Microsoft Outlook to access their email so there will be no interruption in work or a need to learn a new system. However by moving email to the cloud the borough will be able to continue maintaining a low information technology cost, which is about 1% of the entire budget.
With the expected success of the email migration to the cloud other cloud solutions will continue to be explored in the future in an effort to continue providing the best service while simultaneously controlling cost.
Perhaps our future is really in the cloud just like John McCarthy first visioned 50 years ago.
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Dr. Ingraffea's Lecture:
Click Here to view the Q&A Portion of the Lecture.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
I have been trying desperately for the last 5 yrs to get women past the age of 40 to take up biking. If, like me, you are past age 60, sports for girls in high school were nonexistent.
In my day, the only sport available was cheerleading. We had basketball but it was intramural and only one player per team could run past the center line. She was known as the rover. The rest of us stood behind the center line and hoped she made a basket.
I did participate in competitive swimming but that was at my local YMCA. Our team had a total of 10 girls on it. We swam in pools that would be deemed unhealthy today.
So for my generation, climbing onto a bike and touring around on roads is not that easy to do. I have had women come to one ride never to be seen again. When I tell other ladies that I bike on the roads, they all say, "oh I could never do it."
But this year I am hopeful. I had a new woman show up on a hybrid bike. Her first ride with our club was 33 miles with hills. Not only did she manage to stay with us she never once complained.
Lo and behold she came back for another ride. She is still on her hyrbrid and she brought her daughter as well. This woman has already improved and has not quit. She has not complained about the busy roads or cars. She seems fine with all of it.
Hats off to what looks like a woman getting serious about biking. I really do not care that much what you are riding, I just want to see you riding. Eventually if you stick with it, you will buy a better bike. And you will have a great way to stay in shape as you gracefully age into retirement. Anyone can ride a bike. You do not have to be particularly fit or athletic. You will get fit and athletic by just riding.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
About the Job The Division Manager (DM) works out of a New York based office and warehouse facility and is responsible for the New York Tri-State Area operations, relying on company systems, resources and established industry norms. The DM carries out the planned expansion and profitable operation. The DM has full profit and loss responsibility and reports to the regional manager.
READ FULL JOB DESCRIPTION
Responsibilities & Work Detail
The Division Manager is responsible for the following 3 departments:
• Lead the outside sales team to secure high yielding, excellent quality sites for drop-box placement.
• Follow an aggressive plan for growth and expansion while managing a solid and profitable operation.
Collection, trucks and routes:
• Plan, organize and execute routing for efficient emptying of 1,400 collection bins
Production and warehouse:
• Manage refurbishing of drop-boxes
• Manage 250,000 lbs of incoming material weekly. Manage processing and outbound loads to customers worldwide
READ FULL JOB DESCRIPTION
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
How do you maintain a chain? What lube works best? Is it necessary to use a chain cleaner and a degreaser? If I lube and wipe down my chain once a week do I need to drag out the clumsy chain cleaners and run the chain through it?
I have been told something different from every bike store I have asked about this matter. Each mechanic swears he knows more than the other guy. I have found bike store folks are very quick to make fun of other bike stores and have no trouble running down the mechanic at a competing bike store.
Kinda disappointing to see them do this. But as far as I can see, each bike mechanic or bike store owner does indeed believe their methods are the only methods and anything else is a poor imitation.
SO please post as to how you maintain your bike chain??
Biking, just like driving a car, requires attention. Attention to the cars coming and going, attention to potholes and road debris, and attention to pedestrians and joggers are just a few things that can cause a cyclist to lose control of the bike.
I hear from so many people who say they are afraid to bike. Biking is safe if you are constantly paying attention. If you want to daydream while biking, then use the many bike trails available to cyclists.
I use a rear view mirror to help me monitor the roads.
This mirror attaches to your eyeglasses. Once you get used to using the rear view mirror, you will never bike again without one. You can easily see cars coming up behind you and cyclists passing you.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
West Chester Cycling Club has a brand new webpage and Biker Chicks has a direct link. So I thought I would make a nice information page for those looking to try biking for the first time with a club.
To those clicking to this blog for the first time and looking for information on the Biker Chicks, read below for tips.
1. Biker Chicks is run by Libby and I post rides on the WCCC ride page. Rides are posted as C level rides. This means that our average speed is around 12 mph. That is the speed of the entire ride including hill climbing and the riding the flats. Other folks post C level rides as well and all leaders follow the same rules that the club encourages us to use. This will be covered further down.
2. C level rides stay together or regroup often. No one is left behind unless some unforeseen circumstance prevents the group from staying together. Always be prepared for this by bringing the cue sheet and having a cell phone with you.
