Saturday, September 29, 2007

Portland, Columbus, Tickets, etc.

Just a collection of stuff I've read on the internet:
  • From the NYTimes, Portland is a great place for restaurants: "Every little neighborhood in this city of funky neighborhoods now seems to be exploding with restaurants, food shops and markets, all benefiting from a critical mass of passion, skill and experience, and all constructed according to the gospel of locally grown ingredients. ... World-class wine is produced in the Willamette Valley, the center of the Oregon wine industry, just a half hour’s drive away. Portland has six micro-distilleries making any kind of spirits you can name and, if you’d like a chaser, more breweries than any other city on earth. Just as important is a receptive populace, demanding yet eager to be wowed."
  • In Columbus news, here's an NYTimes Article about the Drexel Theater.
  • Whining drivers: It's no surprise that there are forums on the internet where you can whine about getting a traffic ticket, but thanks to reddit, I came across one by cops and for cops where cops can whine about how unfair it is that they should get any kind of tickets instead of being shown "professional courtesy". Oh it's so not fair! Why should the rules apply to them?!
  • Monday, September 24, 2007

    My First Cyclocross Race!

    I raced in my first cyclocross race last Sunday, and it was awesome :) I came in 19th/33, which I thought was OK for my first race. Dylan came in 8th! We were both racing in the beginner's category.

    From wikipedia: "Cyclocross is a form of bicycle racing ... and consists of many laps of a short (2.5–3.5 km or 1.5–2 mile) course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, carry the bike whilst navigating the obstruction and remount in one graceful motion."

    My lovely Torelli bike was designed for cyclocross racing, although it's an older bike and a little heavy, it still works. It's also a great road bike and commuting bike. To get it cross-ready, all I have to do is change out the tires from slick road tires to nubbly off-road tires. That's a bit of a pain, though, so I got some new wheels so that all I have to do is swap out the wheels, which is considerably easier than swapping out the tires :) I needed new wheels anyway.

    Sunday, September 16, 2007

    Haskell and OpenID

    Today I've been doing some investigation about creating an openid implementation in Haskell. There are lots of implementations in different languages, but surprisingly none in C. That would probably be the easiest language to create a binding for.
    A few approaches I'm thinking about:
  • Creating a binding from Haskell to another language. This wouldn't be a real implementation, just a binding, but there's no C implementation listed... it's likely that there is some out there, though.
  • Creating a simple client-side only implementation that's just an experiment... leaving out a lot of the details like encryption, state, & delegation. Then building that up over time.
  • Or maybe jumping right to implementing The 2.0 version to try to make a reference implementation in Haskell. Who knows, maybe it'll get some people attracted to Haskell :)

    Click "read more" to

    I created an OpenID Identity at and created a delegation for, so now I have my own identity at my own server. This is actually really easy:
    How to create an OpenID identity and delegate it to a personal web server:
  • Create an identity at some OpenID provider.
  • Create an HTML document on your Unix server someplace like "/var/www/ipj/index.html" and add this content:
           <title>Isaac Potoczny-Jones OpenID</title>
           <link rel="openid.server"   href="">
           <link rel="openid.delegate" href="">
           <p><a href="">Isaac Potoczny-Jones</a></p>
  • Create a virtual server in apache by creating a file like "/etc/apache2/sites-enabled/ipj.conf" with this kind of contents:
    <VirtualHost *>
     DocumentRoot /var/www/ipj
  • Then restart apache
  • And try logging into LJ or something. The next version of drupal supports OpenID, so when I upgrade I'll probably use my own server, presumably with the same identity.
    But the thing is, I haven't picked a new nick since I got married. Should I be: isaac.potoczny-jones, ipojo, ipj, or just isaac?
  • Saturday, September 8, 2007

    Mount St. Helens

    In July, me, Anna, and our friends Chris & Christina climbed Mt. St. Helens the volcano that famously blew its top in 1980.

    Here are some photos of our climb!
    Mt. St. Helens is no longer a technical climb. Before the major eruption, it was apparently a pretty difficult and interesting mountain to climb, but now it's a strenuous day hike with a lot of scrambling over boulders, and some slogging up ash the fields.

    Unfortunately for us, it was very very foggy when we climbed it, as you can see from the photo below. Before it got foggy, there were some good views, but we got all the way to the top and looked down into the crater, and saw vast nothingness of fog and clouds. A bit anti-climactic. Despite having no sunshine, though, I got terribly sun burned.

    Nevertheless, it was a great hike and Chris & Christina did a fine job planning the trip and making sure we were well prepared for it. Because of the way the permit system works, you have to choose the day of the hike way in advance, so you never know what the weather will be like.

    For training, Anna and I climbed Larch Mountain in the Columbia River Gorge, (trailhead at Multnomah falls), as well as some smaller hikes. Larch Mountain turned out to be pretty good preparation for the climb of St. Helens, and as it turned out, had much better views that day. From Larch, you can see Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams and others. Sweet.

    Saturday, September 1, 2007

    Bike Commuting Stuff :)

    In Portland, we have a new 10-foot bike lane on the Hawthorne bridge, which is on my way to work. This widening of the existing lane is really really nice, because it's uphill and right after a light, so it gets congested with cyclists going at different speeds.

    You should join The Bike Commute Challange this year. Check if your company is already on the list.

    Folks at my work are getting into the idea of commuting by bike. One person already bought a new bike, and at least two others are planning to. That's in addition to all of us who already bike!