3. Club rides are best done on road bikes. These are bikes with the curved handlebars and pedals with cleats. Hybrid bikes or mountain bikes are good bikes but not for riding in Chester County. They are too heavy and make for a very difficult ride when you have to climb a hill. The WCCC also has a ride leader posting D level rides and the hybrid bike would be fine for these rides. These are shorter rides with few hills.
4. Group rides require those participating to follow some basic riding etiquette. We ride single file when needed. We obey all road rules and use hand signals for turns. Group riding, despite its name, does require EACH rider to make his or her own decisions when turning or crossing a lane etc. Never just blindly follow the person in front of you.
5. Come to the ride prepared. Have the cue sheet (links are provided for the cue sheets on the ride page, download it and print it up, PLEASE). Have food and water with you on your bike. Carry a cell phone and carry a bike tube and a system for inflating your tire.
6. Download the non-member waiver if you are not a club member and bring it with you.
7. Check ride page frequently to see updates to posted rides. Weather, illness or emergencies can cancel a ride at the last minute. SO CHECK the page before heading out.
8. Finally, if you want to ride, DO IT. Don't wake up Saturday morning and chicken out. Get on that bike and do it. Don't wait till July. By then, the C riders are all riding and getting better. The time for newbies to ride is NOW.
9. See you on the road.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
The C group had 2 folks show up. Yes, I said 2 people. For the life of me I cannot figure out why some folks will get up on a Saturday morning and go biking and others just do not make the effort or plan for the time involved.
The faster groups never have this issue. These folks seem to find the time and make plans that include biking. There are men and women in these groups, and just about all of them have families and jobs.
But let me get back to my C riders today. One fellow was 78 years old, one lady was 67 years old. The fellow has been biking since 1972 and the woman has been at it for years and years. Both are married and both raised children and both worked fulltime jobs.
But when see these two folks, it does not take a genius to see the effects of a lifelong physical activity. These two cyclists are fit and healthy and quite happy. The 78 yo guy logged 3500 miles for last season, of course he did way more in his younger day. The lady has logged many miles as well and did it while working fulltime, raising children and now finally retired and biking whenever she wants.
But these older cyclists are now reaping the rewards of such a fit lifestyle. They can easily jump on a bike and do 30 miles and not even break a sweat.
So all of you NOT biking and finding so many other important things to do, think about these two cyclists, fit and healthy and not being a drain on our health care system.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
In a nutshell: SB 875 allows Texas state permit holders to trample on your property rights
A permit -- for gas drilling, or anything else -- is supposed to make the permit-holder behave responsibly.
SB 875 turns that on its head – it makes a permit a “get out of jail free” card.
No matter what the gas driller (or other permit holder) does -- if they’re holding a government permit, they can’t be held accountable under Texas nuisance law.
If SB 875 becomes law, that is.
Pollution from industry can trespass onto your property all day and night, pollute it, make your family sick, kill your livestock, and industry only has to say “I was just following my permit or rule.”TAKE ACTION:Tell the members of the Texas Senate Natural Resources Committee: protect our property rights, oppose SB 875!
Get the holder and attach the cue sheet to your bike so that you can read it WHILE biking. The cue sheet is worthless if it is in your bike bag.
Get a speedometer so that you can monitor what mile post you have passed so that you know WHERE YOU ARE!!!!!!!
The cue sheet holder is inexpensive, shop online for one and a speedometer can be had for less than $10. Make sure to buy the speedometer before you buy your bike so that the store can put it on if you cannot read directions.
If you are on a ride and you missed a turn or get dropped by your bike club group, it does help to know where you are on the cue or else the cue sheet is worthless as road signs might not be visible from where you are.
Learn how to read a map and check your cue sheet directions on a map so that you have some idea where you are going. Again, if you have to call for help, you must be able to tell the person on the phone where you are located.
I have biked with countless folks who had NO idea where we were. If they got separated from the group, they are up a creek without a paddle so to speak,
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Corn Valley A Well 1H Incinerator Flare
This shale gas well flaring event was captured in the early morning hours of March 4, 2011 (it was very windy).
A worker can be seen walking (sleepily or wobbily) toward the incinerator. The worker is wearing a hard hat, but no breathing gear. We worry about his safety (and our neighbors residing 537 ft. from this flaring)!
We're very lucky ~ but mostly our neighbors on Westchester's Donnie Lane are extremely lucky...you see, most did not choose to sign mineral leases and this flaring event is practically in their back yards.
**Link to More Videos on Westchester Gasette's YouTube Channel**
Saturday, March 5, 2011
I have been leading female cyclists on bike rides for about 5 years. In this time I have learned some sure fire things we, as women, do, that ensure we will fail at the sport of cycling.
1. First, before we even start the sport, our thinking goes like this. "I won't spend much money on a bike because I may not like it."
ok, you have already started the process of failure here, you have already told yourself that failure is indeed an option
2. You go to a bike store and apologetically ask the salesperson for help, you tell him or her that you are new to cycling and are not sure you will like the sport.
translated to salesperson, " i will most likely never bike except at the shore and then only on flat land"
3. You tell the salesperson that you know nothing about cycling, bikes or quality
again, you are now telling the salesperson that you are an idiot and plan on buying a bike with no knowledge or research
4. Salesperson drags out a large hybrid bike and proceeds to tell you how this bike is just what you need, it is durable, has thick tires, and shifters right in the handlebars, pedals do not require cleats cuz you do not want cleats, that is too hard for an idiot like you (remember, you presented this idea to him/her by declaring how little you know)
now you are really getting close to abject failure, you got the big heavy awful bike right in front of you and someone is telling you how great it is and you believe him
5. Salesperson tells you to take it for a spin around the parking lot
perfect, riding in a circle on a flat lot, bike feels great, you love it, you feel safe with those big heavy tires
6. You buy your sturdy bike feeling good. You ride around your neighborhood and feel good.
you love your bike, you buy accessories, a big bag up front and some capri pants to wear when you bike
7. You join a bike club, sign up for a club ride, you pick the slowest group thinking they will go slow like me you get there and even this slow group looks intimidating, road bikes, cleats and bike clothes
8. You head out and have a tough time, your bike cannot go like the road bikes do, you are slow and exhausted and feel terrible and are embarrassed
failure is now in full swing, you hate biking, you tell yourself your are not fit enough, you will never be able to bike like the bike club folks
Here is a better plan.....................
1. Go to bike store equipped with tons of knowledge, get on the Net and do research, start on the Terry page, watch her videos and listen to her podcasts
2. Go to several bikes stores and compare how they fit you and what they say to you
3. Look on the Net at prices of your bike at various bike stores or online stores
4. Do some research into components for your bike, here is one example
5. Then buy the bike, do not let anyone talk you out of a road bike
6. I do suggest you get the pedals that require cleats and get bike shoes, I personally like road shoes but many get mountain bike shoes
7. Get some bike clothes, at least get a decent pair of cycling shorts, your bottom will thank you
8. Join a bike club and find some like minded cycling buddies who can help you learn how to shift gears, change a tire etc
9. Do not leave home without a cell phone, ID and tire changing equipment, if you cannot change a tire, make sure you have a back up plan, someone who can come get you in an emergency, trust me, you will at some point have to call for help
Hidden jobs are everywhere. You just have to know where to look. I believe todays job seekers need to "company hunt" not job hunt. They need to look for companies that are growing/expanding. And these companies aren't necessarily on the job boards. I've recently created a new app to help you find these jobs.
Its called the ‘hidden jobs app’ and it tracks hidden job announcements across the U.S. in a simple interface that accesses a proprietary database which I update daily. If you have an iphone (or ipod touch or ipad), I’d appreciate if you download it and give it a review. (.99 cents). The app lists stories and announcements from companies that are expanding or announcing hiring plans and then links to that article inside the app so you can read it.
I got the idea after seeing some of Jim Stroud's posts on the subject and thought to myself. There should be an app for that. So I found a developer on elance and the app was done in less than a month. Its intended for job seekers, career coaches, reporters or anyone who wants to learn about companies that are hiring.
Friday, March 4, 2011
Here is the power point from today's class.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
One of the things we all seem to struggle with in today's technological and connected world is storing and remembering all of THOSE passwords. Most websites require passwords and it seems all of the various websites and agencies we need to access require different types of passwords. Some are as simple as 6 characters while some require a mix of uppercase, lowercase and special characters. What are we to do with all of these password requirements being demanded of us? One word sadly. COMPLY. If you don't comply - you don't have access. This being said there are solutions out there to help you remember, or at least have access to your countless passwords.
My favorite solution is the website www.passpack.com. Passpack is a highly secure website that once you create an account you can store all of your passwords which are connected to each website with direct links from within your Passpack account. There are three levels of security you must pass through in order to access your account! So you can be secure that your passwords are... secure. If you store under 100 passwords the account is free which is really a great deal.
Once you set this up with all of your accounts and passwords you really only need to remember the password for Passpack. In addition there is a nice client you can download and install locally on your computer. There are even Android and IPhone apps available as well!
Stop stressing over passwords and check out Passpack.com today.
This is also a question I get. How do I become a good cyclist? What training program should I use? How often should I bike? And the list goes on and on. While I am sure there are many programs that provide good training, for the majority of us, we have neither the time nor the money to pay for something like this.
You would be better off saving the money and putting it towards a good road bike. Right now there are lots of 2010 models being offered for sale in many local stores. A good buy can be found if you look around and do not buy the first thing you see.
Performance Bike Store in Paoli or the many Bike Lines all are having sales right now. Go to several stores so you can compare how each one fits you. If you are a chick, I suggest you resist the sales' talk about buying a man's bike. It will never fit you. The handlebars will be too wide and too far away no matter what the salesperson says.
The top tube will also be too long. If a man's bike would fit women, we would not have women specific bikes. Do some research on the Net. Terry Cycling has 4 good videos that provide much information about bike design.
Get informed BEFORE you go. Know what kind of questions to ask.
Once you have purchased your bike, let the training begin. Just get on it and go. Do 2 miles, do 10 miles, do whatever you can. But keep doing it. That is it. All you need to do is bike regularly. When you get home from work, take a quick ride. Do 5 miles. But do it.
Better yet, bike to work. Combine your workday with your biking day and kill two birds with one stone. If this is impossible, plan your biking so that you do not make excuses about why you cannot bike.
Yeah, I know many of you have many obligations but taking care of your health and well being should be one of them. If it is not, fix it. If you have kids, get them good bikes and go out on a trail. If retired like me, then bike till you drop, why not? My club is always packed with men on the Saturday morning rides. These men have jobs and families but somehow they get themselves on the bike. That is why they are so good. They bike and they bike often.
See you on the road. Heading out the door soon for a short ride. Sun is out.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Memorandum from the Desk
of Dr. Susan Hull, Superintendent
Link to Superintendent's Memo
Just a reminder ~ that the whole purpose for the 1,000 foot "setback" from protected use property [**Protected Use means a residence, religious institution, public building, hospital/medical building, nursing home, school or public park.**] (as proposed by the Environmental Services Department) was to protect the citizens from the industrial zone that is shale gas drilling. Citizens include "children."
Oh, well. It's a done deal. Whatever Chesapeake Wants. Chesapeake Gets.
It's truly amazing how little concern there appears to be about protecting the children of Grand Prairie from shale gas drilling industrial zones.
About this time of the year, I hear from women looking to do some bike rides. Invariably it goes like this. "Hi, I am new to biking and just dug out my old mountain bike from the basement and was wondering if you bike on roads with hills? I am really interested in biking."
If you were really interested you would never have wasted the money on the mountain bike and instead saved your dough for a decent road bike. Biking in Chester County requires a road bike. You must be able to shift gears and I highly recommend a bike with the triple crank. This gives you what I call the "granny gear". A gear low enough to make climbing hills very doable even for the beginner.
Biking is one of the best activities for women especially as you age into retirement. Not only is it easy on the knees but you can do it while sitting on a seat. You do not have to go fast and you can still get a good workout.
Now if all you want to do is bike on a bike trail or the boardwalk at the beach, your mountain bike will do fine. But not in Chester County. While I consider it the most scenic biking area, it does require a good bike to make the riding fun.
Before you head out the door to bike in Chester County, get prepared. Get a good bike bag and equip it with 2 tubes and an inflation system such as CO2. Make sure you can use your system and know how to change a tire. Carry ROAD ID, cell phone and 2 bottles of liquid preferably some type of Gatorade.
Most women head out the door thinking, I will just take some water and get a good workout and lose 10 lbs. I won't eat on the ride so that I burn even more calories.
Good luck with that. First of all, you will do fine on one ride of about 25 miles or less. But when you head out again in a few days doing the same thing, most likely you will hit the proverbial wall. If you want to bike regularly and do it well, hydrate well and carry 2 times what you think you need to eat.
Bananas, cookies, fig bar, Rice Krispy Squares....anything with sugar is good. Avoid stuff like nuts and fruit, as the nuts takes hrs to get into your system and fruit does not have enough calories. Some bike rides I am out for over 4 hours. Thinking you can starve yourself during a ride of this duration is wishful thinking.
Starve yourself on your own time, not when out with a group of cyclists. Your fellow riders will thank you for not bonking on the ride. I have bonked, so I know it can happen.
Below is picture of my bike bag and followed by a picture of the stuff I can fit into my bike bag.
CO2 inflator and spare cartridge, bike tools, tire lever, two tubes I keep in plastic and some extra screws and washers for my bike shoes. I have had these screws come loose and fall off. I also carry an insurance card and my ROAD ID has emergency contacts.
Carry money and make sure your cell phone is charged. If riding with a friend or husband, you both need the identical equipment. Do not rely on someone to carry your stuff. I have passed stranded females whose significant others have left them behind. The stranded person has no cell phone or tire changing equipment. SO PREPARE.
We Have Very Serious Doubts They Do.
The Document signed by Board President, Mike Skinner and Board Secretary, J.D. Stewart.